Towards sustainable soy

Soy is one of the most important crops on the planet. The tiny soybean is nutrient-dense and packed with protein, making it suitable for human consumption and the production of vegetable oil and animal feed. Rabobank is convinced that a sustainable soy industry can be the norm. But the sector faces challenges, particularly related to deforestation and low market demand for responsibly-produced soy.

With clients at every level of the soy value chain, Rabobank is uniquely positioned to help the sector transition towards sustainable soy production – from encouraging the cultivation of underused farmland to shifting market demand and accountability. We believe it is a shared responsibility. With our knowledge, networks and financial solutions we encourage our clients in the whole value chain to keep improving, step by step.

Soy: an introduction

Soy: the hidden commodity

Our commitment to responsible soy

  • Our Sustainability Policy outlines our core values and guidelines for responsible soy production and purchasing. We do not accept deforestation, land grabbing or violation of human rights.
  • We monitor all of our clients involved in the soy industry to ensure they comply with our Soy Sector Policy (Rabobank Sustainability Policy Framework). This includes clients directly involved with soy production as well as clients indirectly involved via the supply chain. Tools like the Client Photo enable us to track and engage clients on their sustainability performance.
  • The categories range from ‘sustainable leader’ (A rating) to ‘does not adhere to Rabobank’s sustainability policy’ (D- rating). Low-rated clients must implement an action plan to improve their rating we call this client dialogues. We report about these dialogues in our annual report. Rabobank terminates the relationship with clients that do not adhere to Rabobank’s policy.
  • Rabobank is an active member of relevant soy networks like the Round Table on Responsible Soy (RTRS), with a seat on the executive board. The RTRS promotes responsible production, processing and trading of soy, including certification. Rabobank is also a member of the Consumer Goods Forum, which brings consumer goods manufacturers and retailers together to achieve zero net deforestation by 2020.
  • Rabobank is an adopting bank of the Soft Commodities Compact (SCC), which is a voluntary initiative led by the Consumer Goods Forum and the Banking Environment Initiative. The SCC mobilizes the banking industry to promote sustainable soft commodity supply chains of, for example, soy.
  • In partnership with the UN, Rabobank unlocks finance for deforestation-free, sustainable agriculture and land use with the AGRI3 Fund.
  • WWF Brazil and Rabobank have partnered together to measure, monitor and incentivize responsible, regenerative land use in Brazil’s soy sector.

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