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Brazilian and European Soy Value Chain Partners join hands to stimulate Responsible Soy production & trade with Memorandum of Understanding


02 Feb 2017


Agriculture & Food

Lisbon, 19 January 2017 

Today, Aprosoja, ABIOVE, FEDIOL, FEFAC and IDH sign a Memorandum of Understanding in support of Brazilian responsible soy production and its market acceptance in Europe. It is the first time that a direct, formal working relation is established between Brazilian soy producers and key European soy purchasers, sharing a common vision and action plan fostering responsible soy production in Brazil and use in Europe.

This private sector agreement, supported by IDH, the Sustainable Trade Initiative (IDH), supports the Brazilian Forest Code’s objective of preserving natural habitats by promoting sustainable agricultural practices at soy farm level whilst safeguarding community rights in rural areas. 

All parties recognise the complementarity of existing sectoral responsible soy initiatives in both Europe and Brazil. They believe that matching their vision and aligning their actions will accelerate mainstream responsible soy production in Brazil and soy trade in Europe.

In 2015, the EU imported 5.8 million tons of soybeans and 8.4 million tons of soybean meal from Brazil (source: Oil World).


1.    Endrigo Dalcin, President of Aprosoja: "With the signing of the memorandum, the Soja Plus Program will will enter the benchmarking process to be recognized as a responsible production program, serving as a Brazilian soybean passport for the European market.”

2.    Carlo Lovatelli, President of ABIOVE: "Europeans recognize the work of Soja Plus, an economic, social and environmental management program for rural properties, to improve, in a practical and objective way, sustainability in soy farming. The program aims to guide the producer to comply with Brazilian environmental legislation and thus, contributes to the supply of soy and soybean meal that deliver environmental services. Producers and processors have an interest in strengthening the image of Brazilian soybeans in Europe, the largest importer of protein meal for the animal feed industry."

3.    Henri Rieux, President of FEDIOL: “The strength of this agreement is that key players are committing in a chain approach to tackle the issue of sustainable soy production in Brazil and of up-take of sustainable soy products in Europe. We are confident that this improved dialogue will have positive impact and will allow us to better meet the requests of our stakeholders in Europe”.

4.    Ruud Tijssens, President of FEFAC: “With this agreement we can proactively support the sustainable agricultural developments at soy farm level in Brazil and move ever closer to a mainstream market transition of physical responsible soy supply to Europe”.

5.    IDH Soy Program Director Lucian Peppenelenbos: “This agreement is an important step for soy producers and industry to make a direct and verifiable contribution to the ambitious targets of the Mato Grosso government to stop illegal deforestation and reduce deforestation by 90% in the Amazon and 95% in the Cerrado by 2030.It will also be a significant contribution to the national targets of Brazil as part of the Paris Climate Agreement.


Notes to the editor:

1.     Aprosoja - The Mato Grosso soy and Corn Grower Association is an entity that congregates more than 5,000 farmers. Created in 2005, it is a third sector entity focused on programs and initiatives that guarantee legal security for agricultural activities and that increase the sustainability of soybean production in the state. Currently, Aprosoja represents 9,396,349 hectares of area planted with soybeans and a production of 30,469,579 tons, totalling 9.02% of the world’s soybean production. This 2016/17 harvest data, collected by the Instituto Mato-Grossense de Economia Agropecuária (Imea).

2.     ABIOVE - The Brazilian Oilseed Processors Association brings together 13 soybean processors and biodiesel producers, responsible for 60% of the processed and exported oilseeds. Soy Complex (including beans, meal and oil) topped the list of Brazilian exports in 2015, with a US $ 28 billion inflow.

3.     FEDIOL, the EU vegetable oil and protein meal industry association, represents the interests of the European oilseed crushers, vegetable oil refiners and bottlers. FEDIOL members are 12 national associations and associated company members in 5 other EU countries. With about 150 facilities in Europe, the sector provides 20,000 direct employments. Its members process approximately 55 million tonnes of basic products a year, both of EU origin and imported from third country markets. The sector processes notably rapeseed, sunflower seed, soybeans and linseed into oils and meals for food, feed, technical and energy uses essentially on the European market.

4.     FEFAC, the European Compound Feed Manufacturers’ Federation, represents 23 national Associations in 22 EU Member States as well as Associations in Switzerland, Turkey, Serbia, Russia and Norway with observer/associate member status. The European compound feed industry employs over 110,000 persons on app. 4,000 production sites often in rural areas, which offer few employment opportunities.

5.      IDH: The Sustainable Trade Initiative (IDH) is a non-profit organization that brings together front-running companies, civil society organizations and governments in public private partnerships to transform markets towards more environmentally and socially sustainable production, trade and consumption. IDH operates globally in 11 commodity sectors and 11 landscapes in over 40 countries. Together with over 500 partners, IDH develops, drives, co-finances and evaluates innovative business models that have the potential to drive sustainability from niche to norm.


International Commission of Jurists - European Institutions
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ECCO - The European Consulting Company
Food Science & Regulatory Associate
IHI - Innovative Health Initiative
Scientific Project Officer
Project Manager
EUI - European University Institute
Director of the Communications Service
LP Brussels
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VDMA European Office
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