Swedish Soy Dialogue signs European statement towards conversion-free soy

2020-05-18

The Swedish Soy Dialogue – a unique cross-sectoral collaboration between 52 Swedish feed companies, food producers, food retailers and associations – is now taking further steps to influence the production conditions of soy at the supplier level. The previous week, the Swedish Soy Dialogue signed the

” a common position that the national soy platforms in Europe agreed upon. Thus, through Axfoundation as convener, the members of the Swedish Soy Dialogue joined in with the ambition to expand cooperation at European level for responsible soy production.

Soy cultivation contributes to economic development, but also affects the environment and the climate.

Soy cultivation contributes to economic development, but also affects the environment and the climate.

By signing the statement “Towards Conversion-free Soya” the members further commit to working towards that 100% of the soy consumption is produced according to the law and in a way that protects forests and valuable native vegetation (deforestation and conversion free). The ambition is in line with the Swedish Soya Dialogue’s long-term goal, worded as “all soy consumed by Swedish consumers via the network’s members must be responsibly produced by 2025”.

In the light of climate crisis and biodiversity loss

Given the urgency of the climate crisis and biodiversity loss, soy production has become a growing consumer issue. More and more customers are demanding companies to take responsibility for the production conditions of the soy they sell. Today, soy is one of the world’s most produced commercial crop, with the majority used as animal feed. While soy cultivation contributes to economic development, it also affects the environment and the climate.

The Swedish Soy Dialogue, formed in 2014, is a unique collaboration, enabling Sweden, despite being a small market on the international scale, to have a united voice in order to improve the production standard of soy in producing countries. Since 2018 Axfoundation has spearheaded the network by coordinating and developing the platform’s different initiatives.

Europe’s national soy initiatives join forces

The statement signed is a result of a new collaboration between the national soy initiatives in Europe, led by the Amsterdam Declaration Partnership. It gathers initiatives from Denmark, Holland, France, Austria, UK, Sweden and Norway. By aligning commitments and demands put on the soy supply chain actors, the signatories aim to create increased synergy and impact by working together towards a common goal of responsible soy consumption.

”The members of the Swedish Soy Dialogue is sending a clear and uniform signal to the market. We support greater market uptake and demand for legal, deforestation free and conversion free soy, connecting to the overall EU ambition to combat climate change and deforestation” – Hanna Skoog, program director at Axfoundation and coordinator for the Swedish Soy Dialogue.

7 aims towards conversion-free soy

Each of the national soy initiatives and individual organizations signing the statement support the following aims, as per the statement:

  • Achieving our shared commitment on sustainable soya whilst recognising that different solutions/timescales may be needed as each market and landscapes in producing countries have their own unique challenges
  • Supporting European supply chain companies to develop and implement ambitious action plans to achieve full sustainability and transparency of their supply chains
  • Supporting the development of European policy and legislation in support of sustainable soya including the European Union Communication on Stepping Up EU Action to Protect and Restore the World’s Forests.
  • Exchanging learnings on national monitoring and reporting mechanisms including methodologies and outcomes
  • Supporting sustainable European protein production which also meets our shared commitment on sustainable soya above
  • Exploring the possibilities to collaborate in supporting sustainable soya production in key producing landscapes European National Soya Initiatives’ Statement: “Towards Conversion-free Soya”
  • Supporting cross–commodity dialogue recognizing the interaction between soy and other commodities in producing countries

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