Responsible soya bean production
For several South American countries, soya is an important economic factor that is increasing in significance. On the downside, however, large areas of rainforest are being cleared to meet the rising demand for soya, which is why we have been committed to supporting responsible soya bean production since 2004.
In view of the fact that soya is used primarily in concentrated cattle feed, global meat consumption is leading to increased demand for this raw material, with the consequence that large areas of tropical forest in Brazil and Paraguay are being destroyed. In addition to this, soya bean producers are converting ecologically valuable savannah areas into soya bean fields – resulting in a great loss of flora and fauna.
Basel Criteria for responsible cultivation
In order to halt this negative development, Coop and WWF Switzerland joined forces in 2004 to develop the Basel Criteria for Responsible Soy Production. These criteria demand:
- GMO-free seeds
- Sparing use of fertilizers and pesticides
- No clearing of valuable forest for soya plantations
- Minimum social standards for workers and the local population
RTRS: working together for more sustainable soya
In 2006, we were a founding member of the Round Table on Responsible Soy (RTRS). This international network consists of environmental organizations and NGOs, producers and mill operators, and also launched a list of criteria for responsible soya cultivation. In 2010, we succeeded together with other organizations in adding a voluntary supplement regarding GMO-free soya to the RTRS criteria. We allow only non-genetically modified soya to be used and fed to animals.
Soy Network Switzerland for a common solution
Due to the fact that sustainable soya cannot be marketed separately in Switzerland due to cost reasons, a sector-wide solution is needed. We are a member of the Soy Network Switzerland for sustainable soya, which, alongside Swiss feed importers, comprises all major representatives of the animal production chain. Today, 90 per cent of the soya feed imported into Switzerland meet the defined standards – i.e. the Basel Criteria, those of the RTRS, Pro Terra, Bio Suisse or Danube Soya.
European soya from the Danube region
The Danube Soya Association promotes the GMO-free cultivation of soya beans in the Danube region, which offers ideal weather and agricultural conditions for the cultivation of high-quality soya in Europe. What is more, cultivation does not take place in areas that should be protected. As a member, we also support this innovative project and use this soya as feed in the production of Naturafarm eggs and chickens.