Soy meet ends on high note



Posted on 17 June 2011  | 
Buenos Aires, Argentina - The Round Table on Responsible Soy (RTRS) concluded its annual conference on Thursday with a note of optimism about its progress, buoyed by the announcement earlier this month of the first RTRS certified farms and the renewed commitment expressed by buyers and funders for certified soy.

The meeting, June 15-16, focused on sharing lessons learned by RTRS producers, and their progress toward certification, as well as progress and challenges faced by buyers of soy. The Brazilian soy producer AMaggi shared its experience about its efforts to certify two of its farms in Matto Grosso state, which were the first soy farms to be awarded certification according to RTRS standards.

These milestone certifications were celebrated at an event on June 8 in Rotterdam, marking a major step forward for the RTRS. The Dutch organization IDS (Initiative Sustainable Soy), which includes feed industry and major companies, committed to buying 85,000 tonnes of this first certified soy, initiating the opening of the global market for RTRS soy.

“This tangible progress by RTRS producers and buyers are the first steps in building a mainstream market for responsible soy,” said Cassio Moreira, Coordinator of WWF Brazil’s Agriculture and Environment Program.

“This meeting provided an opportunity for proud members to reflect on this critical milestone and discuss how to increase the momentum for increased uptake of RTRS soy.”

Other presentations by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the Dutch Sustainable Trade Initiative (IDH), and the German Agency for International Cooperation, (GIZ) highlighted programmes to provide financial and technical to the companies on the soy value chain to become RTRS compliant.

Moreira added, “It was gratifying to see that WWF’s sense of urgency is shared by other RTRS members – because multi-member bodies like this round table are becoming increasingly important to protect the environment.

“In Brazil, the proposed revision of the Forest Code currently threatens millions of hectares of tropical biomes. Whatever the outcome of these policy discussions in Brazil, it is clear that we cannot depend on government policies alone, so therefore the RTRS as a market driven initiative is more important than ever to help stop deforestation in Latin America.”

Soya or soy beans (Glycine soja) plantation, Paraná, Brazil
© WWF-Canon / Michel GUNTHER Enlarge

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