Soy Barometer 2014: the Netherlands is lagging behind!
The Netherlands does not reach target for responsible soy
The Dutch Soy Coalition (consisting of eight development and environmental organisations*) finds that in 2013 only a quarter of the 2.4 million tons of soy used in the Netherlands is responsibly produced. The social or environmental impacts of the production of the other three quarters of Dutch soy imports are not at all clear or accounted for. The target set by the Netherlands is to purchase 100 percent responsible soy by 2015. This will be almost impossible to achieve at this point.
We have to do more
Tamara Mohr, spokesperson of the Dutch Soy coalition: ‘In 2011 the Dutch soy industry agreed to reach 100 percent responsible soy in 2015. But if we keep going at this pace, we will not succeed. The government invested 3.5 million euros and the dairy industry complies with the agreement, but the pig- and poultry industries are falling short. The Netherlands boasts about being a frontrunner in importing responsible soy, but can’t live up to our ambition. We have to do much more.’
The harmful effects of soy
Soy production causes many social and environmental problems. Conflicts with local communities about land use, deforestation, loss of wetlands, climate change, environmental damage because of pesticides, and increasing pressure on food security: they can all be attributed to cultivating soy. While the production of responsible soy lags behind, the total production of unsustainable soy is rapidly increasing. 60 percent of the deforestation caused by the European import of vegetable protein crops is caused by soy. Also regions that are much less suitable for cultivating soy, like the Chaco and the Parana delta in Argentina and the Pantanal in Brazil, are hit hard.
Today, the ‘Soy Barometer’** will be presented to the Dutch and international soy sectors. In The Hague, NGOs Both ENDS, IUCN NL and Wetlands International (cooperating in the Ecosystem Alliance) discuss the results of this study with representatives of four important soy producing countries, Brazil, Paraguay, Bolivia and Argentina. Also present are representatives of consumer companies Nutreco, Ahold and Unilever, as well as representatives of the Dutch Ministries of Economic Affairs and Foreign Affairs.
Meanwhile in London, the Round Table on Responsible Soy (RTRS) introduces its ‘Task Force Europe’ today to further stimulate the sale/import of responsible soy with the RTRS-certificate in Europe. At this event, WWF and Solidaridad will present their ideas for improvement.
Annually, 276 million tons of soy are produced in an area as large as France and Spain. Last year only 2 percent of all this soy was produced with a certification label. The European economy is heavily dependent on soy. Every year, Europe processes 31 million tons of soy, of which only 3.1 percent is produced in Europe. New initiatives are being developed to produce responsible soy in Europe.
*The Dutch Soy Coalition is a cooperation of Both ENDS, IUCN NL, Milieudefensie (Friends of the Earth the Netherlands), Natuur&Milieu, OxfamNovib, Solidaridad, Wetlands International and WWF. Together with scientists, companies and NGOs in soy producing, processing, and consuming countries we seek to find ways to improve soy production to make it fair and environmentally friendly. The Soy Coalition also promotes the substitution of imported soy with protein crops produced in Europe.
**You can read and download the Soy Barometer here: Soy Barometer 2014
The background report, on which the public version is based (in English), can be found here.
For more information, please visit the website of the Dutch Soy Coalition
Secretariat Dutch Soy Coalition:
p/a Both ENDS / Nieuwe Keizersgracht 45 / 1018 VC Amsterdam
Contactperson: Tamara Mohr / phone: 020 – 5306612 / e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or the communications department: phone 020 -5306600 / email: email@example.com / firstname.lastname@example.org / www.bothends.org
Read more about this subject
The rising demand for soy is having negative consequences for people and the environment in South America. Both ENDS reminds Dutch actors in the soy industry of their responsibilities and is working with partners on fair and sustainable alternatives.
News / 21 September 2020
The Pantanal, the world's largest freshwater wetland, is suffering exceptionally devastating forest fires, mostly caused by human activities. Over the past few months, an area as big as Northern Ireland has burned down. Both ENDS's partner organisations call for attention for this ecological and social disaster.
Press release / 11 September 2020
100+ NGOs launch #Together4Forests urging EU action
Fires raging in the Amazon are started deliberately to make way for large-scale industrial agriculture – and EU market demand for commodities produced on former-forest land is adding fuel to the fires. Globally, the EU is responsible for over 10% of forest destruction through its consumption of commodities like meat, dairy, soy for animal feed, palm oil, coffee and cacao.
News / 11 September 2020
The world's forests are under threat. Remaining forests – havens of precious biodiversity and the lungs of the planet – are being cleared to make way for beef, soy, sugar and palm oil production, mining and other industrial activities, fuelled by increasing demand from Europe and other countries. But the good news is: you can help stop the destruction!
Press release / 26 August 2020
Dutch pension money is invested heavily in companies that contribute to deforestation in the Amazon region and the Cerrado savanna in Brazil, such as soy, animal feed and beef companies. This is concluded in a report published today by Profundo, commisioned by the Fair Finance Guide, Hivos and Both ENDS. All ten pension funds that were examined invest in these types of companies, with the ABP pension fund and Pensioenfonds Zorg en Welzijn on top with investments worth EUR 580 million and EUR 383 million respectively.
Publication / 26 August 2020
News / 29 June 2020
On 23 July 2020 a global network of NGOs working to strengthen corporate accountability for environmental destruction and human rights abuses, including Both ENDS, published an open letter to European Commission DG Justice Commissioner Reynders. The letter is a response to his recent commitment to propose legislation in 2021 on both corporate due diligence and directors’ duties as part of an initiative on sustainable corporate governance.
News / 17 September 2019
On September 20 and 27 the global climate strike takes place. Both ENDS joins the Dutch Climate Strike on September 27 in The Hague. This is why.
News / 16 August 2019
Today, an op-ed by Nathalie van Haren and Stefan Schüller was published in the Dutch national newspaper De Volkskrant about the IPCC's latest report "Climate Change and Land". Below you find the English translation.
News / 2 August 2019
The EU is still one of the world’s largest importers of deforestation: EU demand for commodities like soy, palm oil, beef, coffee and cacao requires millions of hectares of tropical rainforest to be cleared. This deforestation has significant biodiversity and climate impacts, and is often linked to human rights violations and violence against local communities and indigenous peoples. Both ENDS and partners have been actively lobbying the EU Commission to adopt a robust action plan to address and prevent human rights violations and deforestation ‘embodied’ in EU imports of agricultural commodities.
News / 14 June 2019
Last Thursday June 13, Rahmawati Retno Winarni of TUK, an Indonesian partner organisation of Both ENDS, presented a symbolic tree and an appeal to the Dutch Minister of Agriculture Carola Schouten, also on behalf of 10 NGOs. The joint NGOs are pushing the EU, including the Dutch government, for strict EU legislation to prevent the destruction of forests and ecosystems and to protect human rights.
Publication / 29 May 2019
Publication / 8 May 2019
Press release / 6 May 2019
Almost 100 candidate EU Members of Parliament have signed a pledge drafted and endorsed by European NGOs and prominent individuals in which they commit - once elected - to promoting policies to protect and restore forests worldwide and to recognising and securing forest peoples’ territories and their rights, including the rights of women, for generations to come. The organisers hope to get many more signatures before the EU elections, to make sure the new EU parliament will start treating these topics with high urgency as soon as it is installed.
Pension funds have a lot of influence because of their enormous assets. Both ENDS therefore wants pension funds such as the Dutch ABP to withdraw their investments from the fossil industry and to invest sustainably instead.
Blog / 8 March 2019By Tamara Mohr
Together with five women from the Platform Suace Pyvyvõhára, I travel to Mingã Pora in the east of Paraguay. Around 45 families from the indigenous Tekohá Suace community settled here in 2016. In Guaraní, Tekohá means 'the place where we are what we are'. They reside in tents - self-made out of waste materials - on a small strip of land with a soy field on one side and a nature reserve owned by the Itaipu company on the other.
Blog / 18 January 2019
Unambitious and uninspiring: the European Commission’s proposal for stepping-up action on global deforestationBy Michael Rice
After five years of equivocation the European Commission has proposed a ‘roadmap’ for stepping-up EU action to address its contribution to global deforestation. Despite the escalating impact of EU trade in forest-risk commodities, regardless of repeated calls from the European Parliament for regulatory measures and contrary to the conclusions of the Commission’s own feasibility study in support of legislative intervention, the Commission has ruled-out out any new initiatives, let alone any legislative measures. The Commission’s solution to this complex problem: policy coherence.
News / 15 November 2018
On Wednesday, November 14, Dutch Newspaper De Volkskrant published a joint op-ed by Both ENDS, Hivos, Greenpeace Netherlands and Witness about the deforestation in the Amazon region which is still going on rapidly, having disastrous consequences for the indigenous people who live in the area, for biodiversity and for the climate. The Netherlands is one of the largest buyers of Brazilian agricultural products such as soy and beef, and should ensure that deforestation, land grabbing and human rights violations do not occur in these production chains. Unfortunately, this is not at all the case yet.
Publication / 7 November 2018
News / 26 October 2018
The sixth High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) was held at the UN Headquarters in New York in July 2018. The HLPF provides an opportunity to review global progress towards achieving the SDGs and for countries to present their own Voluntary National Reviews of the implementation of the SDGs. At this year's HLPF, SDG 15, known as the 'Life on Land'-goal, was under review.