|Supermarkets and soy producers working together to bring Responsible soy to the market|
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(28/5/12 London) EU and UK supermarkets are taking steps towards closer involvement in the Round Table for Responsible Soy (RTRS). The participating retailers including Mark & Spencer, Waitrose, Sainsbury’s, Asda, Co-operative Food, Ahold (Netherlands), Coop (Switzerland) and Migros (Switzerland), have all made commitments that the soy used for own brand products will come from certified responsible soy sources. RT7, the seventh annual RTRS conference is an important step towards helping them meet these commitments.
RTRS retail members, who include most of the leading UK supermarkets, aim to work with soy producers to purchase certified responsible soy. Soy is used in many household staples such as margarines, spreads and cooking oils, as well as being the main source of protein of livestock feeds.
In further good news from the RTRS conference, RT7, state-linked Chinese Soybean Industry Association (CSIA) has announced that it will be working with its 750 member organisations to meet RTRS standards.
Speaking at the conference, Mr Liu Dengao, CSIA Vice President, pledged to promote responsible soy to Chinese policy makers, while setting up a number of pilot projects in the Northeast, the Yellow River region and South China to establish RTRS recognised production, processing and trading systems.
The CSIA will also work with global soybean industry associations to expand soybean trade according to World Trade Organisation principles while educating the Chinese soybean industry on ecological conservation, food safety and basic rights for soybean farmers.
China was announced as the host of next year’s RT8 conference.
Speaking at the close of RT7, RTRS President Jaap Oskam said they had made great strides to increasing global demand and supply of responsible soy.
Mr Oskam said: “This conference has seen a growing commitment to transforming the market towards a more responsible one. We applaud the determination of RTRS members, in particular EU and UK retailers and the CSIA to commit to the process.”
The decisions came amongst concerns that the soy industry has to meet the challenge of feeding the world’s rapidly growing population while still protecting vital natural resources.
The conference was attended by over 200 soy industry representatives making it the largest ever held by the RTRS since it was created as the Responsible Soy Forum in 2004.
For more information, interviews, case studies and images contact Nick Osborne on 020 7403 2230 or 07714 733 741, or email firstname.lastname@example.org, or Ben Zeehandelaar at the RTRS Secretariat on +54 911 45198005, or email email@example.com.
Notes to Editor:
RTRS retail members include;
Key soy industry facts
● Soy is a vital global commodity which is used in increasing quantities for a wide range of purposes including food production and livestock feed.
● Soy is a product in itself, but it is also a major source of vegetable protein and oil for humans and farm animals. Around 80% of soy is used to feed pigs, poultry and cattle, contributing to the production of meat, eggs and dairy products.
● Soybean oil is used extensively in processed food products such as margarines, dressings and mayonnaise. More recently, soybean oil has also been used to produce biofuels for car engines or power plants.
● In 2010, the top 5 producers (US, Brazil, Argentina, China and India) produced 237 million tonnes of soybean.
● Soy agriculture has been shown to have impacted High Conservation Areas including areas of the Amazon and the Cerrado.
● There is evidence of labour exploitation ranging from unliveable wages to worker abuse and intimidation at a number of soy plantations who are not RTRS certified.
● The Round Table for Responsible Soy (RTRS) was set up in reaction to concerns around the soy industry and to create a responsible soy industry. The RTRS is a global, multi-stakeholder initiative that proposes to transform the soy industry into a responsible one by helping to create demand for responsible soy at all stages of the supply chain.
● In June 2011, the first 85,000 tonnes (metric tons) of responsible soy were purchased as credits by industrial users. Since then, 296,123 tonnes have been purchased.
● RTRS certified soy has been produced in Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and India. Other nations including China are expected to begin producing RTRS certified soy in the near future.
About the RTRS
RTRS is a consensus based initiative which represents many and varied stakeholders from smallholders to global producers, retailers and NGOs with a wide range of views. RTRS enables these groups to have a global dialogue and reach a consensus on how best to ensure economically viable, socially equitable and environmentally sound soy production.
The RTRS Production Standard defines five principles of responsible soy production with key criteria and practical requirements for each area.
RT7 is the seventh annual international conference of the RTRS and it is the first time it has been held outside a major producing country, thereby allowing for wider discussions and an opportunity for signatories to the RTRS standard and many others who wish to learn about the future of responsible soy production, to come together to discuss the future direction of RTRS and ethical soy agriculture.
For a full list of speakers visit RTRS website:http://annualconference.responsiblesoy.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=161&Itemid=97&lang=en
Presentations from the conference are available in http://annualconference.responsiblesoy.org/index.php?option=com_docman&Itemid=96&lang=en.
Nieremberg D. Rethinking the global meat industry. Starke, L. (ed). State of the World 2006: A Worldwatch Institute Report on progress Toward a Sustainable Society. New York: W.W. Norton & Company; 2006, pp-24-40.
 Tony C. Dreibus, China’s Market Share of Soybean Imports May Rise to 60 Percent, Bloomberg online Dec 13, 2011 , viewed 10/5/12
 WWF-UK, Soya and the Cerrado: Brazil’s forgotten jewel, Surrey, WWF-UK: 2011, pp 6
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|Tue May 28, 2013 @08:00 - |
RTRS: Eighth Annual Conference (RT8) - Beijing (China), 2013