Soy policy

Forest Commodities: Soy

Last updated:08/03/2016


Global demand for soy has doubled in the past 15 years, contributing to deforestation. Brazil, in particular, has been significantly impacted.

Soy and its derivatives (soya bean, soya flour, soya kernel, soya lecithin, soya protein and soya oil) are used in some of our own-brand products, and it is used for animal feed. Tesco annual needs account for 0.23% of total global production.


In order to develop the right conditions for a strong sustainable soy market, we believe that global consumer goods companies must work together. For this reason, we have focused our efforts to date on collaborating with industry though bodies like the CGF and European Soy Customer Group. In November 2010, the CGF agreed a resolution pledging to mobilise resources within the respective businesses to help achieve zero net deforestation by 2020. The companies will achieve this both by individual company initiatives and by working collectively in partnership with governments and NGOs.

With partners, we have worked to ensure the extension of the Soy Moratorium until May 2016, which has effectively reduced the rate of deforestation. Our focus now is on continuing this work to ensure the Moratorium is maintained or a robust successor agreed, from May 2016 onwards. To this end we are working with our suppliers, feed supply chain and stakeholders to identify opportunities for managing responsible soy, including:

  1. Joining the Roundtable on Responsible Soy to work with industry and stakeholders to establish good practice in the sector;
  2. Continuing to engage with the Soy Working Group in Brazil and its successor, the SAS (Sustainable Amazon Soybeans) Program;
  3. Working with the Consumer Goods Forum to agree sourcing guidelines for responsible soy, including simplification and alignment of the many assurance schemes currently available.

In our own supply chain in the UK, soy used as an ingredient in our own-brand products come only from non-genetically modified (GM) sources. Our internal systems track all soy-related ingredients to ensure they come from a non-GM source.

We also assure the safety, quality and legality of soy used for animal feed for our UK protein suppliers through FEMAS – the independent assurance scheme for feed. This gives basic traceability along the chain – including at processor level in each source country.

We have made most progress on soy in our UK business and are working to understand the barriers to purchasing sustainable soy in our non-UK markets.

Commitments and performance

Our goal is to ensure all our soy is responsibly sourced by 2020. This is in line with our commitment, as a member of the Consumer Goods Forum, to help achieve zero net deforestation by 2020*.

We are members of the Roundtable on Responsible Soy (RTRS). The RTRS is a global platform with members from across the soy supply chain including retailers, producers, NGOs and traders. Members of the RTRS are committed to promoting responsible sourcing of soy in a way that makes it economically feasible, socially beneficial and safeguards the environment.

In 2011/12 we responded to the Forest Footprint Disclosure for the first time.

* including no conversion of natural non-forest ecosystems including savannahs, scrublands, grasslands and wetlands to ensure all High Conservation Values are protected (as defined by the HCV Resource Network).

For more informationcontact our corporate responsibility team -