A dialogue group involving Brazilian soy farmers, suppliers and ProTerra.

Eye in the sky confirms sustainability of salmon’s Brazilian soy supply

The salmon farming industry’s leading position in using sustainable soy in feed has been confirmed by an independent audit that included using satellite images to check that Brazilian farmers were sticking to the rules. 

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Scottish salmon farmers have for some time only used soy that has not been grown on land that had been deforested for soy or for another purpose, such as cattle ranching, and then converted to soy cultivation (conversion soy), and a year ago the Norwegian salmon industry announced that their Brazil suppliers had agreed to become 100% deforestation and conversion free of soy.

The international certification foundation ProTerra established a monitoring and verification method to verify that no farmer that had removed any forest would be allowed to sell soy to the suppliers. The newly published audit report, which included use of satellite imagery to identify if forest had been cut down, confirms that the soy supply chain has become deforestation and conversion-free.

The audit report also checked that the farmers did not have any work related to slavery or illegal labour and that there was no agriculture overlaps with indigenous lands.

Catarina Martins: "Our suppliers have achieved a 100% deforestation free supply chain as promised."

Cooperation paying off

“This transparent process shows that our suppliers have achieved a 100% deforestation free supply chain as promised. This comes in addition to the fact that we have already sourced deforestation-free soy for our feed production for a number of years,” said Catarina Martins, chief technology and sustainability officer for the world’s biggest salmon farmer, Mowi.

“It is encouraging to see that our proactive cooperation with suppliers on sustainability and transparency is paying off.”

There are three companies that deliver soy to the Norwegian salmon industry. Two of them, Caramuru and CJ Selecta, have undergone audits. The third company, Cervejaria Petropolis-Imcopa, is undergoing a corporate change and a separate audit is being conducted now. There was no non-conformity observed by the auditor, but there were some improvement opportunities identified.

2.4m tonnes

The Norway salmon industry’s Brazilian value chain includes 5,136 direct suppliers that grow 2.4 million tonnes of soy on land covering more 33,294 km². Last year 24 suppliers were blocked because they didn’t meet the supply criteria.

“It is great news that Brazilian soy producers for the very first time are confirmed to be fully deforestation and conversion-free in all their operations,” said Nils Hermann Ranum, of Rainforest Foundation Norway.

“Demanding that suppliers are fully deforestation-free is necessary to stop ongoing deforestation in Brazil. Private sector companies have a responsibility to avoid contributing to deforestation and environmental damage, and the Norwegian salmon industry and their suppliers set an important example that other food producers must follow.”