Supermarket Chains Ecology Question 10

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Does the brand have a policy to increase the use of sustainable soy in the animal feed for its chicken and pork meat products, in order to fight e.g. the destruction of tropical forest?

Dutch version: Heeft de supermarkt een beleid om voor haar vleesproducten verantwoorde soja te gebruiken in het kippen- en varkensvoer, om zo onder meer de vernietiging van tropische bossen door sojateelt tegen te gaan?

German version: Setzt der Markenhersteller Maßnahmen um, um Soja aus nachhaltigem Anbau als Tierfutter zur Herstellung der Eigenmarkenprodukte aus Hühner- oder Schweinefleisch zu verarbeiten?


The soybean (U.S.) or soya bean (UK) is a primary, low-cost, source of protein for animal feeds and men. Soy can produce at least twice as much protein per acre than any other major vegetable or grain crop. Soy is used in a wide range of foods as sold by supermarkets. But even a bigger share of soy goes into the meat assortment, as soy is a major source for cattle feed. For the Netherlands, see e.g. the Soy Barometer 2009 report summary.

Environmental groups, such as Greenpeace, Fairfood or WWF, have reported that soybean cultivation and the probability of increased soybean cultivation in Brazil destroys huge areas of Amazon rainforest. There are also problems with the working conditions in the sector.

To address these problems on the mainstream level, major players in the soy industry have started the The Round Table on Responsible Soy (RTRS), an international multi-stakeholder initiative founded in 2006 that promotes the use and growth of responsible production of soy, through the commitment of the main stakeholders of the soy value chain and through a global standard for responsible production. The latest version (RTRS Standard for Responsible Soy Production 2.0, effective by 08.01.2015) can be downloaded here.

Ranking guidelines


- When brands (companies) realize a share of at least 70% mass-balance and / or segregated RTRS-certified soy for its entire animal feed for its chicken and pork meat products (store brand).

- When brands (companies) source more sustainable soy (i.e. RTRS or ProTerra certified) for its entire animal feed for its chicken and pork meat products (store brand) only. In doing so, for the time being, also mass-balance certified soy or soy credits is considered eligible for a positive assessment.

A ‘No’ is applicable when:

  • The brand (owner) explicitly states not to [...].

A ‘?’ is applicable when:

  • The brand (owner) doesn't communicate any information on a sustainable soy policy on its website.
  • The brand (owner) aims to source more sustainable soy, but doesn't provide any clear results of its policy measures (which need to meet our requirement for a Yes).

Further Resources

- FiBL - Study 'Biosoja aus Europa' 1

- RTRS - Chain of Custody (Segregation & Mass Balance) 1

- ProTerra - Standard V3 1

- WWF - Soy Scorecard 1

- WWF - Soy Scorecard Report, effective by 2016 1