Salmon soy suppliers make zero deforestation commitment

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

© GettyImages/fotokostic
© GettyImages/fotokostic

Related tags Soy deforestation Brazil

Brazil based soy suppliers to the salmon industry will implement a 100% deforestation and conversion free soybean value chain with August 2020 as their cut-off date. No soy grown on land deforested after this deadline will be traded.

The soy suppliers - CJ Selecta, Caramuru and Imcopa/Cervejaria Petrópoli - together with the sustainability standard owner, ProTerra, and WWF Brazil, have agreed on a robust monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV) system to implement and enforce their commitment to zero deforestation.

Their decision will have immediate effect for all new contracts of soy purchased.

The commitment by those Brazilian suppliers was hailed by global environmental organizations, international retailers, salmon farmers, feed companies, salmon processors and investors, all who cited concern about the increasing deforestation and conversion rates in Brazil.

Catarina Martins, chief technical officer at leading Atlantic salmon producer, Mowi, said: “Together with other members of the Aquaculture Dialogue on Sustainable Soy Sourcing from Brazil group, we applaud this bold leadership move from Caramuru, CJ Selecta and Imcopa to protect the Brazilian environment and wildlife outside of the salmon value chain. It is this commitment to our environment that will keep our industry sustainable.”

Morten Holdorff Møjbæk, global sourcing director at Danish fish feed producer, BioMar Group, weighed in on the development:

“Today’s announcement is a testament to over a decade of collaboration and shows the result of establishing long-term commitments with Brazilian soy farmers. It also demonstrates the strength of the BioMar supplier approval program (SAAT) and how working together to find solutions can result in systemic change.”

The participants and stakeholders involved in the initiative said they wished to motivate other global animal protein industries, such as beef, pork and poultry, to follow suit.

“Soy used in aquaculture feeds represents less than 0.5% of the total soy production. We hope this will inspire change, beyond aquaculture, to soy sourced in other animal feeds and for human consumption,”​ added Vidar Gundersen, sustainability director, BioMar.

Ida Breckan Claudi, senior advisor at the Rainforest Foundation Norway, said Brazilian soy suppliers and the Norwegian salmon industry have shown true leadership and have set a new bar for sustainable supply chains: “This historic commitment by their Brazilian soy suppliers will be a game changer for the sustainability standard for global supply chains. Global pork, poultry and beef producers are lagging behind, by still allowing deforestation in their supply chain. To stop being complicit in deforestation, the meat industry must follow suit and require their suppliers to become fully deforestation-free.”

Retailers like Tesco, Ahold Delhaize, Coop UK, Marks and Spencer, Metro, and Waitrose, along with processors like Aquascot and the Hilton Food Group, and salmon farmers such as Grieg Seafood, Lerøy Seafood Group and Cermaq, among other leading lights, have all been part of the process. 

"The move reduces risk to the entire Brazilian soy industry and we urge the rest of the Brazilian soy traders to follow their leadership. As a result, Brazilian soy used to feed European farmed salmon is not only certified, it is also supplied by Brazilian vendors with 100% deforestation and conversion free soybean value chains. This is one important step towards a more sustainable global food system," ​commented those stakeholders.  

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