The Dutch animal feed sector has switched to using only certified soya in animal feed, part of which is RTRS-certified. Wageningen Economic Research was asked to measure the support for this transition among parties in the Dutch animal product production chains. We also looked at whether RTRS-certified soya production is more sustainable than non-certified soya.
In order to analyse the impact of the transition to certified soya in cattle feed, both the demand side and the production side were considered. We also developed indicators and methods for measuring impacts. Purchasing indicators (demand side) were defined and measured in the context of a) support for the transition to RTRS by supply chain partners, b) quantification of certified soya use and c) sector ambitions, industry standards and agreements relating to the retail sector and the supply chain.
On the supply side, we looked at the extent to which the purchase of certified soya by Dutch stakeholders makes the cultivation of soya in the countries of origin more sustainable. Relevant sustainability indicators on the supply side (soya production) were defined on the basis of a developed Theory of Change. This leads to the conclusion that RTRS-certified soya growers are more sustainable in a number of themes, one being that they have above-average protected area (in terms of area above the statutory minimum). They have also invested in the storage of crop protection products and other areas. One comment, however, is that the available data is rather limited, which means that it cannot be concluded that RTRS-certified soya is more sustainable on all fronts.
The Netherlands accounts for 30% of the global consumption of RTRS-certified soya and therefore contributes to the sustainable production of soya in countries of origin. All soya used in animal feed in the Netherlands is certified in accordance with one of the schemes that comply with the FEFAC Sourcing Guidelines.