Seminar on responsible soy production in Berlin
On 28 February, some 60 participants attended a seminar addressing responsible soy production. The seminar was organized by WWF and GTZ (German agency for technical cooperation).
The negative social and environmental impacts of increasing conventional soy production in Latin America are severe. One way of addressing problems is through the RTRS (Roundtable on Responsible Soy), an international roundtable dialogue group with stakeholders throughout the supply chain committed to developing globally applicable criteria for more responsible soy production, procurement, and use.
The development process is expected to begin soon and continue for about two years. Some progressive companies such as Campina and Imcopa have already moved ahead with producing and sourcing soy according to the Basel Criteria, the pioneer standards first adopted by the Swiss retailer Coop in 2004. The first “Basel soy” arrived in Europe from Brazil in June 2006.
The Berlin seminar looked at whether already existing production models address social and environmental concerns, and at experience already gained. Is it possible to stay in business with a sustainability agenda? What do consumers want? What about the GMO issue? Speakers included Eckhard Engert from the German Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection, Martin Tielen, president of the European Feed Manufacturers’ Federation (FEFAC), and Frans Claasen, general manager of the Dutch Product Board for Margarine, Fats and Oils.
For further information:
Martina Fleckenstein, Head of EU-Policy and Rural Development