Other nations likely to join China in achieving responsible soy production in 2014

All soy producing nations are likely to offer certified responsible soybeans by the end of this year, according to Solidaridad Network, an international organization dedicated to responsible food production. The group noted that in 2013 just 0.4% of the global soy production was RTRS (Round Table on Responsible Soy) certified, but this is set to increase, with countries such as China recently moving into this arena for the first time, and others such as Bolivia and Canada expected to follow suit later this year.

“During last week’s General Assembly of RTRS (the international standard for responsible production, processing and trade of soy worldwide), ARLA Group announced it would buy RTRS certificates for all the soy used for cows supply dairy to ARLA in Sweden, Finland, Denmark, UK, Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and Luxembourg (almost 0.5 mln tons),” a spokesman for the Solidaridad Network told FoodIngredientsFirst. “And theRetailers’ Soy Group (Asda, Coop UK, Delhaize Group, Migros, Marks & Spencer, Royal Ahold, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, The Co-operative Food and Waitrose) published the annexed statement with their minimum requirements and stating that RTRS and ProTerra are the only standards that meet these requirements.”

At the moment, 71.5% of the global supply of certified soy comes from Brazil, according to the industry body. “Brazil is the largest soy producer worldwide (although the US produces around the same amounts),” explained the spokesman. “In 2013 we also had the first RTRS certification in USA and in 2014 we expect that after China, we will also see the first RTRS certification in Bolivia and Canada.”

Earlier this month a Solidaridad project in northern China resulted in Chinese certified responsible soybeans for the first time. The Sinograin Northern Agricultural Development Company became the first Chinese agricultural company to successfully secure the certification of the Round Table on Responsible Soy (RTRS). This first certification marked a milestone in promoting the sustainability of soy production in China, predominantly because Sinograin is one of the country’s largest state-owned companies.

“We believe more and more Chinese producers, especially the cooperatives and agriculture companies will try to achieve this certification, considering the increasing concern of the food security from the public and the government,” said the Solidaridad spokesman. “As the issue of food security continues to develop as a global concern, Chinese consumers are bombarded with the negative news of food safety incidents by our media, from vegetable, livestock to edible oil and dairy products.

“For both domestic and global market players from soy producing, processing to retailing, the safety of soy and other related products, like soy edible oil, soy milk, soybean protein powder has been increasingly challenged by the public.  It is important for them to ensure their buyers and consumers of the product quality.”

[source www.foodingredientsfirst.com – 12 May 2014]