Over 20 Swedish food companies have signed a commitment to only use "responsible" soy by the end of next year.

Manufacturers including Arla Foods, meat group HKScan, and retailer ICA have pledged to ensure the soy used in foods sold in Sweden is "produced in a socially and environmentally responsible manner", agribusiness Lantmännen, another signatory, said.

Twenty-seven companies that are members of the Swedish Soy Dialogue have made the voluntary undertaking. The organisation is "a Swedish call" for responsibly produced soy that is certified in accordance with the criteria of the Round Table on Responsible Soy or of ProTerra. The RTRS was set up in 2006 by organisations including Unilever to promote the production of sustainable soy. ProTerra was devised by UK-based organisation Cert ID.

Lantmännen said the companies wanted to ensure "the products that Swedish consumers buy have been produced using certified soy, irrespective of whether they are from Sweden or have been imported".

Johan Andersson, the head of Lantmännen's feed and fertilizer division Lantmännen Lantbruk, said: "The feed products from Lantmännen that contain soy form part of the production chain for many different Swedish animal food products. When consumers choose these products, or products from the other companies in the agreement, they can rest assured that the soy needed for the products was produced in a responsible way."

Earlier this month, HKScan said it had become a member of the RTRS. The Finland-based company, which does business across Scandinavia, Poland and in the Baltic states, said by the end of 2018 all soy used in its entire meat value chain will meet the "strict requirements" of the RTRS.