Nando’s among firms slated for ‘unsustainable soy’

Chicken chain Nando’s and Iceland are among companies in the EU that have been criticised for “not doing nearly enough” to encourage sustainable soy production. New research from WWF, which […]

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By Priyanka Shrestha

Chicken chain Nando’s and Iceland are among companies in the EU that have been criticised for “not doing nearly enough” to encourage sustainable soy production.

New research from WWF, which surveyed 88 major retailers, producers and feed suppliers across the EU, suggests more needs to be done to encourage growers to reduce the negative environmental impacts of producing soy.

Soy is the fastest expanding crop in the world, with its growth bringing great environmental and social costs, according to the WWF. It has been associated with excessive use of pesticides and clearance of tropical forests which leads to increased greenhouse gas emissions and puts species at risk.

UK retailers Marks & Spencer and Waitrose were among seven EU companies praised for “taking a leadership role” and already buying more than half of their soy from certified responsible sources and on track to reach their 100% goals of using sustainable soy by 2015. Morrisons, Sainsbury’s and Tesco were found to have “started their journey” towards sustainable soy production.

However UK household names that either did not respond or have yet to take meaningful action to clean up their soy supply chains included Bernard Matthews, Iceland, Nando’s and Findus.

Sandra Mulder, Leader of WWF’s global soy programme said: “With around three quarters of soy globally going into animal and fish feed, this report shows that European companies and countries should be doing much more, starting with taking up more of the certified soy that is being produced by RTRS and ProTerra, currently the only two credible schemes for responsible soy.”

Global soy production has grown tenfold – from 27 to 269 million tonnes – in just 50 years, with soy fields covering more than one million square kilometres of the world, WWF suggests.