As of 1 June 2017, the Round Table on Responsible Soy Association (RTRS) moved to Version 3.1 of its standard for responsible soy, with the addition of new indicators pertaining to the use of Paraquat and Carbofuran in the production of soy by RTRS certified producers.
From this date, Carbofuran is not permitted for use under the RTRS Production Standard.
Also from this date, in countries where Paraquat can be used legally in agricultural production, producers are required to implement a program of progressive reduction of Paraquat over time. The implemented Integrated Crop Management Plans that RTRS requires producers to have must specify reduction targets for Paraquat and its phase out, which shall be implemented as soon as possible and not later than 2020. The use of Paraquat is prohibited from January 2021.
From January 2018 to December 2020, RTRS will have also a Non-Paraquat module in the platform during this phase out period.
With the incorporation of these indicators, RTRS becomes one of the few multi-stakeholder standards committed to the elimination of Paraquat in any productive activity by 2021. This elimination will be gradual with the application of good agricultural practices and a controlled plan to decrease the use overtime that will allow producers and markets to source an affordable and more environmentally friendly replacement.
The new version of the standard is the result of work undertaken since 2012 by representatives of all three constituencies of RTRS (Producers, Industry/Finance/Trade, and Civil Society) and Observers to consider the use of agrochemicals in soy production, and to recommend measures for decreasing their impact on people and the environment.
The new indicators were approved by the Executive Board and the General Assembly in June 2017.
RTRS is committed to considering and representing the many diverse viewpoints held by each of the RTRS constituencies. This new version of the standard conciliates all those different stakeholder groups, with a common, shared statement that meets the needs of each of the constituencies.
RTRS thanks the members of its Working Group, and the wider membership, for their continuing commitment to seeking a resolution on the issue of Paraquat use in RTRS certified soy.