During 2010, the Argentinian Accreditation Body actively participated in a round table on Responsible Soy Association which developed certification requirements and protocols of responsible soy, as well as for accreditation under the ISO / IEC Guide 65 for certification bodies working in this area.
The round table on Responsible Soy Association is a global platform organised by the main stakeholders of the value chain of soybeans with the common goal to promote responsible soy production through collaboration and open dialogue with stakeholders to ensure it to be economically viable, environmentally appropriate and socially beneficial. Participation in this round table enabled OAA to feed in how accreditation can be applied to the development of the certification standard RTRS Standard-Version 1.0.
The development of RTRS Standard is the result of joint efforts of producers, industry players and civil society involved in the value chain of the soybean.
During 2011, the global market will be able to buy soy certified to RTRS. The adoption of the principles and criteria for responsible soy was held in the General Assembly in June 2010 (Version 1.0). The standard is available as a certification system in the RTRS website (http://www.responsiblesoy.org/) already in its version 3. Therefore, for the next crop it will be possible to buy soybean in the international market through the chain of custody of options designed to RTRS.
Principles and Criteria that were developed by the RTRS, field-tested and approved in 2009/10 as RTRS Standard in June 2010 include:
- Legal compliance and good business practices
- Responsible working conditions
- Responsible relations with the community
- Environmental Responsibility
- Good Agricultural Practices
It was developed as a neutral and comprehensive standard (non-transgenic, Transgenic and Organic) and meets the requirements of the EU market. Additionally, it can be used both in the certification of food for human and animal consumption, and in biofuels.
Examples of Criteria for Responsible Soy
Key environmental issues:
- Protecting biodiversity
- It reduces pollution and waste production handled responsibly
- Soil, water and forest resources taken as fundamental
- Responsible use of agrochemicals
- Efforts to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG)
Key social issues
- Compliance with employment legislation
- Respect for land rights
- Recognition of the importance of land use and traditional small-scale
- Adopt practices that contribute to the welfare of rural communities.
OAA was the first accreditation body in the world recognized by the RTRS to evaluate bodies that certificate responsible soy.
Some product certification bodies have already contacted OAA to meet the new scheme and some others have already begun the accreditation process.
RTRS standard monitoring