27 January, 2021

RTRS 2020 highlights

Turning challenges into achievements and new opportunities

As the world reacted to the COVID-19 pandemic, RTRS remained on target, expanding and consolidating its global reach. We proved our resilience in the face of the evolving demands of the global soy value chain. We adapted and remained flexible, sustaining a productive dialogue with different soy sector organizations. We continued to evolve and meet our objectives.

But perhaps our greatest achievement in the context of the challenges exposed by the pandemic was demonstrating that RTRS is a credible and transparent tool for achieving global sustainability goals. We watched as the world came to understand that it is not a matter of choosing between soy and nature or human rights, but it is about people, environment and economy co-existing side by side.

We know there is a long road ahead and much work left to do, but we are more convinced than ever that RTRS is a trustworthy multistakeholder platform for holistically understanding and addressing the many global challenges before us.

Let’s take a look at some of the highlights of 2020!

Staying connected

As a worldwide soy platform, we were active participants in several global conversations and fostered dialogue by proposing multiple meetings.

At the start of 2020, we kicked off the year with a field trip to several RTRS-certified fields in Sorriso, in the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso. The participants —including 30 representatives of member organizations of the soy value chain from nine countries and other regions of Brazil—generated new connections, engaged in dynamic dialogues, and shared ideas.

When social distancing became the ‘new normal’ for doing connections, we reinvented ourselves and developed new ways of working to keep our dialogue active. We remained connected through our digital channels, ensuring effective communication and active participation from all the parties involved. Webinars proved to be a great way to stay connected and continue learning. With the participation of 15 speakers, over 500 people from over 20 countries and 94 organizations attended RTRS webinars over the year.

Also, in recognition of the Association`s role in the soy value chain as a multi-stakeholder platform, RTRS has officially become a member of the European Commission’s new Platform for Multi-stakeholder Dialogue on Deforestation, Forest Degradation and on Sustainably Increasing World’s Forest Cover which was set up by the European Commission to provide a forum where stakeholders can exchange information and experiences, build alliances, push for and share commitments to significantly reduce deforestation.

Sustained growth

20% uptake increase was achieved (compared to 2019) totalling 4.750 million tons of RTRS certified material uptake.

RTRS welcomed 11 new members and 39 new organizations that acquired a total of 500,000 tons of RTRS certified material.

Despite worldwide economic constraints, was certified 1.257.783hectares and 4.4 million tons of sustainable soy were produced in Latin America and Asia and the RTRS Chain of Custody Certification reached a record number of certifications, showcasing the commitment of businesses to greater transparency and traceability across the soy value chain. The number of certified sites increased by almost 121% compared to 2019. In 2020, were certified 68 storage plants, 21 processing plants, 19 ports, one transfer facility, and six commercial offices located in eight countries (Argentina, Brazil, India, France, Germany, Paraguay, the Netherlands, and Uruguay).

New ways of working for a stronger impact

We continued to provide stakeholders in the soy sector with innovative tools like the new Soy Footprint Calculator, a free reliable solution for calculating how much soy is embedded in soy products, animal feed, and food products. Launched in 2020, the RTRS Soy Footprint Calculator was built based on the RTRS Soy Conversion Factor System, rooted in the trustworthy and consistent research conducted by Austral University (Argentina) and 3Keel (England).

Looking back on the path we have travelled, another important achievement we are proud of is RTRS becoming an ISEAL Community Member. RTRS is the first certification system in the soy sector to comply with the ISEAL eligibility criteria and become a Community Member.

RTRS also began the process of reviewing its Standard for Responsible Soy Production, in compliance with the ISEAL Codes of Good Practices, as part of our commitment to continuous improvement.

As the new year goes by and the global scenario remains uncertain, RTRS is grateful for your ongoing collaboration and commitment to responsible soy production, trade, and use. We look forward to strengthening our joint, multi-stakeholder approach in 2021 as we jointly address the many great challenges ahead. We are more committed than ever to bring you the leadership and innovation needed to be part of the solution.

We invite you to explore all our achievements in 2020 here:

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