EUROPE - New Soy Sourcing Guidelines from the European Compound Feed Manufacturers’ Federation (FEFAC) have been recognised by The Agricultural Industries Confederation (AIC) as an important step in encouraging the use of sustainable soy in Europe.
FEFAC considers the guidelines to represent the minimum social and environmental requirements for soy cultivation and provide a professional recommendation for interested parties seeking to enter the market for responsible soy.
The sourcing guidelines build upon six basic principles, namely legal compliance, environmental responsibility, good agricultural practices, protection of community relations, respect for land rights and responsible working conditions.
They are presented under ‘essential’ and ‘desired’ headings for social, good agricultural practice, environmental criteria and verification rules. The guidelines aim to promote the implementation of continuous improvement plans by interested member organisations.
Angela Booth, Chairman of the FEFAC Sustainability Committee, said: “FEFAC now has some baseline criteria to assess global soy standards which will be an extremely valuable tool help the mass movement of sustainable soy.
"The guidelines can also be further developed in the future to meet new consumer sustainability requirements.”
For AIC, Chief Operating Officer John Kelley said: “AIC welcomes this initiative by FEFAC as a pragmatic approach to achieving market sustainability requirements within the global supply of soy – this approach will add a new level of transparency which will be welcomed by many parts of the supply chain.”
An independent benchmark system is currently being developed by the International Trade Centre (ITC) and is expected to be operational in July 2015.
This online system will allow standards owners and company schemes to compare their criteria with the FEFAC guidelines and to assess whether they meet the requirements. This will increase market transparency and stimulate the improvement of existing schemes and programs.
Kevin Brassington, President of FEDIOL, the federation representing the European Vegetable Oil and Proteinmeal Industry in Europe, said: “In the consultation round of key stakeholders FEDIOL has given its support to the FEFAC approach.
"It offers a solution to building up sizable mainstream volumes of sustainable soybeans and soybean products for the EU supply chain, while at the same time keeping an outlook for constant improvement.”
TheCropSite News Desk