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The Dutch Industry and Trade sectors announce intent to begin the transition toward responsible soy – 7 million euro investment involved
16 December 2011, Amsterdam
Dutch retailers, traders, feed processors and NGOs in the soy value chain and IDH, the Sustainable Trade Initiative have jointly announced their intent to work towards 100% responsibly produced soy sourcing by 2015. To achieve this objective, a total of 7 million euro will be invested by the participating parties, who announced the breakthrough at the start of the International Supply Management Congress in Amsterdam. “This represents a milestone in the field of sustainable trade”, said Joost Oorthuizen, General Manager of IDH, the Sustainable Trade Initiative.
Participating organisations include the Dutch Feed Industry Association (Nevedi), The Sustainable Trade Initiative (IDH), FrieslandCampina and other Dutch dairy companies, the Dutch Meat Association, Dutch retailers Albert Heijn, C1000, Jumbo, Lidl, SuperUnie – as central buyer for 13 supermarket chains, farmers’ union LTO Nederland, the Product Board for Poultry and Eggs and the Product Board for Margarine, Fats and Oils. The plan is supported by WWF Netherlands, environmental organisation ‘Natuur & Milieu’ and the Solidaridad development organisation.
This past summer, the Dutch food & feed industry expressed its ambition to become frontrunner in the use of responsible soy cultivated according to the principles of the Round Table on Responsible Soy (RTRS). Today, trade and industry have agreed to join forces to achieve the transition to responsible soy. The overall objective is to achieve a 100% use of responsible soy for the production of meat, dairy, eggs and other foods in The Netherlands by 2015. Over the next few years, the participating companies aim to purchase increasingly large volumes of responsibly produced soy: 500,000 tons in 2012, 1,000,000 tons in 2013 and 1,500,000 tons in 2014.
The total investment required to achieve this transition is estimated at approximately 7 million euro. Half of this amount will be financed by trade and industry, while the Sustainable Trade Initiative (IDH) will finance the other half. According to Joost Oorthuizen: “This investment will enable growers in South America, as well as other supply chain parties, to implement the necessary improvements for achieving RTRS-certification. By opting for RTRS-certified soy, we want to ensure that no valuable nature is destroyed as a result of soy cultivation.”
Soy Fast Track Fund
To support soy farmers in South America to comply with the principles and criteria for RTRS-certification, IDH has started the Soy Fast Track Fund managed by Solidaridad South America. This fund will support private investments in producer support, such as training in good agricultural practices. Producers, processors or buyers can apply for match funding up to a maximum of 50%.
During the transition period, maximal efforts will made to buy responsible soy sourced via the so-called mass balance supply chain option. In addition, during the transition period, RTRS-credits will be purchased so as to encourage growers to be included in the physical supply chain at a later stage. The participating organisations aim to establish a foundation that will coordinate this transition. “Ultimately, the criteria for responsibly produced soy need to be included in generic quality standards. Only then will the transition to 100% responsible soy be ensured”, says Henk Flipsen, CEO of Nevedi.
Note for editors
The press release, the complete declaration of intent, photos and frequently asked questions are available for download here.
For more information about this event and the press release, please contact:
Daan de Wit, Communication Manager, the Sustainable Trade Initiative (IDH), email@example.com, +31 6 15 28 37 74
Henk Flipsen (www.nevedi.nl), Chairman, Initiative Responsible Soy (IDS)and CEO Dutch Feed Industry Association, firstname.lastname@example.org, + 31 6 53 74 75 96
The Round Table on Responsible Soy (RTRS)
Established in 2006 in Switzerland, the RTRS is a multi-stakeholder initiative which aims to facilitate a global dialogue on soy production that is economically viable, socially equitable and environmentally sound. The RTRS’ more than 150 members include soybean growers, crushers, traders, food and feed manufacturers and civil society organisations. They work together to market certified soybeans that have been responsibly produced, and to maximise the amount of soybeans that can be RTRS certified. The Round Table on Responsible Soy (RTRS) has developed a set of principles and criteria which define the responsible production of soy. They ensure that the fundamental rights of previous land owners, local communities, workers, small farmers and their families are respected and fully taken into account, and that no new land of native habitat or high conservation value areas (forests) have been cleared for soy cultivation since May 2009. The RTRS principles and criteria also state that soybean farmers must adopt best management practices in order to minimise their environmental footprint.
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