1 March, 2024

RTRS participated in a webinar focusing on regenerative practices for sustainable agriculture

On February 8, 2024, the Round Table On Responsible Soy (RTRS) participated in the CSI expert meeting titled “Soy and agroecology: Can regenerative practice deliver on Paris and Montreal Goals?” organized by the Collaborative Soy Initiative (CSI).

The CSI meeting provided an overview of the topic, focusing on technical aspects such as soil and water management, chemicals, seeds, and biodiversity. 

During the webinar RTRS presented the results of a benchmark conducted by Peterson Consultancy, which compared indicators of the RTRS Standard for Responsible Soy Production with regenerative agriculture practices. The analysis evaluated the incorporation of regenerative agriculture practices, considering both quantitative and qualitative aspects.

The study revealed that many of these practices are part of the certification, although not all are included quantitatively. Still, there is potential to make claims related to commitment to engagement with regenerative agriculture when using RTRS.

“Our standard incorporates a significant number of regenerative agricultural practices. We are committed to continuous improvement and actively working to enhance our quantitative measures to better assess the impact of the standard. Encouraging every producer to understand how to improve and strive for best practices, guided by established measurements and key performance indicators, will facilitate continuous improvement year after year,” declared Ana Laura Andreani, RTRS Technical Unit Officer.

Lieven Callewaert, President of RTRS, emphasized the need to go beyond traditional certification by adding,  on top of it, models to incentivize producers on a “regenerative” journey. “I think, for sure, at the start, there is a challenge for farmers to apply, dealing with a bit of a gap in economic return. Therefore, there is a need to look for financial mechanisms to support that gap because I believe the gap is short-term. In the long term, there should be a gain on all levels.”

The meeting was moderated by Heleen Van Den Hombergh, Coordinator of the CSI, who introduced the concepts of agroecology and regenerative agriculture. The event also featured Leopold Ritter, Head of Research & Innovation at Donau Soja Organization, who discussed the implementation and development of regenerative practices within the context of European soy production. Ritter also outlined the principles of regenerative agriculture as defined by the Royal Agricultural Society of England: minimize soil disturbance, keep the soil covered, maintain living roots in the soil, maximize plant diversity, and reintroduce livestock.

Relive the RTRS presentation:

Alignment of the RTRS standard with regenerative agriculture

RTRS seeks to align its standards for responsible soy and corn production with the principles of regenerative agriculture. At the RTRS 2022 Meeting Point event, the importance of agricultural practices that facilitate carbon sequestration in soils, promoting biodiversity and a sustainable water cycle was recognized.

Owners of certification standards—such as RTRS and its Standard for Responsible Soy (and Corn) Production —are presented with the opportunity to understand the extent to which their principles and criteria are aligned, with elements, concepts and practices that define regenerative agriculture.

About CSI and RTRS

CSI initially convened by RTRS was built on the outcome of the brainstorm sessions with 31 experts from across the soy sector, held in 2016 and facilitated by the Malik Institute, and updated in 2019. 

It´s mission is achieving sustainable and 100% conversion-free soy production, and its acceptance in the market on a global scale, for which they promote synergies between initiatives and actions. of stakeholders, and the implementation of common practical actions to facilitate systemic changes within and outside the soybean supply chain.



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