A little fun fact: according to the WWF, almost 80% of harvested soy goes to feeding livestock in the meat and dairy industry, which has increased 15 times since the 1950s.
A deforestation-free soy initiative has delivered its first 42,000 tonnes of verified DCF (deforestation and conversion free) and sustainably farmed soy. Supported by UK’s dominating production corporations: Tesco, Sainsburys and Waitrose, this Brazil based initiative has brought sustainably sourced soy into the supply chain. Funded by 5.9 million GBP worth of green bonds, the initiative is part of the Responsible Commodities Facility incentive. An incentive housed out of Brazil with its main focus on providing financial aid to farmers and initiatives that produce soy off of existing degraded lands.
Many supermarkets and food suppliers have seen years of scrutiny, many being recent, towards their production and farming techniques, many of which are associated with deforestation practices. Tesco has now made a commitment that by 2025 they will only receive and source soy products from DCF areas. They also believe that in order to achieve this goal, they are set to provide the farmers with green finances and support for all those extending protection for wildlife and their native biodiversity.
“It’s vital that supermarkets protect and restore forests and ecosystems such as the Cerrado in Brazil. It’s why we are proud to join forces with others to help fund the Responsible Commodities Facility, investing in the sustainable production of soy…I encourage businesses to get involved and join us in supporting the RCF,” stated Tesco CEO, Ken Murphy.
So far, the initiative has gained deliverance from 32 farms and has saved 8,000 hectares of native vegetation. Farmers that are involved within the farming of the DCF soy have committed to social and environmental requirements, including the refrain of converting the remaining vegetation into farmland. Monitored by the Sustainable Investment Management and BV Rio, all invested funds have gone to the participating farmers who have successfully harvested their crops.
The Executive Director of Waitrose, James Bailey, has also publicly stated that the company is proud to be a part of something so environmentally monumental, and has committed the company to source all key raw materials responsibly by 2025–this includes DCF soy.