Photo: Colourbox

Responsible soya sourcing: Danish agriculture imposes requirements

Danish agriculture accounts for approximately 0.5 per cent of the world’s total soya production. Although this is a modest amount, the entire Danish agriculture industry is becoming ever more actively involved in the battle for responsible soya. By 2025, all soya sourced for animal feed by Danish agriculture must be responsibly produced, verified and deforestation-free.

Danish agriculture has established common, binding targets for the sourcing of soya and is thus building on the industry’s previous soya policy. This will ensure that by 2025, all soya sourced for animal feed in Danish agriculture is third-party verified and cultivated responsibly and sustainably. See the agreement below.

"We wish to create real and lasting change in the countries where soya is produced and we’ll do this by requiring deforestation-free cultivation and verification,” says Flemming Nør-Pedersen, Director, Danish Agriculture & Food Council.

This cannot be a stand-alone initiative, however: European and international solutions and agreements are also required.

In tandem with the new targets for 100 per cent verified, responsibly produced soya, the Danish agriculture and food industry is also committed to developing new protein sources which can be cultivated on Danish soil with a positive environmental impact., e.g. protein extracted from grass or seaweed.

See also: Danish algae could be the future’s sustainable feed protein

and: New partnership to create new sources of sustainable protein

Facts on the industry agreement

  • Target: By 2025, 100 per cent of the soya sourced for animal feed will be responsibly produced. This will be third-party verified and in accordance with FEFAC guidelines. 
  • Specific intermediate objectives have been set through to 2025. This means that the minimum percentage of verified responsible soya will be stepped up - 2021: 20%, 2022: 40%, 2023: 60%, 2024 80%, 2025: 100%. 
  • The target is 100 per cent physically segregated soya. As, however, the supply of segregated soya is very low, imports will be calculated according to the mass balance principle, where every link from producer to farmer is able to document the percentage of sourced responsible soya. Moreover, no more responsible soya is sold in relation to what is bought. 
  • Danish agriculture actively supports the work of the European Feed Manufacturers’ Federation (FEFAC) and the further development of FEFAC’s criteria for responsible soya, including deforestation. Through FEFAC’s work, Danish agriculture will influence the entire European agriculture industry’s sourcing of responsible soya. 
  • The Danish Agriculture & Food Council urges the Danish government to push for responsible and deforestation-free imports at EU level and to enter into discussions with producer countries on responsible soya production. 

Agriculture is working in parallel to reduce the need for soya imports by developing new Danish produced proteins, which, in the long term, will partially replace soya protein in feed.