Denmark Commits to Sustainable Soybean Production


Jan 31, 2023 | Agricultural Markets News

Reading time: 2 minutes

Danish agriculture sets joint, binding targets for the purchase of Soybean and thus extends the industry’s existing Soybean policy. This will ensure that, by 2025, all Soy purchased for animal feed in Danish agriculture is third-party verified and responsibly and sustainably grown, e.g., as regards deforestation. Soy is grown around the world under very different conditions. The goal is that by 2025, 100 percent of the Soy purchased for animal feed will be responsibly produced. This must be ensured through third-party verification and in accordance with the European Feed Manufacturers Federation (FEFAC) guidelines.

Subsidiary goals have been set for the years leading up to 2025. This means that the minimum quota for verified responsible Soy will be increased in steps (2021: 20%, 2022: 40%, 2023: 60%, 2024: 80%, 2025: 100%). The target is 100 percent physically segregated Soy, but the supply of segregated Soy is meager. Therefore, imports will be calculated based on mass balance, where each link from the producer to the farmer will be able to document the percentage of responsible Soy purchased and that they do not sell larger quantities of responsible Soy than have been purchased.

Danish agriculture actively supports the work of the FEFAC and further development of FEFAC’s criteria regarding responsibly produced Soy, e.g. relating to deforestation. Through the work in FEFAC, Danish agriculture impacts the entire European agricultural industry’s procurement of responsible Soy production. The Danish Agriculture & Food Council encourages the Government to work towards demands for accountable and deforestation-free imports at the EU level and to engage with producer countries on responsible Soy production. In addition, Danish agriculture simultaneously works to reduce the need for Soy imports by developing new Danish-produced proteins that could eventually partially replace Soy protein in feed.

Denmark imports about 1.7 million tons of Soybean Meal every year, or approx. 0.7% of global Soy production. Danish firm DLG imports 900,000 tons of Soybean Meal annually, primarily unloaded at the Port of Aarhus.

In the summer of 2019, DLG committed – as the first Danish agricultural company – to ensuring that all the Soybean Meal they buy by 2025 will be produced responsibly. In August 2020, DLG joined the Danish Alliance for Responsible Soy. In the future, a larger share of the protein crops used for livestock feed in Denmark will be produced in Denmark. In this way, DLG will be able to replace some of the Soy imports with Danish-produced protein.

In 2016, DLG was the first Danish agricultural company to start paying farmers more for producing cereals with a higher protein level. And at Sejet Planteforædling, they employ some of Europe’s top experts within the field of plant breeding, who are working to develop crops with higher protein content.

Moreover, DLG teamed up with two other cooperatives – Danish Agro and DLF – to establish a protein plant in West Jutland that will produce grass protein with a solid environmental and climate profile. The long-term goal is to replace some of the Soy that they currently import for use in livestock feed with Danish-produced grass protein.

Denmark Commits to Sustainable Soybean Production

Danish Soybean Meal Trade

According to the AgFlow data, Brazil led the Danish Soybean Meal import market with 0.5 million tons in 2022, followed by Argentina (0.3 million tons) and Russia (30,500 tons). In 2020, Denmark imported Soybean Meal worth $639 million, becoming the 12th largest importer of Soybean Meal in the world. Denmark imports Soybean Meal primarily from: Germany ($253 million), Argentina ($146 million), Brazil ($84.3 million), the Netherlands ($45.6 million), and the United States ($27.8 million).

The same year, Denmark exported Soybean Meal worth $37.7 million, making it the 30th largest exporter of Soybean Meal in the world. The leading destination of Soybean Meal exports from Denmark is China ($17.4M), Sweden ($5.11M), Lithuania ($2.76M), Germany ($2.1M), and Japan ($1.78M).

Other sources: DLG

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