Responsible soy standards approved for field testing
A multi-national team from ProForest has worked closely with the secretariat and the Executive Board of the Roundtable for Responsible Soy (RTRS) since July 2008 to implement a process for the development of a set of standards for responsible soy. The standard was written by a multistakeholder technical Development Group of 26 people – bringing expertise from Civil Society (both environmental and social issues), Industry, Trade, Finance and Soy Producers. ProForest facilitated the process of developing the standard, which was designed to meet the ISEAL Alliance Code of Good Practice for Standards Setting, and which included two periods of public consultation of more than sixty days each. The technical Development Group included representatives from nine countries, who met on 5 occasions in Latin America to produce drafts of the standard, taking into account the comments received via the public consultations – which ran to over 300 pages of comments.
The process was multi-lingual with all meetings run with simultaneous translation in English, Portuguese and Spanish, comments being received in any of those languages and all documents – inputs and outputs being made available in all three languages.
The field testing period will run from June 2009 to June 2010, during which time the RTRS will test the draft standard with a range of soy producers. It is hoped that the standard will be trialed by both large and small soy operations and in sites in a broad range of countries including Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and India. The feedback obtained about the practicality of the criteria, indicators and guidance will be used to develop a final version of the standard for approval by the RTRS General Assembly in 2010.
For more information and to download the RTRS field trial version of the standard, see www.responsiblesoy.org