What is soy?
Soy is a plant which produces edible beans rich in protein and vegetable oil. The soy plant has a high yield per hectare relative to other protein sources and has therefore become a major source of vegetable protein and oil for both humans and livestock. At present, most of the world’s soy producers are located in the USA, Brazil, Argentina, China and India. Soy cultivation has grown rapidly over the last decade, mostly in Latin America, raising concerns around sustainability and deforestation.
What has soy got to do with dairy?
Soy is a common ingredient in animal feed. So, although we do not use any soy-containing ingredients in the products we manufacture, soy is in our supply chain due to its presence in feed consumed by the cows producing the milk we use.
Most dairy products have soy in their supply chain but not all manufacturers have a sustainable soy policy like Saputo Dairy UK.
Do Saputo Dairy UK suppliers use sustainable soy?
Yes. The dedicated farmers who supply milk to our creamery in Davidstow, Cornwall, must adhere to our rigorous Davidstow Farm Standards. At present, farmers are supported and encouraged to use certified sustainable soy as part of best practice under the Davidstow Farm Standards. From early 2022, the Davidstow Farm Standards mandate that all farms which supply to the Davidstow creamery must source feed from suppliers that certify the soy is from a sustainable source.
For the two years prior to the introduction of this new policy, we have been purchasing RTRS (Round Table on Responsible Soy Association) soy credits, the proceeds of which are utilised by the RTRS to support producers to cultivate soy in a responsible way.
What is Saputo Dairy UK doing to address the environmental issues of soy?
We are a member of the Round Table on Responsible Soy Association (RTRS) which is an organisation that develops solutions for responsible production and sourcing of soy. You can find out more here. We are also signatories of the Cerrado Manifesto.
As part of our rigorous Davidstow Farm Standards, we have been working with our farmers to encourage them to source animal feed from suppliers who can demonstrate that they have a sustainable soy and palm purchasing policy.
From early 2022, the Davidstow Farm Standards mandate that all farms which supply to our Davidstow creamery must source feed from suppliers that provide third party certification to confirm that the soy is sustainably sourced. Farms must also provide details of all palm suppliers so that sustainable sourcing can be verified. We have committed that by 2025, our supply chain will only source zero deforestation and conversion-free soy.
For the two years prior to the introduction of this new policy, we have been purchasing RTRS soy credits, the proceeds of which are utilised by the RTRS to support producers to cultivate soy in a responsible way.
By being a member of RTRS and ensuring our supply chain is covered by RTRS certified material, either via credits or physical flow, we are supporting the development of key sustainability principles:
- Zero deforestation and conversion
- Responsible labour conditions and community relations.
Whenever we source raw materials containing soy or farmed with soy, it must either be from a sustainable supply or we will purchase the equivalent number of RTRS soy credits. These actions show we are taking positive steps to tackle the unsustainable cultivation of soy and this approach is supported by The World Wildlife Fund (WWF).