Soy is one of the major crops of the world, used not only for human food but for oil, animal feed, cosmetics and biofuels as well. Soy is also a crop that has historically been associated with negative social and environmental issues: agrochemical runoff, water pollution, unsafe working conditions, land concentration and the conversion of some of the most species-rich lands in the world, leading to serious deforestation.
The world is projected to consume 70 to 80 million metric tons of additional soybeans annually over the next 10 years. This is partly linked to 80% of the world’s soy production being fed to livestock - primarily cows, pigs and chickens. It is also being used in 60% of processed food, including cereals, biscuits, cheeses, cakes, noodles, pastries, soups and spreads. Meanwhile, India and China’s consumption of soy oil and soy meal is increasing rapidly.
That means the world, in a decade, must produce an additional amount of soybeans equivalent to the current production of Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay combined. A lot of that will likely come through higher yields, but some will also need to come from additional land planted to soybeans.
There have been various initiatives in the past for reducing the rise in global consumption, and minimising the deforestation impact of soy. A global sector initiative, however, has been lacking. The objective of our work is to ensure that soy is sustainably sourced.
In 2014, our Board of Directors approved the Sustainabile Soy Sourcing Guidelines
, which were updated in mid-2016. The Soy Working Group is implementing the Guidelines across the Industry, and a series of webinars
were successfully organised in conjuction with these guidelines.