Launch Of Soy Benchmarking Tool For FEFAC Soy Sourcing Guidelines 2021

Six programmes part of the first batch of schemes that have successfully passed the benchmarked exercise against the FEFAC Soy Sourcing Guidelines 2021

FEFAC and ITC are very pleased to announce that the renewed Soy Benchmarking Tool for the FEFAC Soy Sourcing Guidelines 2021 is available. The webpage has been updated following the release in February 2021 of the upgraded FEFAC Soy Sourcing Guidelines. The Soy Benchmarking Tool is complementary to the FEFAC Soy Sourcing Guidelines 2021 in the sense that it displays the soy schemes and programmes that have successfully applied for and passed a benchmarking exercise against the FEFAC Guidelines executed by ITC (International Trade Centre, joint UN and WTO agency). The new tool includes a filter system so web-users can view which responsible soy schemes & programmes comply with the new desired criterion on conversion-free soy. This responsible soy is grown on land that didn’t come at the expense of any (illegal or legal) conversion of natural eco-systems (including natural forests) as from a certain cut-off date. 

All schemes that have so far applied and passed the ITC benchmarking exercise against the FEFAC Soy Sourcing Guidelines 2021 (Cargill Triple S, Cefetra CRS, Danube/Europe Soy, ProTerra, RTRS, Sustainable Farming Assurance Programme), also included the availability of conversion-free soy in their current programmes. More responsible soy schemes & programmes are in the application process and are expected to be added to Soy Benchmarking Tool in the coming period.

FEFAC President Asbjørn Børsting: “FEFAC is pleased to see the strong response and interest of scheme owners to include the new desired criterion on conversion-free soy, which is considered as a key market driver in Europe for sustainable soy value chains. The growing access to the market offer on conversion-free soy from robust and credible certification schemes is essential to the European feed industry’s capacity to meet political and market expectations on deforestation & conversion-free supply chains”.

Anders Aeroe, Director of Division of Enterprises and Institutions at ITC: “We are happy to see the enthusiasm from the soy schemes to go through this benchmarking process with ITC’s Trade for Sustainable Development (T4SD) programme. The soy sector is associated with several sustainability issues, with deforestation and land conversion being the most challenging, so it is important that more schemes address these issues in a harmonized way. ITC’s Standards Map database and benchmarking tool facilitate this task as they allow users to conduct a detailed review and comparison of sustainability schemes’ criteria.”

The Soy Benchmarking Tool also makes it possible for schemes & programmes to highlight the availability of information about their carbon footprint and No Land Use Change Certificates (20 years). These services are not yet part of an independent verification system. however it provides an indication of the new benchmarking tool as a means to stimulate the synergy between the feed sustainability ambitions on ‘tackling deforestation’ and ‘lowering the environmental footprint’, which have so far been developed as separate tracks. FEFAC is considering the development of a specific sector guidance note on this important topic in order to further boost the interest of scheme owners to provide information about the carbon/environmental footprint of their soy, potentially as branded data in the GFLI Database.

The first version of the FEFAC Soy Sourcing Guidelines was released in 2015, which included an essential criterion on illegal deforestation. FEFAC’s ambition laid down in its Feed Sustainability Charter 2030 is that the FEFAC Soy Sourcing Guidelines 2021 provide a reference which downstream and upstream soy value chain partners can use to ensure that soy products in European livestock production are responsibly produced and free from conversion of natural eco-systems.