Soy

Soy

Responsibly Sourced Soy

Raw material goals

At Lidl GB, we are taking action to ensure that the soy in our supply chains is responsibly sourced. As part of Europe’s largest food retailer, we recognise our responsibility and the need to accelerate progress towards a secure, resilient, sustainable supply of soy.

The cultivation of soy is linked to high rates of deforestation and land conversion in South American countries such as Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay, according to WWF research.

The soybean is often called the ‘king of beans’ because it contains 38% protein which is approximately three times the amount of protein found in eggs, and twelve times the amount of protein found in milk. Due to this high protein content, soy is commonly used in animal feed.

Approximately 90% of the soy imported into Europe is used for animal feed meaning the poultry, meat, dairy, and egg sectors are also contributing these rates of deforestation and land conversion.

It is estimated that on average, a European consumer eats 87kg of meat and 260 eggs per year which requires 400m² of land for the soy cultivation alone. As populations grow, the demand and consumption of poultry, meat, dairy, and eggs grows, putting a significant strain on the world’s resources.

Our Commitment

Lidl is committed to sourcing 100% of its critical raw materials from verified sustainable sources by 2025.

Since September 2018, Lidl has purchased RTRS certificates annually through the ‘Book and Claim Direct Trade’ approach to cover 100% of its soy footprint. We are now working with our suppliers to transition to physically traceable, deforestation and conversion free soy by 2025.

Our approach to responsibly sourced soy

soy

In 2018 we published our two-phased approach to sourcing soy responsibly. We are now focused on implementing phase 2 of our approach:

Phase 1

In 2018, we acted as a catalyst for change as we recognised the need to take immediate action in our supply chain and stimulate market demand for sustainable soy. We were the first UK retailer to certify their entire soy footprint. We purchased RTRS certificates on an annual basis through a ‘Book and Claim Direct Trade’ approach to cover 100% of our soy footprint. We will continue to purchase RTRS certificates until our total footprint is covered by physically traceable, deforestation and conversion free soy.

Phase 2

We are aiming for market transformation. This is why we are a founding signatory of the UK Soy Manifesto and are working collaboratively with our suppliers to source physically traceable soy. We want traceable, deforestation and conversion free soy to be the norm and in line with the UK Soy Manifesto we are aiming to achieve this by 2025.

We have committed to sourcing the soy used in our Vemondo (vegan and vegetarian) range from low risk deforestation and land conversion areas, meaning it must be from European sources and certified to Donau Soja or Europe Soya standards. 

Transition plan

Transition plan

Transition plan to sourcing physically traceable soy in animal feed

The graphic outlines our transition plan moving from phase 1, RTRS certificates to phase 2, physically traceable soy to cover our soy footprint.

We have prioritised sectors that have the biggest soy footprint first such as poultry and eggs, with the plan to cover all key sectors by 2024.

  1. Poultry
  2. Pork
  3. Dairy
  4. Egg
  5. Beef
  6. Lamb
  7. Seafood

UK Soy Manifesto

The UK Soy Manifesto is a collaborative industry commitment to achieving physically traceable, deforestation and conversion free soy supply chains in the UK. In October 2021, Lidl GB became a founding signatory of the Manifesto to our commitment to working with the wider industry on this pressing issue. By doing this, we have committed to ensuring that the soy sourced for Lidl GB's own brand products, both directly (as an ingredient in our products) and embedded (as animal feed) is deforestation and conversion free by 2025.

By signing up to the manifesto, we have also committed to:

  • Encouraging our director suppliers to set a deforestation and conversion free commitment with a cut-off date of January 2020
  • Working with our supplier to agree a transition plan to achieve our commitment by 2025
  • Annually reporting our progress towards the 2025 commitment

Reducing our soy footprint

soy

As part of our strategy we have also committed to reducing our overall soy footprint where possible. We have developed two approaches to supporting this commitment:

Firstly, we are engaging with our key strategic suppliers to find viable alternative proteins to be used in animal feed with the aim of reducing our reliance on soy and risk of contributing to rates of deforestation and land conversion.

Additionally, we offer a wide range of vegan and vegetarian meat alternatives from our Vemondo range in store for our customers so that we can promote sustainable, balanced diets. By supporting our customers towards a more plant-based diet we are able to gradually reduce the amount of soy used for animal feed.

WORKING WITH THE INDUSTRY

In addition to the above commitments, we support the following industry groups to accelerate progress:

  • Founding, member of the UK Roundtable for Sustainable Soy - The Roundtable brings together significant players in the UK soya market, providing a pre-competitive space for companies and industry associations to work together to achieve a shared goal of a secure, resilient, sustainable supply of soya to the UK.
  • Board member, Roundtable for Responsible Soy (RTRS) - The Roundtable on Responsible Soy is a civil organisation that promotes responsible production, processing and trading of soy on a group level.
  • Member, Retail Soy Group - The Retail Soy Group (RSG) is independent group of international retailers working collaboratively to find industry-wide solutions for soy used in their animal feed and food supply chains.

The Lidl Soy Initiative

Lidl Soy Initiative

In 2017 we set up the Lidl Soy Initiative, in order to play our part to promote more sustainable soy production across Brazil.

Selected farms in two regions, Maranhao and Piaui, were chosen as part of this initiative, to improve both social and environmental issues.

Working in partnership with the Roundtable on Responsible Soy (RTRS) Lidl directly supports farmers through the RTRS certification scheme 'Direct Trade Book & Claim'.

SIGNATORY OF SUPPORT TO THE CERRADO MANIFESTO

In 2018, Lidl became a signatory to the Cerrado Manifesto, a call to action to halt deforestation and native vegetation loss in Brazil’s Cerrado. Signatories “commit to working with local and international stakeholders to halt deforestation and native vegetation loss in the Cerrado”.

Responsible and Sustainable Sourcing