Those companies have joined forces with certification body, ProTerra, and Brazilian soy protein concentrate (SPC) producers, Caramaru, Imcopa and CJ Selecta, in a forum for constructive dialogue, the Aquaculture Dialogue on Sustainable Soy Sourcing from Brazil.
All the parties involved met last month in São Paulo, Brazil to discuss and to act on a raft of issues from soy traceability, to transparency, to supplier code of conduct and deforestation.
“Brazilian agriculture practices and deforestation have recently come under scrutiny. This concern can have implications for aquaculture, with [aquaculture] feed often containing soy products originating from Brazil. While the volumes used in aquaculture feed are not significant, from a global use perspective, aquaculture feed companies have established a roundtable group to work to improve the salmon value chain, but also to take some practical actions outside of the traditional scope.”
New traceability system in place
The stakeholders revealed that ProTerra has been working with Caramaru, Imcopa and CJ Selecta to include traceability information and to improve transparency within the soy value chain.
The Google powered AgroTools is the backbone of a new traceability system those suppliers are using.
“Each shipment delivered to feed producers will now include information about the municipalities and states from which the soy from that batch is sourced. Caramaru, Imcopa and CJ Selecta have also a semi-automated tracking capacity to determine the sourcing details of the delivery.”
The database issues certificates for each farm that is part of the ProTerra program:
“Detailed information about the farm’s deforestation and other illegal activities is available if needed. This means that if a farm is accused of non-compliant activities, or has violated the agreement, it has become easier and faster to determine if and when this occurred, and if the resulting product has been delivered to European salmon feed producers,” reported the parties.
The salmon feed producers said the challenge they have had has been around the ability demonstrate their SPC suppliers ensure respect of human, labour and environmental laws for the soy farms supplying them. "With adoption of the new system we can be assured that Caramaru, Imcopa and CJ Selecta’s farms and suppliers fulfill regulations associated with these issues."
A forest-positive future
Together with ProTerra, the companies involved said they are building long-term sustainable purchasing and supplier policies that prohibit the sourcing of soy products from lands that are illegally deforested.
That said, they would welcome initiatives that would move beyond a supply chain approach, to drive a forest-positive future.
“Caramaru, Imcopa and CJ Selecta openly state that they want measures by the Brazilian government against illegal deforestation, to enforce the Brazilian law.”
This roundtable fostering continuous improvement in the SPC value chain has its origins in the outcry that followed the report from NGOs, Future in our Hands, and Rainforest Foundation Norway, Salmon on soy beans - deforestation and land conflict in Brazil, first revealed by Norwegian newspaper, Dagbladet, in October 2018.
That report alleged Brazilian SCP suppliers, Caramuru, Selecta and Imcopa, bought raw material from farms linked to land conflicts, use of prohibited pesticides, illegal deforestation, and misuse of indigenous lands.
Selecta, in comments to Dagbladet, following the publication of the report, strongly disputed the claims therein, while Caramuru also questioned some of the findings. Imcopa told the Norwegian newspaper, at the time, one discredited farm was a key supplier to it in previous years, but that it then only delivered less than 3% of the total amount of soy in Imcopa’s inventory.
A BioMar investigation earlier this year found no intent or negligence on the part of those Brazilian SCP suppliers both in terms of environmental or social legislation violations. Skretting also ran an inquiry subsequent to the publication of the Rainforest Foundation report in collaboration with the internationally accredited audit company, DNVGL, and said it found no evidence of any illegality by those companies.