Through a ‘direct trade, book and claim’ approach, Lidl will invest its premiums in specific farms in Brazil, that produce soy to the industry acknowledged social and environmental standards, defined by the respected Roundtable for Responsible Soy.
Lidl has announced "industry leading commitments" to sourcing soy from sustainable, deforestation-free sources. Lidl UK will only source soy from sustainable sources from this month, within its own supply chain.
The company claims its sustainable soy policy "is the boldest move by any supermarket in the UK" and "signals a step change in commitments to creating a sustainable soy industry".
The supermarket has also committed to working with all its UK suppliers to achieve physically traceable, sustainable, zero-deforestation soy in the long term, as well as purchasing Roundtable for Responsible Soy (RTRS) credits.
Lidl UK was also a founding signatory of the Cerrado Manifesto in 2017 - a call to action to halt deforestation and native vegetation loss in Brazil’s Cerrado. The vast majority of soy (90 percent) that comes into the EU, is used to feed livestock in the production of meat, poultry, dairy and eggs.
The supermarket sees the move as a critical first step in creating a sustainable sector. Through a ‘direct trade, book and claim’ approach, Lidl will invest its premiums in specific farms in Brazil, that produce soy to the industry acknowledged social and environmental standards, defined by the respected Roundtable for Responsible Soy.
The company hopes that these commitments will lay the groundwork for a rapid increase in market demand for sustainable soy. Amali Bunter, Responsible Sourcing Manager for Lidl UK commented: “At Lidl UK, we are taking action to ensure that soy production is sustainable and deforestation-free for the long term.
"We want to create sustainable supply chains that protect the environment, while also delivering high quality products at unbeatable value, and as a major food retailer, we recognise the need to accelerate progress towards a secure, resilient supply of sustainable soy. Through the UK Roundtable for Sustainable Soy we look forward to working collaboratively with industry to ensure that this is achieved.”
Claire Perry, minister for energy and clean growth, said: “The UK has led the world in cutting emissions whilst growing our economy - with clean growth driving incredible innovation and creating hundreds of thousands of high quality jobs.
"Ten years on from the Climate Change Act, the first ever Green GB week is a time to build on our successes and explain the huge opportunities for business and young people of a cleaner economy.
"I’m delighted to see how many more businesses and organisations such as Lidl are seizing this multi-billion pound opportunity to energize their communities to tackle the very serious threat of climate change.”
Marianne Brooker is a contributing editor for The Ecologist. This article is based on a press release from Headland Consultancy.