Over the last years, operators from the food and feed supply chains have given more and more attention to sourcing their raw materials from agricultural production systems that are sustainable.
This proves to be particularly relevant when the raw materials are imported from countries at risk of deforestation. Crushers and refiners can play a role in supporting the supply chain changes towards more sustainable practices.
For years, FEDIOL has been involved in multi-stakeholder platforms or feedstock-specific voluntary roundtables that developed sustainability criteria to be applied at agricultural production level (see below RTRS and RSPO).
Indeed, practical measures were needed to define best practices and accompany the development of sustainable supply chains up to the European Market.
In parallel, efforts to assess the overall environmental performance of production processes and products were made (see Sustainable Consumption & Production Round Table).
The promotion and use of sustainability sourced agricultural raw materials, often supported by third party certification, may offer solutions to food and non-food operators who care for the sustainability of their products. Particularly at the beginning of a "sustainability journey" aimed at moving our supply chain towards enhanced sustainability, certification approaches increase trust along the chain and help kick-start the development of sustainable streams. Yet, they cannot be considered as fitting all needs: other corporate or sector initiatives have been developed that aim at providing certainty as to the sustainable nature of the raw material, both in the palm and soy supply chain (see below).