Soya 2019 Annual Progress Report

The UK Roundtable on Sustainable Soya has published the 2019 Annual Progress Report with an update on meeting the Roundtable’s goals. The report builds on a baseline study completed in 2018, as part of the launch of the UK RT and sets out our current understanding of the UK soya footprint in terms of volumes, source and sustainability credentials at a national level, as well as progress made by the members of the Roundtable.

In total the UK annually imports approximately 3.2 million tonnes of soya bean equivalents directly in the form of soya beans, meal and oil. Of this figure, most soya is sourced from South America either directly (68%) or through the Netherlands, and from the USA. Furthermore, at least 0.6 million tonnes of additional soya are imported indirectly ‘embedded’ in products. Approximately 90% of the EU’s soya is used to feed livestock and this is typically used in the form of soya meal.

It is estimated that as of October 2019, 27% of soya consumed in the UK was covered by a deforestation and conversion free soya standard.

This is a significant increase (12%) from the baseline report, which showed only 15% of soya was covered by a deforestation and conversion free standard. We anticipate that this figure will increase in line with the new or strengthened commitments made over the past year by eight major retailers and other UK RT members. When these commitments are fully implemented the combined tonnage could represent an estimated third of the UK’s soya consumption alone.

There remain challenges, and in the coming year Efeca as facilitator of the Roundtable will strive to engage with sectors who are not currently well represented in the Roundtable such as food service as well as meat and dairy brands.

There is also a need to provide more support to UK producers, who must implement change while responding to a range of customer policies and plans. To support producers, Efeca will work with industry associations to develop sector specific plans to support industry achieve a mass market transition to deforestation and conversion free soya.

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