European National Soya Initiatives: ‘Towards Conversion-free Soya’

‘100% of our (countries’) soya consumption is produced according to the law and in a way that protects forests and valuable native vegetation (deforestation and conversion free).’ That is the goal seven European National Soya Initiatives, among which the Dutch Soy Platform convened by IUCN NL, committed to in a joint statement.

Header photo: Soybeans © Kelly Sikkema for Unsplash

‘Given the urgency of the climate crisis and biodiversity loss, as explained in the IPCC and IPBES reports, the Dutch Soy Platform issued a statement together with the National Soya Initiatives of Austria, Denmark, France, Norway, Sweden and the United Kingdom,’ says Heleen van den Hombergh, Senior Advisor Agro-Commodities at IUCN NL. “With this statement we reinforce our commitment to working towards 100% deforestation and conversion-free soy.”

The statement acknowledges the important role of the signatory governments of the Amsterdam Declarations, which aim to enhance market uptake of sustainable commodities in each of their countries complementary to supporting production side measures in countries of origin. ‘The existence of the Amsterdam Declaration Partnership has supported the renewal and communication among national initiatives, such as in the case of the Dutch Soy Platform,’ Van den Hombergh says.

In their statement, the National Soya Initiatives stress the importance of using the full range of levers available both regulatory and other, as set out in the European Union Communication on Stepping Up EU Action to Protect and Restore the World’s Forests. They call for all supply chain stakeholders to join them and work towards the goal of 100% deforestation and conversion-free soy.

The statement refers to the broadly accepted Accountability Framework for definitions and guidance on company policies, in which next to environmental care also respect for human rights and labor rights are key.

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