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Responsible Sourcing: A Soy Toolkit

Traders, food processors and retailers face a fast-evolving landscape of initiatives which aim to decouple soy production and trading from deforestation and habitat conversion.

The Soy Toolkit aims to provide a clear and accessible guide to a wide range of existing and emerging solutions available at each of the five key stages of the soy responsible sourcing process.5-element approach

Structure of the Soy Toolkit

The Soy Tookit is structured around the five key steps needed to help companies decouple soy from deforestation. Although presented in a sequence, these steps can be implemented in parallel and be re-visited and detailed depending on the progress with other elements. The Toolkit considers resources available for the implementation of each element and specific guidance depending on where a company sits in the soy supply chain.

Element 1 – Set goals and plan the Implementation

In this element, companies will find useful information on how to devise a plan to implement a commitment on soy or reduced deforestation (considering and integrating it to the company’s existing policies, processes and initiatives). For it to be successful, it will be important that the implementation plan is communicated, and that internal support is built.

Element 2 – Understand supply chain risks

Implementation of commitments happens on the ground by soy producers. In this element companies will find useful information on how to define a traceability process to map their supply chains. Depending on where they sit on the supply chain, different strategies are needed. The traceability information feeds into a risk analysis process, to understand which risks of non-compliance with the policy these companies might face and plan for further engagement. The risk analysis will help define which suppliers to prioritize for further engagement, focusing resources where they are most needed.

Element 3 – Engage suppliers

In this element, companies will work with their direct suppliers to raise awareness and invite them to commit to reduced deforestation policies. In order to assess their performance as they implement the policies, companies will need to plan what will be requested from suppliers and develop and support implementation of an action plan to ensure suppliers are working towards meeting the sourcing policies.

Element 4 – Establish a purchase control system

Clarity over companies’ actions depending on suppliers’ different levels of performance allows for faster and safer decisions. In this element, companies will understand how to implement a purchase control system that will enable sourcing procedures to address the requirements of sourcing policies, bearing in mind the prevailing sourcing models. These systems outline what to do when a supplier performs below the desired level, including the conditions in which a supplier should be delisted, but also the conditions for reinstating a supplier after exclusion/suspension.

Element 5 – Monitor, verify and report

It is important to monitor, verify and report progress both internally and externally, not only to track progress and review goals and strategies, but also to make the process transparent. Monitoring, verification and reporting help to ensure credibility and accountability for commitments and implementation and in this element, companies will be able to get more information on it.

How it is delivered?

The Soy Toolkit will bring these five elements together and at each stage make it clear where relevant tools and initiatives can support.

  • In the coming months, a series of briefing notes on each of the elements in the five-part approach will be published here. These briefings aim to give companies greater insight into how to implement each element as well as how to engage with the wide range of tools/initiatives available.
  • Soy Toolkit workshops are planned to run alongside major soy events convened by organisations such as the Roundtable on Responsible Soy (RTRS), the Consumer Goods Forum (CGF) and the Tropical Forest Alliance (TFA) 2020.
  • The Soy Toolkit training is also available for companies (upon request). 

Implementation and funding partners

The Soy Toolkit is being developed by Proforest as part of the Good Growth Partnership's Responsible Demand Project, thanks to financial support from the Global Environment Facility through World Wildlife Fund.

Download the Soy Toolkit briefing series

These briefings aim to give companies greater insight into how to implement each element as well as how to engage with the wide range of tools/ initiatives available. Each briefing corresponds to one of the elements in the five-part approach. Download the briefing series here.