Soy policy

Forest Commodities: Soy

Last updated:15/06/2017

Background

Demand for soy continues to increase, driven predominantly by its use as an ingredient in animal feed to support growing global meat consumption. Increasing soy cultivation in the last 15 years has resulted in the loss of native forest habitats, most significantly in Brazil.

The Soy Moratorium, established in 2006, represented a landmark point in halting further loss of rainforests in the Amazon and remains as important today in protecting these globally significant habitats.

More recently, concerns have emerged about the loss of other sensitive natural habitats outside of the Amazon, including the Brazilian Cerrado, where soy expansion is now taking place.

While 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, the vast majority of soy used in our supply chain is indirectly used as animal feed for the production of meat and dairy products.

Approach

As a large user of soy we are committed to ensuring 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.

Soy is a globally traded commodity. Developing the right conditions for a strong, sustainable soy market is not something that we can achieve alone, which is why we are working with a range of organisations towards this goal, including our suppliers, other global consumer goods companies through the Consumer Goods Forum (CGF), the feed industry represented in the UK and Europe through Agricultural Industries Confederation (AIC) and The European Feed Manufacturers' Federation (FEFAC), soy traders and organisations such as the Round Table on Responsible Soy. Activity in the last year includes:

  • Working in partnership with other retailers, IDH (the Dutch based Sustainable Trade Initiative) and KPMG to carry out a comprehensive soy foot printing exercise to understand the volumes, sources and other sourcing information for the soy used in animal feed for Tesco meat and dairy products. We have been using this data to prioritise risk and measure progress towards our 2020 goal of sustainable soy.
  • We have been active and long term supporters of the existing Soy Moratorium since its formation and have worked with other retailers and brands, through the European Soy Customer Group, to ensure its continued existence and to recognise its success in significantly reducing deforestation within the Biome. We welcome the announcement in 2016 that the Soy Moratorium will be extended indefinitely and are currently working to understand the opportunities for extending this protection outside the Amazon to the Cerrado.
  • We are members of the Round Table on Responsible Soy (RTRS) an organisation committed to the development of certified sustainable soy. We are working to increase the proportion of soy from RTRS certified sources in our supply chains
  • As members of the Consumer Goods Forum Soy Working Group we have been active in helping to agree sourcing guidelines for responsible soy, including benchmarking 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.

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.

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*.

As members of the Round Table on Responsible Soy (RTRS) we are committed to promoting responsible sourcing of soy in a way that makes it economically feasible, socially beneficial and safeguards the environment.

* 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 - cr.enquiries@uk.tesco.com