|Position Statement - The UK Feed Industry and the RTRS|
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The Agricultural Industries Confederation (AIC) is the trade association representing the UK Feed Industry (as well as other agri-supply inputs). AIC supports the goals of the Roundtable for Responsible Soya (RTRS) and is represented in that forum through the European Feed Federation (FEFAC), which is a member of the RTRS.
In 2006 AIC created a ‘Responsible Procurement’ module as part of its global feed ingredient safety programme, FEMAS. A schedule to the Responsible Procurement module was released at the same time to specifically address the key sustainability issues identified with soybean production, namely: deforestation and worker welfare. From the outset the stated intention was to begin the process of addressing sustainability issues that would eventually be encompassed by RTRS, which was then under development.
Under the Responsible Procurement rules, no soya could be traded that was grown on land within the Amazon Biome deforested after September 1st 2006 – the date from which verification could be established using satellite imagery.
Also in 2006, the major soya exporters operating in Brazil signed a Moratorium, which excluded from their supply chains any products from soybeans planted on land within the Amazon Biome.
RTRS goes further than previous programmes in the breadth and detail of its requirements, for example extending environmental controls beyond forested areas with effect from May 2009. AIC is now working with RTRS and supply chain partners to investigate how the current situation can best be adapted to accommodate RTRS requirements. Part of this discussion will focus on how better to protect areas of high biodiversity value, such as the Cerrado region of Brazil.
To date only a very limited quantity of soya beans has been certified to RTRS and we encourage the uptake of this certification system by producers around the world. This will provide the availability of RTRS soya to meet the market requirements as they develop.
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