FrieslandCampina and Royal Agrifirm Group are joining forces to create a separate supply stream of guaranteed deforestation-free soy for livestock feed.
Over the course of 2022, Agrifirm will supply deforestation-free soy for livestock to member dairy farmers of FrieslandCampina.
In addition, both cooperatives will also encourage the entire feed sector to join their initiative, allowing all dairy farmers to make the switch to deforestation-free feed.
The two cooperatives are determined to speed up the initiative, the dairy giant added.
Hein Schumacher, CEO of FrieslandCampina, said, "Responsible sourcing is one of the priorities within our sustainability programme 'Nourishing a better planet'. This also applies to the soy our members purchase. Since 2015, therefore, only RTRS-certified soy is used for livestock feed.
"However, a next step is necessary, and we would like to help our members with this. They must be able to rely on the fact that their sustainably purchased soy is also free from deforestation.
"That is why we are now starting a pilot with the agricultural cooperative and feed supplier Agrifirm, so that in 2022 approximately one-third of our members can switch to guaranteed deforestation-free soy."
A majority of the feed, comprising grass and maize, for cows belonging to the 17,000 dairy farmer members of FrieslandCampina, comes from their own land or land in close proximity.
A small part consists of various products, such as beet, wheat, and residues from the food industry, supplemented with soy.
Ruud Tijssens, group director of public and cooperative affairs at Royal Agrifirm Group, added, "Our goal is to ensure 100% of the soy required by dairy farmers is guaranteed to be harvested from non-deforested fields. The social cost of soy production must not be at the expense of nature, climate or farmers.
"Therefore, the additional costs of this guarantee will be passed on to the market, thus avoiding a cost increase for dairy farmers. Ultimately, we want to be able to offer farmers 100% guaranteed deforestation-free soy. We believe this is possible, which is why we are taking part in this large-scale trial."
Responsible Food Chain
Dick Hordijk, CEO at Royal Agrifirm Group said, "As Agrifirm we are continually working step by step, on tomorrow's responsible food chain. Making a contribution to solving the deforestation issue is an integral part of that. This is another step in the right direction.’
Since 2015, FrieslandCampina members are only allowed to purchase from livestock feed companies that are certified in accordance with the GMP+ scope responsible dairy feed (sustainable 'RTRS' soy).
Currently, approximately 99.5% of the soy in livestock feed comes from deforestation-free sources.
Despite the certification and the checks carried out, it cannot be guaranteed for 100% that the soy supplied is produced entirely without deforestation.
Therefore, FrieslandCampina and Agrifirm have taken the initiative to set up a 100% deforestation-free 'stream.'