Farming News - M&S to turn to Soya-free dairy animal fee to tackle deforestation

M&S to turn to Soya-free dairy animal fee to tackle deforestation

30 Sep 2020
Frontdesk / Livestock

From Thursday (1st October) M&S Food will have completely eliminated soya from the production of all its milk as part of our commitment to end deforestation

We've worked with the 44 British farmers producing M&S RSPCA Assured milk to replace soya feed with alternatives such as rapeseed oil and sugar beet—which are as nutritious and healthy as soya —avoiding nearly 4,000 tonnes of soya being used each year. 

The move marks an important milestone as part of our goal to ensure zero deforestation from the production of its products, as it continues exploring solutions for more sustainable animal feed across its wider supply chain. 

This is part of the M&S innovation programme, which includes a strong focus on diversification of feed from soy, including looking at alternative proteins and different feed formulations. M&S plans to do more in this area over the coming months.  

Paul Willgoss, M&S Food’s Director of Technology, said: 

“Soya is widely used in animal feed across the industry because it’s fast-growing and protein-rich, but we’re all aware of the devastating impact its use is having on Brazilian forests. Our absolute priority as a business is to eliminate deforestation from the production of our products and to get there, we’re looking at both reducing our reliance on soya and finding more responsible ways of sourcing it. We’re incredibly proud of the team’s hard work to move 100% of the animal feed in our milk supply chain to high-performing soya alternatives. This marks a critical step in our journey as we continue working to play our part in ending deforestation.” 

Dr Emma Keller, Head of Food Commodities at WWF said: 

“We’ve become overly dependent on protein-rich soy to feed our food – at huge cost to nature in precious places like the Brazilian Amazon and neighbouring Cerrado. 

“It matters that M&S is stepping up its commitment, because if we transform the way we produce food and change what we choose to eat we can turn things around for the health of our planet. We want to see food companies make the soy they use more sustainable but also to diversify and reduce dependence on single commodities.”

Alongside working collaboratively with other retailers, organisations and NGOs such as WWF to address the challenges of responsible soy, M&S aims to ensure 100% of  the soya used for its products is sourced  through approved or recognised sustainable soya schemes, including the Round Table for Responsible Soy (RTRS) and Proterra, by the end of 2020. 

M&S is continuing to work towards its zero-deforestation pledge, which covers ingredients including soya and palm oil, wood and paper and textiles made from wood pulp.