HKScan has committed to promote more responsibly produced soy. Through the commitment, HKScan ensures that, by the end of 2018, all soy used in its meat value chain will meet the strict requirements set by either Round Table on Responsible Soy (RTRS) or ProTerra.
“Soy is an important source of protein in animal feed also in our home markets. We see our commitment to responsible soy as a significant element of sustainable food production. It supports us in ensuring that the entire value chain from animal feed to the consumer’s plate is environmentally and socially sustainable,” says Vera Söderberg, corporate responsibility manager at HKScan.
WWF has assessed the performance of 133 European companies on their use of responsible soy in the animal feed used to produce their meat, eggs and dairy products. The results have been stated in WWF Soy Scorecard. HKScan Sweden has reached an excellent score in the assessment – 22 points out of 24, and is said to be “leading the way.” The HKScan Group as a whole scored 14 points, and is “well on the path” on the journey to responsible soy, according to WWF.
HKScan is working in all its home markets to fulfil its commitment. Yearly plans are prepared for each country to ensure the most effective way of proceeding, partly based on cooperation with national feed producers.
“Already today we make sure that responsible soy is used in our value chain although the share of it varies from country to country,” says Söderberg.
In Sweden, where HKScan is also a member of the Swedish Soy Dialogue network (Svenska Sojadialogen), the company reached its target in 2015; all of the soy used in the value chain of HKScan Sweden's products is certified according to either RTRS or ProTerra criteria.
“In Denmark, the share of certified soy in animal feed corresponded to 18 percent of the production volume in 2015. Also in Finland, we have continued to make progress, and recently became members of the Finnish soy commitment,” continues Söderberg.
Contributing to responsible soy development
The use of responsible soy meets various stakeholders’ expectations of high standards of ethical responsibility throughout the entire meat value chain.
Soy is one of the world’s most widely cultivated crops today. It is used as an ingredient in many foodstuffs as well as a component in livestock feed in the meat industry.
The continual expansion of conventional soy cultivation can have considerable environmental impacts particularly in South America. These include deforestation, increased greenhouse gas emissions, depletion of biodiversity and soil erosion. Soy farming is also reported to be associated with social problems such as deprivation of land from local farmers and remuneration of workers below minimum wages.
HKScan is one of the largest meat producers in Northern Europe, and its membership in and commitment to Round Table on Responsible Soy (RTRS) will substantially contribute to responsible soy development in Europe.