Successful cooperation for sustainable soy production in Brazil

12 November 2013

Thanks to a four-year support programme by Solidaridad, 163 soy farmers in southeastern Brazil have become the first family farmers in South America to be RTRS-certified. The programme is supported by a number of parties, including FrieslandCampina, as part of their ambition to make the soy chain sustainable. The RTRS certification means that these farmers produce soy in accordance with the international agreements concluded during the roundtable meeting on responsible soy production (RTRS).

In 2006, (Friesland)Campina, the World Wildlife Fund, ‘Stichting Natuur & Milieu’ (the Dutch Nature and Environment Foundation) and Solidaridad agreed to work together to make soy production sustainable. As part of this agreement, in the past few years, FrieslandCampina invested in making the operations of small-scale soy farmers in India and Brazil sustainable. This is consistent with FrieslandCampina’s strategic objective of aiming for sustainable production chains.

Soy is an important ingredient of the animal feeds given to cattle and pigs. Dutch livestock farmers use two million tonnes of soy flour in animal feed each year, more than 80% of which comes from Brazil and Argentina. The Dutch livestock farming industry aims to use 100% responsibly produced soy in 2015. Soy is the fastest-growing agricultural raw material in the world and the expansion of soy fields often takes place at the expense of the natural environment and the land of local communities.