EU animal feed trade association FEFAC has released its Soy Sourcing Guidelines 2021, an upgraded version of the guidelines first issued in 2015.

The organisation says the revised Guidelines cover a range of additional essential and new desired criteria, and are in line with the FEFAC Feed Sustainability Charter 2030 and its ambitions for continuous improvement in responsible soy sourcing. The document provides a credible and verifiable source of information to soy value chain partners and other stakeholders about the market solutions available for responsibly produced soy destined for the European feed market.

The new Soy Sourcing Guidelines present a set of criteria and verification requirements that will enable interested responsible soy schemes and programmes to enter into an independent benchmark process facilitated and performed by the International Trade Centre (ITC). FEFAC points out that the new Guidelines are not designed to be a standard or a professional soy sourcing recommendation.

A new feature of the FEFAC Soy Sourcing Guidelines 2021 is the option for responsible soy schemes to voluntarily benchmark themselves, against a new criterion, over their capacity to deliver “conversion-free soy” and provide assurances that their soy cultivation did not drive the conversion of natural eco-systems. The FEFAC webpage on the ITC Sustainability Map will display schemes that deliver “conversion-free soy” via a transparency tool, showing the respective applicable cut-off date and chain of custody options. FEFAC anticipates that the new round of benchmarking of interested responsible soy programmes can start this spring, with the initial results available to soy chain partners from May 2021.

Some 19 responsible programmes have successfully passed the benchmarking exercise (executed by ITC) against the Soy Sourcing Guidelines from 2015. Based on data collection from members, FEFAC estimates that almost half of the total European feed industry soy usage is now responsibly produced.

“I am confident that today FEFAC has been able to make a significant contribution to further increase market transparency for responsible soy sourcing,” said FEFAC president Asbjørn Børsting at the launch. “This now includes the possibility for interested programmes to benchmark against the new conversion-free criterion, within the limits of its pre-competitive mandate.

“I expect that the new version of the FEFAC Soy Sourcing Guidelines 2021 will remain a key tool for operators and chain partners of the European soy value chain assisting their combined efforts for the mainstream market transition towards sustainable soy sourcing, despite the very challenging market environment.”