Stakeholder group mulls ‘responsible soy’


Can agricultural standards be developed voluntarily that would make South America’s boom in soy cultivation environmentally sustainable? A multi-stakeholder group including representatives of agribusiness, environmental organizations, the banking industry and academia convened here last month on the theory that such an initiative might be possible. “Until recently we thought productivity was not compatible with sustainability,” Gustavo Grobocopatel, a leading Argentine soy producer, said at the April 23-24 meeting, called The Round Table Conference on Responsible Soy. “We discovered the opposite is true.” Outside, however, critics condemned the conference, charging that agribusiness intended to use the exercise as “green makeup” to defuse opposition to an intensive, monoculture model of soy cultivation that has encouraged deforestation, soil exhaustion and social dislocation in South America. The protestors... [Log in to read more]

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