What you can do

We all have a responsibility and a role to play in helping to reduce the negative environmental impacts of soy production. There is no single solution: everybody needs to act to contribute to the transition toward a more responsible soy industry.
Consumers+
  • Ask retailers and brands to commit to responsible soy throughout their supply chains.
  • Choose soy products certified by RTRS, and choose animal products from animals that have been fed with responsible soy.
  • If you’re concerned about GM soy, ask about RTRS-certified non-GM soy or ProTerra.
  • Consider reducing your consumption of meat, eggs and dairy products – for most people, this will result in a diet closer to health recommendations.
  • Reduce food waste by planning your shopping and meals carefully – only buy and prepare as much as you need.
Soy producers+
  • Join the RTRS and agree to meet – and ideally exceed – RTRS standards,particularly with respect to choosing locations for growing soy.
  • Set a time-bound plan for certifying all soy production.
  • Use BMPs to improve productivity, minimize agrochemical use, improve or maintain soil quality, etc.
  • Focus new production on degraded land or low-productivity pastures.
  • Seek new ways to minimize off-site impacts of soy production.
  • Take action to reverse loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services, for example by creating wildlife corridors and restoring natural vegetation around watercourses.
  • For non-GM soy, choose and support development of RTRS non-GM or ProTerra-certified production and supply chains.
Soy Traders+
  • Join RTRS and make a time-bound commitment to moving all trade to RTRScertified soy.
  • Start sourcing RTRS-certified soy.
  • Inform your buyers about RTRS.
  • Use your power: the volume of trade you control gives you the potential to shift the whole soy market toward greater responsibility.
  • Support programmes to help producers implement BMPs and achieve certification.
  • For non-GM soy, choose and support development of RTRS non-GM or ProTerra-certified production and supply chains. When buying ProTerra-certified soy, ask for improvement of governance and verification.
Buyers in feed, meat and dairy, food processing and retail sectors+
  • Join RTRS and commit to 100 per cent RTRS-certified soy under a time-bound plan.
  • Begin purchasing RTRS soy, or animal products based on RTRS soy, as soon as possible.
  • Buy RTRS certificates to increase responsible soy capacity in the short term, while supporting the development of mass balance and, ideally, fully segregated certified supply chains.
  • Support programs to help producers implement BMPs and achieve certification.
  • For non-GM soy, choose and support development of RTRS non-GM production and supply chains. When buying ProTerra-certified soy, ask for improvement of governance and verification.
  • Explore ways of reducing food waste and of reducing consumption of animal products.
Financial institutions+
  • Engage producers to achieve RTRS certification within a set timeframe.
  • Provide preferential lending terms to RTRS-certified producers, processors and traders due to their lower risk factors and better overall governance and business performance.
  • Lend to responsible and sustainable agriculture funds that capitalize production, new technology and systems and other value-chain functions.
  • Engage food and consumer goods value-chain players to achieve RTRS certification within a set timeframe in their soy business.
  • Put particular emphasis on traders, as they have a magnified impact on the supply chain.
  • Evaluate the supply chain management/procurement policies of processors, traders and brands using RTRS or the key performance indicators of WWF’s The 2050 Criteria.
Governments in soy-producing countries+
  • Create decision-making processes for land use that are fair, informed by science and recognize the need to balance conflicting demands. Use RTRS maps or landuse maps produced by systematic conservation-planning methodology.
  • Clarify and strengthen laws and policies to protect native forests, grasslands, savannahs and freshwater regions, and ensure these are applied.
  • Tighten existing legislation where this is weak (for example in the Cerrado, Gran Chaco and some areas of the Amazon).
  • Develop, maintain and enlarge a comprehensive, ecologically representative network of protected areas, and invest in managing these effectively. Include both strict protection (IUCN categories I-IV) and protection of culturally important landscapes or areas of sustainable development mixed with biodiversity conservation (IUCN categories V-VI).
  • Address shortfalls in protection, particularly in the Cerrado and Gran Chaco regions and in the Pampas.
  • Research the value of economic and other benefits derived from natural ecosystems, and investigate the option of restoring natural vegetation in areas that have become degraded, proved unsuitable for soy or should never have been converted.
  • Pursue funding mechanisms such as REDD+ for maintaining and enhancing natural capital.
  • Invest in improved storage and infrastructure to prevent food spoiling.
Governments in consumer countries+
  • Clarify and strengthen laws governing soy imports to ensure that products meet legal and ethical standards.
  • Introduce regulations to ensure imported soy does not come from deforestation of native forests or other sensitive areas. Ideally this should support RTRS maps or similar land-use maps developed by the systematic conservation-planning methodology.
  • Avoid perverse incentives within policy that might encourage detrimental direct or indirect land-use changes as a result of soy expansion.
  • Strengthen policies related to the European Union Directive on Renewable Energy (EU-RED) to ensure soy biodiesel doesn’t threaten natural ecosystems, by making sure recognized certification schemes meet RTRS standards.
  • Specify RTRS soy in public procurement, for example in animal products in public sector catering.
  • Promote reduced meat and dairy consumption as part of a healthy lifestyle, and programs to reduce food waste among households and in the farming, retail and food services sectors.
NGOs+
  • Join RTRS and get involved in multi-stakeholder dialogues to improve soy production.
  • Give input into consultations around standards and specific certification processes.
  • Participate in developing tools for improving environmental and social standards and protecting natural ecosystems, for example around mapping areas of HCV or ecosystem services valuation.
  • Raise awareness of issues surrounding soy and possible solutions.
Download the report
     
We can all play a role in reducing the environmental impacts of soy. © Agrarfoto
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