The Manifesto represents a collective commitment by stakeholders to ensure soy supplies are not linked to deforestation or ecosystem conversion practices.
In November 2018, France published the National Strategy against Imported Deforestation (Stratégie Nationale de lutte contre la Déforestation Importée, SNDI) to end the import of unsustainable forest or agricultural products contributing to deforestation, including soy, by 2030.
As soy is present in supply chains through animal feed, many actors in the sector have been mobilising to identify solutions and achieve the objective of responsible soy sourcing.
Faced with the observation that deforestation/conversion in Brazil is growing at a worrying rate, particularly in the Cerrado biome, a shared reflection has emerged: only by mobilising all stakeholders will it be possible to guarantee that imported soya is linked neither to deforestation nor to the conversion of natural ecosystems.
Thus, at the end of 2020, market players (retailers, industrials, NGOs) joined forces to make a joint commitment to put an end to deforestation and conversion practices for the production of soy. This alignment was made through the signature of a Manifesto 'for a mobilisation of French actors to fight against imported deforestation linked to soy'.
This Manifesto was updated at the end of 2022 to include tools for responsible soy sourcing.
In particular, it specifies how this Manifesto fits in with the European legislation aimed at combating imported deforestation, in particular in anticipation of the ‘Regulation on the making available on the Union market as well as export from the Union of certain commodities and products associated with deforestation and forest degradation'. By committing themselves through the Manifesto, the signatories anticipate future regulatory obligations. Furthermore, the Manifesto goes further than the legislation as it takes into account the challenges of ecosystem conversion, not just deforestation.
This Manifesto aims to unite as many players as possible (industrials, feed producers, traders, etc.) around the same commitments, in order to shift the market towards responsible soy, outside the traditional certification schemes. This is a voluntary approach, which is intended to be common. The principle is based on the adoption of the same commitments and similar criteria, which are then cascaded up the value chain to the place where the soy is produced.
Responsible soy is defined as soy that meets the expectations of the SNDI, i.e. where physical control ensures that imported soy is not linked to legal or illegal deforestation and conversion practices, based on the cut-off date of 1 January 2020 at the latest.
The ZDC (Zero Deforestation and Conversion) methodology, developed by Earthworm and recognised by the signatories of the Manifesto, allows importing of soy that meets the expectations of the SNDI into the country.
In addition, the SNDI platform has published a dashboard for assessing the deforestation/ conversion risks associated with French soy imports. This tool makes it possible to check the risk exposure of soy.
Finally, this approach is intended to be extended to the European level: we are in dialogue with and encourage other European countries to develop an initiative similar to the Manifesto, based on the same commitments and equivalent tools, so that the impact applies to all soy imports into the European Union, and not just to France.
The main commitments, common to all stakeholders, are the following:
Below you will find the Manifesto in English and French. The commitments are detailed in the Manifesto
Earthworm Foundation has been mandated to coordinate the initiative with the signatories and to ensure the implementation of the commitments through working groups.
Since the Manifesto was published, many companies have decided to support the initiative by signing the Manifesto. The diversity and the number of signatories ensure that the commitments are operationalised throughout the supply chain.
To date, 28 companies and NGOs have signed the Soy Manifesto.
Industrials users of animal feed
A ce jour, aucun importateur de soja n’a signé le Manifeste
Le Manifeste est soutenu par le Secrétaire d’Etat à la Biodiversité. Il a été présenté et salué par Bérangère Abba lors de l’anniversaire des 2 ans de la SNDI du 18 novembre 2020.
For more information
To become a signatory of the Manifesto and join the common dynamic, a form is available to companies.
For any questions about the Manifesto and/or its operationalisation, I invite you to contact Earthworm France at +33 3 20 31 63 39, or the project coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To know more about Earthworm Foundation: https://www.earthworm.org/