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Feed industry descends on Lille for conference to debate the future of soy

Post a commentBy David Anderson , 30-May-2017
Last updated on 30-May-2017 at 11:38 GMT2017-05-30T11:38:49Z

© istock/ipopba
© istock/ipopba

Stakeholders in the feed industry will be in France this week to attend a two-day conference that will debate the future of the soy industry.

Amaggi, the European Feed Manufacturers’ Federation (FEFAC), and feed research experts are amongst those from the feed industry speaking at the Round Table on Responsible Soy (RTRS) Zero Deforestation Transparency and Scale conference in Lille, beginning tomorrow (May 31). 

Marcello Visconti, RTRS executive director, said: “We believe that it is crucially important to bring together actors in the soy sector from across the globe to discuss, face-to-face, issues that are important to us.” 

The focus of the conference, which 250 industry stakeholders will attend, will be to discuss how to achieve a sustainable future for soy. 

There will be individual sessions looking at what the feed industry is doing to improve supply chain transparency; future soy consumption trends; and what the soy industry can learn from other industries to ensure sustainability. 

Marcello Visconti, RTRS executive director: ' We believe that it is crucially important to bring together actors in the soy sector from across the globe to discuss, face-to-face, issues that are important to us.' © istock/allfoto

Stefan Heinke, senior sustainable development at Bayer’s crop science division, will give one of the key thought leadership speeches. 

Road to sustainable soy 

Speaking to Feed Navigator, Christophe Callu Mérite, head of proteins purchases at the Feed Alliance, said he was attending to take away learnings for his job.

“Feed Alliance is the main purchaser of soymeal in France and this year the conference is in our country,” he told us.

“I want to get an overview of where we are all standing on the road to sustainable soy as a mainstream [practice], to know what has been achieved, what remains [to be done] and how we can get one step higher on this path.” 

He said that Feed Alliance’s attendance, along with other groups from the feed sector, “reaffirmed the interest of the feed sector in sustainability issues” but he pointed out that already “the feed industry was taking on its responsibility in this journey to more sustainable soy production." 

The event will allow soy producers from South America and representatives from consumer facing brands like McDonald's and Mars a chance to network.

Visconti added: “We have a host of fantastic thought leaders speaking at the conference addressing three key themes for the future of soy: zero deforestation, supply chain transparency and scaling up." 

In relation to deforestation, the event is focusing on monitoring strategies and tools; risk analysis; solutions for bridging the gap between legal compliance and zero deforestation; in terms of supply chain transparency and issues around the scaling up of soy production, delegates will discuss jurisdictional approaches, finance and government and synergies between soy standards.

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