Round Table initiatives and voluntary standards


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Presentation by Gert van der Bijl, international programme coordinator Soy during the Global Food Security Conference – Food Security challenges and solutions
5th and 6th November 2012, Shanghai China.

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Round Table initiatives and voluntary standards

  1. 1. Round Table initiatives and voluntary standards Gert van der Bijl Solidaridad Network International Program Coordinator Soy and Livestock Global Food Security Conference – Food Security challenges and solutions 5th and 6th November 2012, Shanghai China
  2. 2. 20 years of experience in developing sustainable production chains• 9 offices worldwide with 200 staff• (co)- Founder of: – Max Havelaar: first fair-trade label for coffee (1988), – Fairtrade International (FLO) – Utz Certified, standard for sustainable coffee, tea and cocoa• Working in coffee, tea, cocoa, fruit, cotton & textiles, sugarcane, palm oil, soy, gold and livestock – Supporting farmers implementing sustainable practices – Working with companies and Round Tables to implement responsible sourcing strategies
  3. 3. Our global challenge Feed 9 bln. in 2050 - definitely possible, but challenge to combine with: Scarcity of resources - while conserving biodiversity and forests, land and water and reduce climate change Reduce poverty This requires Inclusive Development
  4. 4. Our experience: more and more companies see social and env. sustainability as self interest• Not just philantropy or ‘costs’, but for various reasons: – Supply security (e.g. Mars) – Risk aversion (avoid negative campaigns or publicity) – Consumers want and demand it – Resource efficiency – Way to connect to own employees and stakeholders – Increasing brand value – ……• More NGOs realize that companies can be part of solution rather than part of the problem• Many companies and NGOs wish to cooperate on sustainability not because they like each other, but because they need each other
  5. 5. Round table initiatives• Producers, Buyers and Civil Society Organizations cooperate to improve sector sustainability performance and make sustainability mainstream: – e.g. RTRS: 180 members from 21 countries, incl. soy producers, traders (Cargill), retail (Carrefour), banks, CSOs (WWF) etc (RSPO . 750 members)• First RTs started in ‘90s (1993: FSC/ forest and 1999: MSC / wild fish)• Start: defining main issues / differ by product and country• Promoting sustainability by: – Exchange on good practices and innovation – Producer support – Codes of conduct (+ compliant mechanism) – Standard + Certification• Many new Roundtable initiatives started last decade, incl.: palm oil , soy, aquaculture, sugarcane, cotton and beef
  6. 6. Development of RT certification• Certification: – guideline for producers – linking producers and buyers• Share of global production certified through RTs: – Palmoil : 10% (start 2007) – Sugarcane: 2.2% (start 2010) – Soy: 0.3% (start 2011) 500.000 ton: 480.000 ton South America + 16.000 ton certified in India
  7. 7. RTRS and soy as exampleSoy: strongest increase in demand of all cropsover last two decades, mainly through area expansion(44 mln ha in 1990 > 100 mln ha in 2010),with social and environemntal consequencesLargest producers:- USA, Brazil, Argentina: mainy large scale- China and India: total 40 mln smallholders
  8. 8. RTRS Production StandardRTRS Standard as example–General: 5 Principles:1.Legal compliance & good business practice2.Responsible labor conditions3.Responsible community relations4.Environmental responsibility5.Good agriculture practices•5 Principles translated into 28 criteria and 98 auditableindicators•National interpretation with local stakeholders in Brazil,Argentina, Paraguay, Bolivia, India and China
  9. 9. Example: responsible soy in India• 7 mln families produce soy in India on 9 mln ha: – 60 – 70% family income• Low productivity (1 ton/ha)• Expansion 5-6% / yr.• 40 /50% soymeal for export, soy oil for local market• Sustainability issues include: – poverty, – lack of knowledge of good agricultural practices, such as on pesticides – inequality man / woman, – lack of farmers organization
  10. 10. RTRS in India• In 2012 30.000 soy smallholders in India trained in: – RTRS principles and certification – Good Agricultural Practices – Safe application of pesticides (incl. protectory clothing)• Participants have increased yield by 20-30% – With less input use – Higher income, less poverty• Supported by RTRS members companies• In 2011: 16.000 ton soy in India RTRS certified• Plan to increase to >100.000 farmers next years involving traders and buyers
  11. 11. RTRS in China• In 2013 start of 3 yearproject withChina SoybeanIndustry Association: – Yr. 1: RTRS certification on two large scale farms: Sinograin North and Nenjiang (50.000 ha) – Yr. 2 +3 : train 28.000 smallholders, building on experience in China• In May 2013: yearly RTRS General Assembly in Beijing (all invited!!)
  12. 12. Conclusions:1. Challenges for food security: a. to produce enough for 9 bln. people in 2050 while conserving our natural resources b. living wages for rural population to have access to food2. Governments have a role, but also producers, buyers and Civil Society3. Potential is there. Cooperation needed4. Roundtable initiatives facilitate this cooperation by: a. exchanging good practices b. linking buyers and Civil Society to producers (through certification)
  13. 13. Thank you!Find us on or email