At Morrisons we are committed to using sustainable soy in our supply chains.
Soy is an incredibly valuable and versatile commodity. While customers may be familiar with soy used in tofu, soy sauce or as a dairy substitute, the high protein bean (>30%) is a core component of farmed animal feeds, particularly for poultry and pigs. Increasing global demand for meat is in turn driving the expansion of soy cultivation.
While soy can be produced in temperate or tropical climates, South American soy is important for global and European markets, and growth on the continent puts pressure on ecosystems of global ecological value, like the Cerrado in Brazil and Gran Chaco in Argentina. This risks increased rates of deforestation and land clearance and encroachment on the rights of indigenous communities.
We are committed to sustainable sourcing and recognise the need for action to address the challenges production of soy poses. Our approach aims to remove the non-essential reliance on soy in animal feeds and ensure its sustainable production where it is used
In 2018, we became signatories to the Cerrado Manifesto Statement of Support - committing to support efforts to halt forest loss associated with agricultural commodity production and to working with industry, producers, governments and civil society to protect globally important natural landscapes.
We are founding members of the UK Soy Manifesto - A collective UK industry commitment launched in 2021, representing >60% of the UK’s soy footprint, to work together to ensure all physical shipments of soy to the UK are deforestation and conversion free (cut-off date of January 2020 at the latest), fully implemented immediately where possible and no later than 2025.
We are also members of the UK Roundtable on Sustainable Soy - A collaboration between the UK Government and Industry which includes a commitment to source soya that is legal and cultivated in a way that protects against conversion of forests and valuable native vegetation.
Working to assure supply chains and reduce reliance:
We are phasing in the use of third party certification to make progress our commitment to sustainably sourcing soy:
- Soy used in production of our chicken, eggs and fish must be certified to a Morrisons recognised standard*
- From 2023, soy used in production of Morrisons pork products must be certified
- We are working with producers of fresh milk, beef and lamb who are encouraged not to use soy in feed as alternatives are available; we are also following this work up as part of our Net Zero Agriculture programme.
We are also working with industry stakeholders on alternative systems to provide assurance that soy is deforestation and conversion free (e.g. assured confirmation of origin and deforestation status). These will be phased into our supply chains as they are developed to help support verified claims around the deforestation and conversion free status.
In 2021 we used:
- 174,838 tonnes of soy in animal feed soy used in animal feeds
- 17% of our 2021 footprint is covered by a deforestation free supplier claims supported by evidence of certification
Please note our figures on deforestation claims are provided as an indication of progress. We are working as part of the UK soy manifesto to establish a framework for making verified deforestation and conversion free claims related to soy used in UK supply chains and when this work is concluded we will align our reporting around claims.
- 2018 Signatory to the Cerrado Manifesto Statement of support
- 2020 launch soy policy and time bound plan
- 2020 Member of the UK Roundtable on Sustainable Soy
- Founding signatories of UK soy manifesto
*Morrisons recognised standard - Morrisons recognises certification standards that are compliant with all essential FEFAC soy sourcing guidelines and the ‘desired’ criteria 34 - “No soy is produced in converted natural ecosystems (natural forest, native grasslands, wetlands, swamps, peatlands, savannas, steep slopes and riparian areas) after a specific cut-off date no later than 2020”.