This week the European Union (EU) formally recognized RTRS as EU Renewable Energy Directive (EU-RED) compliant voluntary scheme. This EU recognition stimulates the third F to become part of the RTRS intervention, having started to certify soy production with destination the Dutch and Brazilian Food and Feed industry already early June 2011. This unique multi-stakeholder and global soy value chain initiative presents itself to the Fuel industry as an opportunity to contribute to the production of more sustainable raw materials.
RTRS Executive Director Agustin Mascotena said "this EU recognition is a significant milestone for both the RTRS and the soy value chain as a whole.˝ The RTRS Standard goes beyond EU-RED requirements, the latter consisting of some production and chain of custody specifics that differ from the RTRS Standard. The RTRS production standard already contained EU-RED sustainable. Producers that certify RTRS have the possibility to include the biofuel annex to the auditing process. The annex is optional for those farmers that produce soy for
biofuels exported into the European Union. Its creation was supported by Shell and several other stakeholder companies from the sector.
The European Union seeks reduction of environmental impacts by replacing fossil fuels for renewable energy, and at the same time wants to make sure raw material used for the making of that renewable energy or biofuels is produced in a sustainable way. Therefore the European Commission (EC) has created a directive to regulate imports into Europe of raw material (like soy) for biofuels: Directive of Renewable Energies (EU-RED). Raw material imported from outside Europe needs to meet a set of minimal standards in order to be considered sustainable. These minimal requirements are related to land use change, GHG calculations and Chain of Custody requirements. The EU-RED applies to all 27 EU-member countries."The RTRS is an initiative created by and for all stakeholders throughout the soy value chain and on a global level, adding governmental recognition, the circle starts to become round˝ concluded Mascotena.
More information on RTRS can be found at www.responsiblesoy.org.
More information on Solidaridad Network Soy Programme.