Protecting forests with our soy commitment

What is soy/soya - and what do I call it?

Soya and soy are the same ingredient but when it’s used in food and animal feed products the food industry calls it soy. 99% of the soy we use as a business is used as animal feed in supply chains rather than a meat free product, because it’s high in protein.

Our soy footprint and how we currently source

Our soy footprint is a way to measure the impact the Co-op’s use of soy has on the land where it is grown. Our aim is to minimise our impact on the natural world and replenish the natural resources we use were possible.

Currently all the soy we source is covered by Round Table on Responsible Soy (RTRS) through credits. These credits mean that we support farmers who are growing soy responsibly.

This is good already but we’re committed to doing more, and we want to start moving away from RTRS credits and into direct sourcing of sustainable soy from farmers. As a full member of RTRS, we report publically on our use of soy.

Co-op’s commitment

We are making sure that all the soy we use in Co-op food products is covered by zero deforestation and sustainable soy credits. We are also working with our suppliers to make sure that 100% of the soy used to feed animals in our supply chain is zero deforestation and sustainably sourced by 2025.

This commitment all reduces our impact on the planet, works to replenish the environment where soy is grown and helps to build a sustainable future for soy farmers.

How we're doing it


With our suppliers, we will continue to measure how we’re doing annually - including detail on the origin of the soy suppliers use, companies supplying the soy, first port of entry to Europe, country, area origin and amounts used in animal feed.


We will work with our suppliers on sustainable feed innovation and on reducing the environmental impact of our farming groups.


We are members of the UK Round Table on Soy, with a shared goal of a secure, resilient, sustainable supply of soy to the UK. We also support industry initiatives such as the Cerrado Manifesto- a call to action to halt deforestation and native vegetation loss in Brazil’s Cerrado, where soy is grown.

Read our full plan here:


  1. Co-op will cover all use of soy with RTRS credits for footprints of 2018, 2019 & 2020. This will be reviewed in 2020 in line with the plans below.
  2. We will develop our policy on direct use of soy in products in 2019 to be published in 2020.
  3. Fresh protein, eggs & dairy suppliers cover use of soy through credits or physically sustainable soy by January 2021
  4. Chicken, Pork & Egg suppliers to have at least 25% of their soy through zero deforestation Mass Balance soy by January 2021
  5. In partnership with our fresh protein suppliers we will publish our action plans for each species in 2020 mapping the journey to zero deforestation soy to 2025, including agreed interim targets
  6. All fresh protein suppliers to have 100% physical zero deforestation & sustainably sourced soy by end of 2025 (this includes mass balance)
  7. In partnership with our wider supply base (i.e. who use protein, dairy, eggs & soy as an ingredient) we develop our action plans in 2020.
  8. We will publically report on our progress every year, including annual data collection with suppliers.


  1. We will work with our suppliers and other partners on sustainable and innovative feed solutions and share our findings
  2. We will engage with feed companies to drive our action plans and champion sustainable feed


  1. Signatory of Support to the Cerrado manifesto – a call to action to halt deforestation and native vegetation loss in Brazil’s Cerrado.
  2. Founding member of the UK Roundtable for Sustainable Soy – The roundtable brings together significant players in the UK soya market, providing a pre-competitive space for companies and industry associations to work together to achieve a shared goal of a secure, resilient, sustainable supply of soya to the UK.
  3. Member, Round Table for Responsible Soy (RTRS) – The Round Table on Responsible Soy is a civil organization that promotes responsible production, processing and trading of soy on a global level.