Waitrose has announced it is reducing its reliance on South American soya, claiming to be the first UK retailer to introduce “responsibly sourced non-GM soya” for animal feed from Europe.
Last month, the retailer brought in its first shipment of soya grown in the Danube Region of Europe to be used in pig feed rations by Dalehead Foods, the chain’s dedicated pork supplier.
Waitrose said the move marked the start of its plans to move away from South American soya, lowering the risk to its supply chain as demand for it from the developing world increases.
“It fits perfectly into our strategy to improve our supply chain security by sourcing animal feed from raw materials grown at home or within the UK and Europe,” said Waitrose managing director, Rob Collins.
Dalehead Foods’ director of agriculture, Andrew Saunders, added: “A number of Waitrose supply chains have carried out trials on the use of European soya, and we are excited to be the first supply chain to use this source.”
The move was welcomed by NPA policy services officer, Lizzie Wilson, who described it as a “significant announcement”.
“We applaud the initiative they have taken to source protein from closer to home,” she said. “However, when it comes to the wider UK and EU meat and livestock supply chains, the reality is that alternatives are not yet there on a large scale.
“The EU continues to be heavily reliant on imported protein crops to fulfil its protein requirements. The main one of these is soya from South and North American countries, where GM technology adoption is over 90%.”