Soya is an important crop to Nestlé and others. We source it in two main forms: direct soya (soybean oil, soybean meal and derivatives) and indirect soya (animal protein ingredients).
Our main use of soya is for our pet food business and plant-based products. Although not usually labor-intensive, soya production can be linked to the degradation of natural habitats and land rights abuses. Nestlé is continually improving the traceability of the soya we source, throughout the supply chain.
Our approach to sourcing soya sustainably
Alongside partner Proforest, we have developed a Theory of Change for our sourcing of soya. The model sets approaches for both direct and indirect soya sourcing and embeds our learnings with suppliers and key stakeholders. The model helps us ensure a continuous supply of soya from responsible sources, while playing a part in developing thriving, resilient communities and stewarding natural resources for future generations.
Our responsible sourcing work currently focuses on assessing and addressing risks of deforestation and conversion risk-based. In addition, we are piloting and planning a set of regenerative agriculture programs linked to our soya supply chains across the U.S., Latin America and Europe.
Beyond our supply chain, we foster collaboration between our programs and landscape initiatives in priority origins to create shared value for soya producers, in order to achieve:
- The decoupling of soya expansion from the conversion or destruction of natural habitats
- The adoption of best practices in soya production
- Equal, safe and decent conditions for workers involved in soya production
- Improved access to land and resources for local communities living in soya-producing landscapes
Sustainability initiatives in soya
Reducing deforestation risks and biodiversity loss
Deforestation and conversion of natural habitat is a risk within soya supply chains in certain parts of Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay. We are working towards deforestation-free supply chains as part of our Forest Positive strategy. We use supply chain mapping, certification and on-the-ground verification to assess and address risks of deforestation or conversion of natural habitat in our supply chains. For our embedded soy supply chain, we developed a methodology to estimate our embedded soy footprint and our exposure to high-risk origins.
Better soil for better farming
Nestlé and Purina were early champions of The Nature Conservancy’s (TNC) work to help advance adoption of soil health practices. As part of these efforts, TNC launched the reThink Soil Roadmap (pdf, 2.5Mb). This project uses a great deal of technology, from cutting-edge soil laboratory analysis to nutrient and moisture sensors and satellite imagery.
The program is expected to change norms on 100 million agricultural acres in 16 U.S. Midwestern states, by advancing soil health and conservation practices in agriculture, plus helping to increase yields and profits (including for soya) – a win both for farmers and the planet.
Regenerative ranching and agriculture in Latin America
The Nature Conservancy is also leading a Regenerative Ranching & Agriculture (R2A) strategy across Latin America to drive transformational change in food production while actively restoring natural systems.
Supported by Nestlé financially as well as with critical private sector leadership, this project will demonstrate how agriculture can flourish while preserving the delicate ecological balance essential to our planet’s future. It therefore connects closely with Nestlé’s path to net zero by 2050 and also our commitment to regenerative agriculture.
Collective action and engagement
We understand that nurturing sustainable practices in complex supply chains, such as that for soya, poses challenges that no one company can solve alone. Our approach to sustainable sourcing includes actions within and beyond our supply chain, including engaging with suppliers and key stakeholders in the soya sector and its production landscapes.
Improving transparency, traceability and mapping risks
To hold our suppliers and ourselves accountable and drive industry-wide transparency, we have published the list of our soya suppliers and their crush sites in our supply chain (pdf, 400Kb), along with their countries of origin.
We also engage with suppliers to gradually map where the soya we source comes from. This is important to understand exposure to non-compliance based on our Responsible Sourcing Standard and also to raise awareness among our suppliers that improved traceability in the soya sector is critical.
We have estimated our embedded soy footprint and the portion (pdf, 314Kb) which has potential exposure to countries with ongoing deforestation and conversion risks.