UK Roundtable on Sustainable Soy: 5th Annual Progress Report

This edition of the UK Roundtable’s annual progress report for soya is the 5th in its series, marking five years since the UK Roundtable on Sustainable Soya was established in 2018. It reported a small decrease in the total volume of soy imported to the UK (-6%). While there initially seems to be year on year changes in imported volume from individual countries, the report summarises data over the past five years to highlight imports remain consistent. As well as direct soya imports, the report also analyses the UK’s imports of ‘embedded’ soya, where the UK consumes meat or dairy products (amongst others) reared in other countries.

It is estimated that approximately 34 % of the UK’s soya used in animal feed is physically deforestation and conversion free and a further 30% is covered by a sustainability standard with criteria preventing deforestation and conversion driven by soy production. If the FEFAC risk methodology were to be applied to the unallocated volume remaining, the estimated level of deforestation and conversion risk varies between 17% and 1.7% subject to country of origin.

In this, the fifth year of reporting, it is possible to see the significant progress made by Roundtable members in this time. For example, since the initial baseline report in 2018, there has been a significant uptake in the number of Roundtable members with an action plan in place, increasing from 30% of members to 80%. Challenges remain, with many companies reporting that without collaborative working and shared solutions, it will be challenging to achieve physical flows on an individual company basis. Industry now needs additional support to transition to more physical assurance that soya is verified to be deforestation and conversion free.

As industry awaits further information on incoming due diligence regulation, the year to come is one where we must create shared solutions to these challenges, building on the strong foundation of work achieved between 2021 and 2022 and create and operationalise practical solutions for the UK market.

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