Certified Responsible Soya

Sustainability

CRS Standard

Global demand for soya has grown considerably in recent years and still is. To safeguard production of soya, current and future, is done in a responsible way, Cefetra developed its own standard (launched in 2008): the Certified Responsible Soya standard, CRS in short.

The CRS Standard is based on a benchmarking study conducted on existing standards related to responsible soy production such as RTRS and ISCC. Nevertheless, the CRS Standard is considered unique in its own right due to the following aspects:

  • Transparency: The CRS Standard only contains major indicators, resulting in transparency towards producers;
  • Inclusion: The CRS Standard provides an opportunity for large, medium, and small scale producers to obtain certification by means of adopting an entry level approach; CRS certification can be the first step towards RTRS certification, which makes the standard a progressive program.
  • Periodicity: The CRS Standard requires that all certified producers have to be audited on an annual basis.
  • Principles: The CRS Standard covers the most important indicators to ensure ecologically sound and socially responsible soy.
  • Continuous Improvement: The CRS Standard focuses on continuous improvement among producers.
  • Detailed audit/compliance report: Producers certified according the CRS Standard receive a detailed report that allows them to track their developments to ensure continuous improvement, communicate their performance to clients, and obtain loans from investors by demonstrating independent acknowledgement of their good practices.
  • Area Mass Balance supply chain model – Unique to Cefetra. See below of this page for more information.

 

For all details of the CRS standard, please check the checklist, which can be found below.

Principle 1: Traceability

As commodity trade is typically done in cost-efficient bulk, alternative models of traceability have been developed to make sure the intended investments in sustainability are done where these bring sustainability to a higher level fastest. Regardless, the total volume of certified, sustainably produced soya must enter global supply chains in a measurable manner. Hence traceability at the start of supply chains is critical and is embedded in our standard.

Principle 2: Legal Compliance

Legal compliance is the base under all Cefetra does and sustainability is no exception to that. Producers shall understand and comply with all applicable laws, regulations and conventions. In addition to that they have chosen to also comply to our ‘above-legal’ Certified Responsible Soya standard’s requirements. Combined these make sure CRS-soya is produced with respect for the environment and its social setting, on- and off-farm.

Principle 3: Labour Conditions

Producers shall take the responsibility to provide safe and fair labor conditions to all the workers involved in the production of soya. The labour conditions’ requirements in Cefetra’s CRS standard are extensive and have proven to improve the lives of people working on soya farms.

Principle 4: Land Rights

Producers can demonstrate their legal rights for the land used to cultivate soybeans. With the CRS standard no farm is allowed to have unresolved land use claims between the farm and other groups, like for example indigenous groups. Only if both parties have agreed a farm can use the applicable land.

Principle 5: Environmental

Producers shall take measures to limit potential negative impacts on the land used for soya production and on the biodiversity in the direct surroundings of the production site. This includes zero-deforestation and zero-conversion of important natural landscapes, like, but not limited to the Amazon and Cerrado in Brazil.

Principle 6: Social Responsibility

Local communities and other relevant stakeholders are given the opportunity to contact the farmers. Farms must pro-actively offer this to relevant stakeholders. If complaints are raised, these are registered in a suitable manner and the producer shall take the appropriate actions.

Principle 7: Good Agricultural Practices (GAP)

Producers shall implement Good Agricultural Practices (GAP), which are ‘practices that address environmental, economic and social sustainability for on-farm processes, and result in safe and quality food and non-food agricultural products’. This entails the use of machinery, the use of seed, as well as the responsible use of agro-chemicals.

Document download:

The CRS checklist can be found here.
The CRS certification protocol can be found here.

Product regions:

CRS certified farms can be found in Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay. After an initial focus on Argentina and Brazil, the program is currently extending into Paraguay. However, the CRS certification program can be applied to all soybean production globally, from farmers, producers,cooperatives, associations or any other group able and willing to comply with the pre-established requirements.

Certification Requirements

The process of obtaining a CRS Certification is composed of four basic steps, each dependent upon the previous one:

  1. Registration: Farmers provide the minimum required information for review by the certification body;
  2. Compliance with criteria: Certification body reviews the submitted information and accepts registration;
  3. Inspection: Inspection is performed on-site to ensure compliance with the program’s principles;
  4. Certification: Once the audit is completed, the final report finalized and the results are analyzed, then the certificate is issued if all requirements are met.

Additionally, during the process to obtain the CRS certification, producers must give the certification body access to all parts of the units and premises for inspection purposes. It may also be required that the farmer must provide additional relevant supporting documentation.

For more information, please contact us.

Supply chain model

Several supply chain models have been evaluated and the Area Mass Balance model was found to be one of the most effective systems for scaling up sustainable production, taking into account important factors such as costs, feasibility, added value and volume. This model provides your with the opportunity to link producers with the purchasing companies, at fair costs. In other words, a supply chain model with the focus on scaling up the amount of certified producers and the volume of certified soy with the final goal of mainstreaming certified soy.

It is possible to supply CRS credits according the Area Mass Balance supply chain model.

Area Mass Balance

The Area Mass Balance supply chain model is a combination of the Book & Claim system and the Mass Balance system. The principle of the CRS Area Mass Balance model is the following: farmers are selected and certified in areas where Cefetra sources its soya for the European feed industry. The physical flow of soya is bought directly from processors in Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay. Based on general accepted logistical lines, the soya will finally end up at one of the ports in these countries. Cefetra is able to monitor and link specific crush regions to the volume of soybean meal which is loaded and shipped to the port of Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Antwerp, Gent, Hamburg and the United Kingdom (hereinafter ‘European ports’). This means that the mass balance can be calculated based on the input (=certified farms) and output (=physical flow) of soya, crushed at a specific area, from South-America, and the input (=physical flow) of soya into the European ports.

In short, for credits delivered according the Area Mass Balance model, the same quantity of physical soya has been certified according to the requirements of the CRS/RTRS program in the same region. When credits are bought according to the Area Mass Balance model, the compound feed producer is assured that sustainable progress is realized on farms in the region where the soya is cultivated.

For Cefetra’s Area Mass Balance model the countries of origin are divided into sub-regions. Brazil is divided in three regions (i.e. North, Central and South Brazil), Argentina and Paraguay are divided in northern & southern regions, which is the basis of the mass balance calculation. Cefetra sources its physical flow mainly from the central and southern region of Brazil, and so a lot of effort is put into the certification of soya from this region. Next to that, certification efforts are also directed to farms in north-Argentina and south-Paraguay as physical soya is also originated from these regions. Cefetra sources soya from Paraguay only since a few years, as a result it is only since then that Cefetra started to certify farms in this region. Because of this, and other fundamental differences compared to Brazil and Argentina, a smaller, yet growing volume of soya is certified in Paraguay.

The Cefetra soya certification program focuses on improvement at farm level, while taking into account the various supply chains to Europe.

Governance

Currently Cefetra is the standard owner, yet the intention is to move to an industry-wide platform in which several stakeholders cooperate to achieve the goals of the CRS standard.

All farms are assessed by Control Union Certifications, an independent Certification Body.

Independent assessments

Accreditation

Control Union Certifications, part of the Dutch Control Union World Group, provides a one-stop-shop for a wide range of certification programs, accepted by authorities in nearly every country around the globe. It is Cefetra’s partner for the Certified Responsible Soya scheme. As an independent certification company, Control Union Certifications ensures impartiality and objectivity in all its activities. Additional certification bodies may be added as the program grows.