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Responsibly sourced soy nourishes both people and the planet.

Responsibly sourced soy nourishes both people and the planet.


Soy is the most produced oilseed in the world. Soy is coveted for its nutritional and functional properties. This lipid and protein-rich seed is mainly cultivated for animal feed, as 85% of global soy production is consumed by livestock. It is also used in many sectors, such as food, biofuel, and industrial applications.

To meet global demand, particularly from China, the USA and Europe, soy production has exploded over the past 60 years. The global area of soy production doubled between 2000 and 2019, with Brazil, Argentina and the USA representing almost 80% of soy production worldwide.

This rapid expansion has been putting pressure on the environment and communities, especially in South America. To produce soy, land is being converted from natural ecosystems such as forests, savannahs and grasslands. There are numerous consequences of carbon emissions, rain cycles, droughts, and loss of biodiversity.

Soy farming has also been linked to land grabbing and the displacement of populations.


Soy is the second largest driver of tropical deforestation, after cattle ranching (Source: WWF)
The global area of soy production doubled between 2000 and 2019, from 26.4 MHa to 55.1 MHa (Source: Rainforest Foundation Norway)
About 9% of all of the deforestation in South America between 2000 and 2016 was linked to soybean production (Source Rainforest Foundation Norway)

Our Soy Strategy

Our strategic ambition is to use the power of the supply chain to help transform the soy industry to become Nature and People Positive.

We envision a soy industry that protects human rights, the resilience of farmers and communities, the sustainability of ecosystems and forests, and the regeneration of the soils through the transformation of cultivation practices.

For this purpose, Earthworm relies on its expertise in three work streams:

  • To achieve "clean supplies" by developing solutions to pilot, monitor and verify global supply chains at scale and ensure they are free from deforestation and conversion of natural ecosystems.
  • To achieve "responsible suppliers" by engaging suppliers to commit and implementing a pragmatic program through a collaborative process.
  • To achieve "people and nature positive sourcing landscapes" by implementing ecosystem protection and regenerative practices, for people and the environment in key sourcing regions. Assessment, training, land use plans and conflict resolution support the protection of human rights and the resilience of communities. Conservation and restoration plans, including incentives for protection, will promote the sustainability of ecosystems and forests. The transformation of cultivation practices will help to regenerate soil fertility, protect water sources and biodiversity, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

With a strong international presence, both in soy-producing countries (US, Brazil) and in consuming countries (Europe), Earthworm covers global supply chains. We also collaborate with NGOs, public authorities, academic experts, and investors to ensure we have the impact we want.

Earthworm’s Soy Programme

Earthworm engages with our partners in long-term projects to drive impact in supply chains and landscapes. Our vision is to deploy open-source, industry-wide, credible, and practical approaches for soy sustainability. We offer support to companies to build Nature and People Positive supply chains.

  • Strategic advice: develop soy policies and commitments, guidance on deforestation-free methodologies and tools. See our work under the French Soy Manifesto.
  • Transparency or "getting to know the supply chain": soy footprint, traceability, risk assessment of soy origin, evaluation of soy suppliers. See our work under the Zero Deforestation and Conversion (ZDC) methodology.
  • Supplier engagement: We work with downstream suppliers to sensitise and engage in soy policy, and with upstream suppliers to implement and participate in transformation interventions. We also provide support on grievance tracking and resolution.
  • Field transformation: We identify local field interventions that are making a positive impact, including finance mechanisms for sustainable soy, and build connections to suppliers so that they can provide direct and indirect support to transformation initiatives
  • Monitoring and evaluation: learning and reporting on sustainable soy interventions, identification of sustainable soy intervention's success factors, and comparison among multiple interventions
  • Reporting: Support companies to report against external frameworks and internal KPIs.

Learn more: Lidl is committed to a “zero deforestation and conversion” soy supply.

The Soy Manifesto

To create a consistent European market demand for sustainable soy, we coordinate the French Soy Manifesto, a collective commitment to ensure soy supplies are not linked to deforestation or conversion of natural ecosystems.

Our work to promote the Manifesto amongst the largest European soy importers has led to adopting similar initiatives in the Netherlands and the UK.

Zero Deforestation and Conversion

In 2022, the method was tested on soymeal shipments between Brazil and France. A total of 231,531 T of Brazilian soymeal was analysed by Earthworm Foundation, representing approximately 12% of annual soymeal imports to France.

Learn more about the ZDC Methodology

News & Stories

Jan 17, 2024

Earthworm and Louis Dreyfus Company collaborate to ensure responsible soy sourcing from Brazil to France

Jul 15, 2021

A profile of Karina from our team in Ecuador

Nov 18, 2020

Opportunities for real change in the French soy market