Europe Soya Declaration
An important step towards a more sustainable European agriculture was taken on 17 July 2017 in Brussels, Belgium, with the signing of the Europe Soya Declaration. 14 EU agriculture ministers, including those of Italy, France, the Netherlands, Austria, Romania and Finland, signed the declaration—a joint accomplishment of the Donau Soja Organisation and the agriculture ministers. In January 2018 four other countries signed the Europe Soya Declaration and in January 2019 also Switzerland signed the Declaration.
The Europe Soya Declaration aims to boost soya bean cultivation in Europe, bringing it even closer to reaching the UN Sustainable Development Goals, especially as regards improving the world’s food supply and using natural resources sustainably.
Protein crops such as soya beans play an important role in the European agriculture and food industry. Currently, Europe imports the equivalent of around 40 million tonnes of soya beans per year from overseas, especially from the Americas, which makes Europe highly dependent on a foreign protein supply. At the same time, protein plants are grown on only 2 to 3% of European fields. However, especially in Central and Eastern Europe, large areas suitable for protein plants can be found—areas where only a few crops are cultivated throughout the year. By growing protein plants such as soya beans, peas or broad beans, farmers could introduce more variety onto their fields and use their harvest as animal feed. This would reduce dependence on feed imports from overseas and would be a chance for rural development.
Additionally, consumers’ preference for non-GM products is on the rise, making it more important than ever to rely on transparent identification and certification standards like Donau Soja in Europe or ProTerra at an international level.
Find the signed declaration here.