Brazil is the world's largest sustainable certified soy producer

Posted by Marina

Data from 2018 from the International Responsible Soy Association (RTRS) show that 4.5 million tons of oilseed were certified and made available to the market last year on over 1.2 million hectares. Compared to 2017, there was an increase of 500 thousand tons.

Increasing demand for responsible soy is one of the main incentives for producers to further extend certification of their properties.

Brazil is the largest producer of RTRS soybeans in the world, accounting for over 85% of the total volume. There are currently 226 certified producers in over one million hectares of produced area. This is equivalent to 3.3% of total production in the country already certified by RTRS, totaling 3.9 million tons.

Regarding production by state, the study pointed out that Maranhão and Piauí are the ones that have the highest percentage of certified production in relation to the total production of these states, with 30% and 16%, respectively, and Mato Grosso has the highest production. (1.7 million tons), and the largest Brazilian area.

The productivity in RTRS farms also stands out in relation to the national one. According to Conab, the average production is 56 bags / hectare; In certified farms, this number reaches 63 bags / hectare, which represents an increase of 11.5%. This means that at least 120,000 hectares of land did not need to be converted for agricultural production.

In the properties that follow the RTRS standard, for each 1 hectare of productive area, 0.59 hectares are of preserved native areas. There are more than 600 million trees preserved in these areas and 64 million tons of carbon stored. Therefore, when a company buys a ton of RTRS soy it includes 157 preserved trees or 16 tons of stored carbon.

According to RTRS data, in 2018 throughout Brazil, 3.9 million tons of soybeans were certified on 1,041,886 hectares and there were 595,782 hectares of protected areas. In the Amazon alone, approximately 206,000 hectares and 709,000 tons were RTRS certified and 168,124 hectares of protected areas were registered.

In the Cerrado region, in the same year, there were around 836 thousand hectares and 3,210,789 tons of RTRS soybeans and 427,658 hectares of protected area. This shows that RTRS-certified farmers who adopt sustainable and responsible practices preserve native vegetation areas even more than required by law.

In addition to Brazil, RTRS has certified areas in countries such as Argentina, Uruguay, China, United States and India. “The association is a pioneer in introducing new ways to improve the quality and scope of its soy certification standard, ensuring it has tangible social impacts and minimal environmental impacts, not generating deforestation,” explains Cid Sanches, RTRS External Consultant at Brazil.