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 verified deforestation and conversion (vDCF) free soy by 2025.

Our approach to responsibly sourced 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

Our soy footprint data


As part of our soy strategy, we have committed to collecting our soy footprint data annually. Each year we work with 3Keel (a third-party consultancy) and our suppliers to collect data on the amount of soy used within the Lidl GB supply chain and understand where it comes from. Our data collection is a requirement for all our Lidl GB fresh poultry, meat, dairy, eggs, and fish suppliers and those that use soy embedded in our products. We rely on our suppliers to provide us with this data and are working with them to improve the consistency and accuracy year on year.

To promote transparency and track progress towards our targets, we have committed to publicly reporting our soy footprint and where our soy comes from.

Our Footprint



Soy Footprint (tonnes)¹



% of footprint that is verified deforestation and conversion free (vDCF)²



% of footprint that is covered by certification3




% of where the soy in our supply chain is sourced from4


















Multi-origin (incl. South America) and origin not disclosed




Supplier Engagement5



% of our suppliers in scope with a deforestation policy for soy in place or in development



% of our suppliers in scope with an action plan to achieving deforestation free soy



% of our soy volume covered by UK Soy Manifesto signatories



% of our suppliers in scope that have been contacted to implement UK Soy Manifesto requirements6





For more information on the collective progress of all the UK Soy Manifesto signatories, please visit the UK Soy Manifesto website here.

For more information and reports on how the UK market is sourcing soy, please visit the 3Keel website here, where they publish reports annually.


We understand that we can’t achieve these commitments alone, and so we have taken actions to ensure our suppliers move towards vDCF soy with us:

  • We inform our suppliers that we require soy used in animal feed from specific FEFAC benchmarked certification, via our commercial contracts
  • We use CSR plans that we have in place with strategic suppliers to communicate and cascade the UK Soy Manifesto requirements
  • We are working with suppliers to source vDCF soy or on innovative trials to remove soy from the supply chain
  • As members of the Retail Soy Group, we have supported the development of e-learnings for capacity building across the supply chain. This e-learning can be accessed here.

¹Footprint covers Lidl GB suppliers 

²Defined as soy that can be shown at the point of import to the UK to be legally produced and not linked to deforestation or conversion of land with a cut-off date latest January 2020

3Certifications schemes including Cargill Triple S, CRS (area mass balance and credits), ADM responsible Soybean Standard v2, Proterra (mass balance and segregated), RTRS (mass balance, regional mass balance and credits), VLOG, ISCC Plus, USSAP

4There is more work to be done to understand the origin of the soy in our supply chain. We are working with our suppliers towards reporting this data more precisely

5The supplier engagement programme is only applicable to Lidl GB suppliers that are in scope of the soy data collection

6We are currently working on a 2023 communication plan for our suppliers 


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'.


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