Sourcing soy responsibly

Last updated: 03/05/2018

Soy is a globally traded commodity used in a wide-range of food and non-food products (from soy milk to biofuels). However, the main use of soy is as animal feed (75% of global production). Soy is a high quality vegetable protein used in animal feed for its nutritional benefits. Soy is grown in both temperate and tropical regions. The United States and South America (e.g. Brazil) are the two main production regions. China is the largest consumer of soy, with the EU the second largest. 

The Soy Sustainability Challenge

As the world population increases, so too will the global demand for meat and other animal proteins such as fish, eggs and dairy. The increasing demand for animal feed to support this is driving an expansion of soy cultivation - leading to the loss of forests and other native vegetation in the Amazon and Cerrado in South America.

To stop this trend, the Amazon Soy Moratorium was established in 2006. This Moratorium, led by industry and civil society, was a key milestone in halting further loss of the Brazilian Amazon for soy cultivation. 

However, the conversion of native vegetation for soy continues in other important ecosystems such as the Cerrado, the Gran Chaco and Atlantic Forest. The Brazilian Forest Code established in 2012, aims to protect Brazil’s natural ecosystems including the Amazon and the Cerrado. While compliance with the Forest Code is an important starting point, current regulation on its own is insufficient in protecting the Cerrado (e.g. 85% of its native vegetation can be legally cleared under the current Forest Code). 

The Consumer Goods Forum (comprising the world’s biggest food retailers and manufacturers) is committed to zero-net deforestation in raw material sourcing including soy. 

Our Approach

As part of the Consumer Goods Forum (CGF), Tesco is committed to zero-net deforestation in our sourcing of soy by 2020. Beyond our supply chain, we work collectively at an industry level and with other stakeholders (such as NGOs and governments), because we recognise that developing the right conditions for a sustainable soy market requires effective collaboration.  So, as members of the Round Table on Responsible Soy (RTRS), we support the production of responsible soy.

See our latest blog on our plan for zero deforestation soy. 

Our approach to zero-net deforestation soy is based on our Improve-Transform-Advocate approach to environmental sustainability. 

Improve: achieving sustainable soy in our supply chain

  • We are implementing a soy transition plan to achieve zero deforestation in our supply chain.

Transform: encouraging innovative solutions 

  • We will support innovative solutions that transforms the industry’s approach to achieving zero deforestation soy production (e.g. jurisdictional approaches).

Advocate: mobilising others for action

  • We will continue to work with others to engage key stakeholders in producing and consuming countries.



For more information contact our corporate responsibility team -

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