In 2006, FrieslandCampina, the largest Dutch dairy cooperative, began working with Solidaridad, Natuur & Milieu and WWF Netherlands to ensure the 100,000 tons of soy meal used each year by its members for animal feed was sourced responsibly. Working in conjunction with these NGOs, FrieslandCampina came to the conclusion that the RTRS was the best option and they became members of the Round Table that year.
Jaap Petraeus, Corporate Manager Environment & Sustainability at FrieslandCampina said that they joined because they felt it was important that the soy they used was responsibly sourced.
“We recognized that we had a responsibility for the feed that is used by our members’ cattle.”
Since joining, FrieslandCampina has taken a pro-active role to ensure the soy market continues to work towards responsible soy by working with all levels of the supply chain, from the growers through to Dutch dairy farmers.
“We have asked the Dutch feed industry to take responsibility and include RTRS in their purchasing policy. They agreed and from 2015 all soy in the cattle feed will be RTRS approved. Taking such a responsible line is a good outcome for the Dutch market.”
To help meet the growing demand for responsible soy in the Netherlands, FrieslandCampina began working with external organizations to help develop the responsible soy market and by investing and supporting producers across the world.
Mr Petraeus said, “We started purchasing responsible soy and supporting producers as we felt it was important to let the supply chain know that there definitely is a demand for responsible soy. In 2008 we decided to support the development of responsible soy production of small holders and to fund projects in India and Brazil. We will fund these projects until 2014 but by 2012 we hope they will be RTRS certified and independent.”
In a message to other organisations, Friesland Campina has said being a member of RTRS has made a difference on a number of levels.
“It definitely contributes to the value of our brand, not in Euros, but in consumer reputation. A recent study has shown that Campina, our dairy brand, is perceived by consumers as the most sustainable brand in the Netherlands. Our involvement in responsible soy for cattle feed has contributed to this.”
“A second benefit is that we have built a good relationship with NGOs, which has helped us as a business. For example, our work on responsible sourcing of cocoa and palm oil has resulted from this.”
“A third benefit is our reputation as a business. People want to work with us because of our reputation on sustainability, to which our soy work has contributed as well.”