Animal feed with a sustainability characteristic contains soy that is produced using deforestation, reports Zembla after research with environmental organizations Greenpeace, Environmental Defense and Aidenvironment. Dutch companies sell the meat and dairy for which the “wrong soybean” has been used.
Because trees capture CO2, forests are of great importance to limit global warming. “We as consumers are contributing to deforestation without knowing it,” says Sander Rietveld van Zembla in the CCeit Radio 1 Journal.
“The Netherlands is the fourth importer of soy in the world, partly due to our huge livestock. Dutch companies that use that soy say they dont know exactly where it comes from. We wanted to follow that track and map it out.”
The research of the BNNVARA programme and environmental organizations focused on the Brazilian forest savannah Cerrado, where billions of tonnes of greenhouse gas are trapped. According to the Brazilian State, illegal deforestation and other malpractice are taking place there. The soy that is grown on the spot of the felled trees ends up in the Netherlands and ends up at cattle feed factories. The food goes to animals, after which their dairy and meat ends up in Dutch supermarkets.
The World Wildlife Fund (WWF), one of the initiators behind Roundtable for Responsible Soy (RTRS) no longer has confidence in this quality mark, says it to Zembla. WWF now wants legislation that prohibits the use of soy from deforested areas. Thats what Environmental Defense also wants.
“Forests are the Earths lungs and we really need them to stop dangerous climate change,” says Wouter Kolk. RTRS says in a response to Zembla that there is “still a lot to do”, but that “the impact of responsible production is tangible and visible”.