UK industry leaders from 27 major businesses, including all of the biggest UK grocery retailers – Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s, Waitrose, Marks and Spencer and Iceland – and a group of restaurant brands have signed the UK soy manifesto.
This commits them to cutting deforestation and habitat destruction out of UK soy supply chains as soon as possible, and by 2025 at the latest.
In order to ensure rapid progress towards this goal, all signatories agree to:
1. Setting a robust deforestation- and conversion-free commitment – so no soy arriving in the UK is responsible for habitats being cleared for agriculture after January 2020
2. Asking direct suppliers to adopt the same commitment – and require that of their suppliers as well
3. Writing Manifesto commitments into contracts and supporting suppliers to ensure targets are met
4. Publicly sharing details of their progress
5. Support improved reporting, in order to check that soy coming into the UK is not responsible for deforestation or destruction of other ecosystems.
Combined, the signatories represent nearly 2m tonnes of soy purchases each year and more than half (nearly 60%) of the UK’s total consumption.
Tesco CEO Ken Murphy and WWF-UK CEO Tanya Steele spoke at the UK soy manifesto’s formal virtual launch.
Tanya Steele, WWF’s chief executive, said: “We must end deforestation and habitat destruction from soy production as a matter of urgency if we’re to have any chance of limiting global warming to 1.5°C and reversing the loss of nature.
“Industry now needs to ramp up its action and ambition to combat the devastation of ecosystems. The UK Soy Manifesto presents the chance for a real change and all soy users should commit to it. We won’t forget those who failed to step up to protect our planet.”
The UK government added: “The UK Government welcomes the leadership role UK companies are taking to drive the transition to deforestation-free soy supply chains through the UK Soy Manifesto. Initiatives like the manifesto can complement Government efforts to meet our climate and environment objectives.”