When people hear the word “soy” most of them think of soy milk and meat substitutes such as tofu. But many of us don’t realise that soybeans are present in more than half of the products in the supermarket, in one way or another, and that we consume more soy than we think.
The majority of soybeans are used to manufacture soybean oil and protein rich soymeal, an important ingredient in livestock feed, used for the production of meat, milk and eggs. Soybean oil is also found in many other products, such as detergents and biodiesel.
The global consumption of soy is increasing, partly because of population growth, but also because of rising prosperity in countries such as China. This has led to an explosive growth in worldwide meat consumption, leading in turn to an increasing need for fodder, and thus soy.
Soy production provides income, but also has great social, environmental and economic impacts in countries where soy is grown. To address these problems and to seek solutions, Dutch civil society organisations founded the Dutch Soy Coalition in 2004. The coalition collaborates with scientists, the private sector and civil society organisations in soy producing, processing and consuming countries to fi nd ways to reduce the negative effects of soy production.
The Dutch Soy Coalition focuses on the three R’s of Replacement, Reduction and Responsibility: Replacement of imported soy in animal feed, Reduction of soy consumption and taking a Responsible approach to soybean production.
This publication is mainly focused on the two R’s of Replacement and Responsibility.
In the Netherlands, various parties are committed to ensuring that we will only process and use responsible soy. But how are these developments evol ving? Are things going in the right direction? The Dutch Soy Coalition addresses these questions, and more, in the latest edition of the Soy Barometer, the third in its series. For more details, please see the background report, which you can order from the Dutch Soy Coalition.