BELGIUM, BRUSSELS — FEFAC announced on March 25 that it has published the first version of its Soy Sourcing Guidelines. These Guidelines reflect what FEFAC considers to be the minimum social and environmental requirements for soy cultivation. The aim is to foster European mainstream market supply for responsibly produced soy. The guidelines are a professional recommendation for interested member associations seeking to enter the market for responsible soy.

The Sourcing Guidelines build upon six basic principles: legal compliance, environmental responsibility, good agricultural practices, protection of community relations, respect for land rights and responsible working conditions. These principles are translated into so-called ‘essential’ and ‘desired’ social, good agricultural practice, environmental criteria and verification rules. The guidelines are designed to promote the implementation of continuous improvement plans by interested member organizations.

“As European feed industry, we strongly believe in a two-tier approach for market transformation. Our industry will always facilitate any actual market demand for responsible soy,” said Ruud Tijssens, president of FEFAC. “If there is no market demand yet, the sourcing guidelines can play an important role in setting a base level for responsible soy for the European market.”

An independent benchmark system is currently being developed by the International Trade Centre (ITC) and is expected to be operational in July. This online system will allow standards owners and company schemes to compare their criteria with the FEFAC guidelines and to assess whether they meet the requirements. This will increase market transparency and stimulate the improvement of existing schemes and programs.