Blog: Dean BestSustainable soy in the spotlight at London conference

Dean Best | 23 May 2012

A busy week continues today (23 May) with the first day of this year's Roundtable on Responsible Soy conference in London - the first time it has been held outside a soy-producing nation.

The RTRS is a multi-stakeholder initiative set up in 2006 to define and certify a more sustainable form of soy production. The first purchases of RTRS-certified soy were made last year and the scheme is looking to increase supply of the product. Some 300,000 tonnes have been sold since that first purchase last June, a small amount of total production. However, the RTRS has set an ambitious target of 5m tonnes to be sold per year by 2015.

The conference, which will also take place tomorrow, aims to set out how the production and use of certified soy can be increased. However, those behind the certification and in the industry recognise the challenges ahead.

In the early session of the conference, RTRS president Jaap Oskam listed the "issues" facing the certification: how to "upscale" production; the problem of the balance between supply and demand; setting a global standard certification; and the fact that the certification is GM-neutral.

Our contributing editor Ben Cooper last year looked at the RTRS and found some campaigners had criticised the certification on the issue of GM.

Follow me on Twitter (@dean_best) for the latest news and views from the conference today.


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