News / 12 October 2018

The Soy Coalition ended, but the work must and will go on!

After 15 years, the members of the Dutch Soy Coalition have decided to disband the coalition. A total of 16 civil society organisations have worked together for many years to put the negative impact of the production, transport, processing and consumption of soy on the agenda and to seek solutions together with other stakeholders.

Not a single issue

Although by no means all the problems have been solved and there is still much to be done, the organisations in the Soy Coalition are aware that the problems surrounding soy are part of a much broader discussion on issues relating to bulk products, like palm oil and sugarcane, in general. They will therefore continue with their activities and their cooperation, but no longer in a formal alliance focusing solely on soy.

Negative impact in production and consumption countries

In 2003, Dutch development, social, nature and environmental organisations united in the Dutch Soy Coalition (NSC) to draw attention to the enormous problems caused by the production, transport, processing and consumption of soy. In countries where soy is produced, these include deforestation, large-scale infrastructural projects, human rights violations, land-grabbing, pollution and the use of pesticides. In the Netherlands, intensive livestock breeding made possible by the mass import of soy is having a far-reaching impact on the natural environment and on biodiversity; the surplus of manure is causing environmental pollution, including acidification and over-fertilisation in natural areas.

Three strategies

The organisations addressed the problems using three different strategies:

  • Making soy production sustainable
  • Replacing imported soy with sustainable sources of protein from the Netherlands and Europe
  • Reducing the consumption of animal protein

Throughout the years, the members of the Soy Coalition have launched many initiatives that have helped achieve these aims. Both ENDS revisits a number of these in a review produced for this occasion.

Work still to be done

Both ENDS will continue to work with civil society organisations in soy-producing countries and to promote coherence in policy on trade, infrastructure, investment and sustainable trade chains in the Netherlands. We will also contribute to the dialogue on the Amsterdam Declaration in combination with our work on palm oil.

Over the years, the following organisations have been involved in the Soy Coalition: Both ENDS (secretariat), Agriterra, AIDEnvironment (support), BBO (support), Cordaid, FairFood, Greenpeace NL, Kerk in Actie, Milieudefensie, ICCO, IUCN NL, OxfamNovib, Solidaridad, Natuur & Milieu, Wereld Natuur Fonds and Wetlands International.

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