ince the last Collective Retail Soy Initiative Report, a series of well documented forest fires within South America have raised public awareness of the impacts their diets can have on key ecosystems.
Soy is often seen as a hidden commodity, with 90% of the soy consumed within the EU being used in animal feed, primarily for poultry and pork production. However, NGOs and the media have been increasingly highlighting the connections between the livestock products that we eat day to day and the destruction of natural habitats.
What we did
3Keel engaged over 800 companies across the supply chains of 11 major European retailers, quantifying the soy footprint embedded within the livestock-based products they supplied in 2019, and assessing progress against their soy policy commitments.
The supply chains included in the assessment covered 94% of the total UK grocery market, and a growing share of the German market.
Footprint vs impact
In addition to quantifying the embedded soy footprint of the relevant products, the standardised reporting process also collected information from suppliers on the origin, importer and certification of the soy. The results informed retailers on potential risks within their supply chain, and progress towards their targets of achieving zero deforestation and land conversion in the soy supply chain.
There have been significant areas of progress…
Based only on certification sourced by suppliers themselves (before any bulk purchases of credits or certificates by retailers), 26% of the total footprint was claimed as being certified to a deforestation and conversion free standard. There are particularly high levels of certification in poultry, seafood and egg supply chains.
When looking at just the retailer supply chains that were involved in the previous 2018 assessment, the proportion claimed as certified has increased from 26% in 2018 to 30% in 2019.
…but issues remain
The transparency and certification of the supply chains of certain livestock products – e.g. pork, beef, lamb – remain low. This report highlights the need for system wide solutions in order to increase the sustainability of soy for these livestock products, where affecting change is made difficult by the complexity of the individual supply chains.
Evidence for certification claims also remains an issue, with documentation showing chain of custody for physical certification often not being passed fully down the supply chain.
For more detail about the findings download the full report here.