ALMOST 300,000 TONNES of soy certified by the Roundtable for Responsible Soy (RTRS) have been sold since June 2011 and demand is rising from across the world.
The news comes just a few days before the start of the RTRS 7th Annual Conference, where an annual target will be set to produce and sell five million tonnes of responsible soy by 2015.
Soy is a major global commodity crop used in a wide range of consumer goods and livestock feeds. RTRS soy is produced to specific social and environmental standards and is, according to WWF, the best available option to halt the devastating impact cultivation of the crop is having on natural habitats in countries like Brazil.
The first 85,000 tonnes of responsible soy were purchased a year ago and key users of soy including Unilever, FrieslandCampina, Arla, Marks & Spencer and Waitrose, are prioritising responsibly sourced soy.
For the first time, the RTRS annual conference will be held outside of a major producer country, in London on 23-24 May 2012. Global stakeholders including producers, manufacturers, retailers, traders and key social and environmental organisations will come together to discuss how to secure growth for responsible soy and to develop the vision for RTRS soy beyond 2015.
The event will be streamed live via webcast. Previous events have been producer and manufacturer focused. This event will be looking into the future of the demand and consumer side of the industry and we welcome the interest from across the world.
Over the last year we have seen the first RTRS certified soy come on to the market and the time is right to hear the views from across the supply chain and build the future of the responsible soy industry, said Jaap Oskam, president of RTRS and chief procurement officer at animal feed company Nutreco.
Key purchasers of soy now want to use responsible soy exclusively and we have growing numbers of producers who are certified to produce RTRS soy and meet their demands. It is exciting to see how producers in Asia are recognising the business case for responsible soy and increasing their investment into the RTRS process.
Soy production has been held accountable for a number of issues including environmental degradation, social breakdown and worker exploitation. The RTRS was created as a global, multi-stakeholder initiative to tackle these issues and transform the soy industry, creating demand for responsible soy at all stages of the supply chain.