Protein Partnership

A programme to increase sustainable soya production in Europe, for Europe

Soybeans are the largest global source of plant-based protein, and a vital element in food production. The EU imports an equivalent of 35-40 million tonnes of soybeans annually, sourcing significant amounts from areas with sensitive ecosystems under threat from deforestation, such as the Amazon rainforest and Cerrado savanna. Donau Soja supports the increased cultivation of sustainable non-GMO soya in, and for Europe. There is huge potential to grow soya in non-EU countries including the Ukraine, Serbia, Bosnia & Herzegovina and Moldova.

Protein Partnerships – an alternative to credits from overseas

Protein Partnerships are designed as an alternative to credits from overseas. Protein Partnerships are a simple tool for supporting and building up safe and sustainable non-GMO soya production in Europe, and at a relatively low cost compared to physically segregated and certified products. They also strengthen the first link in the physical value chain, as well as investing in training and certifying farmers and primary collectors.

The Protein partnerships are designed to achieve the following:

Increase volumes of sustainable non-GMO soya in Europe: more legumes in European crop rotation, less dependence on imports and less pressure on valuable ecosystems in South America

Give companies, e. g. retailers the possibility to compensate big soya volumes with a European credit programme as a first step towards physical flow

Support economic development resulting from local soya production, collection and processing and regional integration through a sustainable and GMO-free protein and soya supply; connecting SEE & CEE producers to western markets (buyers)

Environmental responsibility through the reduced use of pesticides (exclusive use of substances permitted in the EU and the prohibition of desiccants such as glyphosate or diquat) and a ban on changes in land use to create more agricultural land (e .g. preventing deforestation)

How it works

Donau Soja organises educational activities for farmers, including workshops and training, which focus on best practice in soya cultivation and cover topics ranging from choice of variety to plant protection.

Donau Soja covers the certification costs for both farmers and primary collectors.

This guarantees the first step in the physical flow of sustainably produced soya, ensuring that traders and processors — and therefore the market — have easy access to certified beans.