Waitrose has become the first UK retailer to introduce responsibly sourced non-GM soya for animal feed from Europe, reducing its reliance upon South American supply. The supermarket chain has landed its first shipment of soya grown in the Danube region of Europe in October, making its supply chain closer to home. The move marks the start of the retailer’s plans to replace responsibly sourced soya beans from non-deforested land in Brazil, lowering the risk to its supply chain as demand for South American Soya from the developing world increases.
Waitrose Managing Director Rob Collins said: “Everyone knows the difficulty of sourcing soya from South America. It fits perfectly into our strategy to improve our supply chain security by sourcing animal feed from raw materials grown at home or within the UK and Europe. This is fantastic, innovative and determined thinking and the result of three years’ work by our agriculture team. It fits perfectly into our strategy to improve our supply chain security by sourcing animal feed from raw materials grown at home or within the UK and Europe.”
World Wildlife Fund (WWF) in its 2016 report placed Waitrose in the top position, saying the retailer was well on the way to using 100% sustainable soya by 2020. Eleven per cent of the raw materials Waitrose uses for feed are soya, with 3 per cent of this GM.
In taking the first step towards a completely sustainable animal feed supply chain by opening up a supply route from Europe, Waitrose worked closely with the Danube Soya Producers Association (Donau Soja), a group made up of European soya growers, millers and end users.
Andrew Saunders, Director of Agriculture at Dalehead Foods, adds: “We have recently taken our first delivery of European soya. A number of Waitrose supply chains have carried out trials on the use of European soya, and we are excited to be the first supply chain to use this source.’’