• Lidl is the first UK supermarket to purchase Roundtable for Responsible Soy (RTRS) credits for its entire soy footprint, making it the largest buyer of credits in the UK
• RTRS credits ensure that soy farmers receive a premium for producing soy to the highest sustainable standards
• 90% of soy that comes into the EU is used to feed livestock in the production of meat, poultry, dairy and eggs
• Soy production continues to be a significant driver in the loss of forests and valuable native vegetation
• Claire Perry, Minister for Energy and Clean Growth gives support ahead of the first Green GB Week
12 October 2018: Lidl UK has today announced its industry leading commitments to sourcing soy from sustainable, deforestation-free sources. Lidl’s 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.
From this month, Lidl UK will, within its own supply chain, only source soy from sustainable sources. On top of this immediate action of purchasing credits*, and through its recent membership of the UK government’s Roundtable for Sustainable Soy, Lidl is committed to working with all its UK suppliers to achieve physically traceable, sustainable, zero-deforestation soy in the long term. 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%) that comes into the EU, is used to feed livestock in the production of meat, poultry, dairy and eggs. As the expansion of soy production continues to be a significant driver in the loss of forests and valuable native vegetation, particularly in South America, Lidl UK has become the first UK retailer to move to 100% sustainable sources with immediate effect. The company 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 business 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 cut-ting 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.”
* RTRS credits are used to incentivise Soy farmers by ensuring that they receive a premium for producing soy to the highest sustainable standards
**In line with the UK Roundtable on Sustainable Soya, Lidl understands zero-deforestation soy to be soy that is ‘legal and cultivated in a way that protects against conversion of forests and valuable native vegetation’