SDG 17 emphasises the need for collaboration and cooperation among governments, businesses, civil society, and other stakeholders to achieve all the other Sustainable Development Goals. The aim is to strengthen international cooperation, promote partnerships, and use technology and innovation to address global challenges and create a more sustainable and inclusive world by 2030.
Donau Soja Organisation
Donau Soja is a non-profit member-based multi-stakeholder organisation that supports its partners and members in progressing change to address social, environmental, and economic challenges in soya production and consumption. Donau Soja aims to mobilise and share knowledge, expertise, technology and financial resources to sustainable production and consumption of soya beans in Europe.
Donau Soja is mobilising additional financial resources for developing countries from multiple sources. Best example for this is our cooperation with the Austrian Development Agency. The Strategic Partnership with the Austrian Development Agency (ADA) financed 50 percent by public grant and 50 percent by private investment of Donau Soja members and partners through the Donau Soja Association, delivers advantages to the domestic market, food producers, consumers, and the environment. The completed DevRAM project financed by the EU, managed by ADA and implemented by Donau Soja is also a great example of joint forces aimed to increase the competitiveness of the agri-food sector in Moldova through integration into domestic and global value chains, especially in the soya sector.
The organisation engages in dialogue with key stakeholders, including farmers, food processors, and retailers, to raise awareness and align on policies that prioritise sustainable agriculture and promote the use of non-GM soya beans.
Specific partnership programmes, such as the Protein Partnership programme mobilise resources and contribute to capacity building by investing in training and certification up to the primary collectors. The partnership programme funds and organises trainings for farmers and participation in field trials in partner countries, especially in CEE countries. Donau Soja holds networking and collaboration close to its heart, considering them fundamental aspects of the organisation’s DNA.
Donau Soja / Europe Soya Standard
Donau Soja strengthens the rule of law in European countries, as legal compliance is a prerequisite for farmers and other value chain actors.
According to principle 3 the farmer shall conduct business with integrity, respecting applicable laws and avoiding all forms of bribery, conflicts of business interest and fraudulent practices.
In various aspects, the standards go beyond legal compliance. The same requirements apply for farmers inside and outside the EU, thereby contributing to creating a fair and competitive environment across the European continent and promoting the adoption of consistent sustainable agricultural practices. The creation of a level playing field serves as a bridge between the EU and markets outside the EU.
SDG 17: Example activities
In 2017 Donau Soja started its cooperation with ADA. This cooperation is mobilising resources and 9 million Euro funds from ADA and the private sector – the Donau Soja Association, its members and partners. The cooperation is related to a programme that aims to build sustainable, inclusive and well-functioning value chains for non-GM soya and organic soya in Moldova, Ukraine, Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. The programme is implemented in a period of seven years, and it is financed 50 percent by the development cooperation and 50 percent from private sector.
After the first six years of implementation, the project has registered more than 20,000 participations of individuals from more than 500 legal entities from the soya sector in Ukraine, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Moldova. More than 60 percent of the beneficiaries were small and medium-sized farmers and companies.
The monitoring system also recorded 25 percent women’s participation. The work also had a significant positive environmental impact. In this six year time period (2017-2022) a total of more than 1,7 million tonnes of Donau Soja / Europe Soya certified soya beans in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Moldova, Serbia and Ukraine were made available for the international value-chain through the Strategic Partnership Programme with ADA.
This effort resulted in: avoidance of forest loss (up to 15,242 hectares of forest areas in Brazil are not converted for soya bean cultivation), avoidance of GHG emissions (up to 6,711,568 tonnes of CO₂-equivalents compared to a scenario with the total volume imported from