Jonothon Porritt
Image credit: Responsible Soy

One of the Europe"s most influential thought leaders on sustainable development, the writer and broadcaster, Jonathon Porritt CBE is confirmed as keynote speaker for RT13; the annual conference on sustainable soy taking place in Lille, France on May 30-31 2018.

RT13 is the annual global meeting of the Round Table on Responsible Soy where all the world"s major players in the soy sector - including producers, traders, retailers, processors and NGOs - work together to increase the global commitment to sustainable soy.

Jonathon Porritt will be speaking at RT13 exploring what the future could look like for responsible soy; what can be learned from other sectors and how suppliers and buyers along the food chain can engage a much wider constituency, and in doing so transform the shape of the whole industry.

Mr Porritt is uniquely positioned to offer insight into issues around the importance of sustainable soy. A former Green Party chairman in the UK, he has been a vocal campaigner against deforestation (including Brazil) and has been closely connected to action on similar issues around palm oil. He has been highly influential on corporate sustainability issues and is former advisor to the Prince of Wales who himself has made deforestation a priority issue. He has written and spoken many times on global food system issues and the overarching challenge of feeding a growing global population without undermining further Earth"s ecosystems.

Jonathon Porritt says, "Issues around sustainable palm oil and deforestation may have a higher media profile, but the drive to make the switch to sustainable soy is of equal importance, particularly when seen through the lens of the 2017 Cerrado Manifesto. I hope that by bringing together senior decision-makers and thought leaders from across the soy supply chain, at RT13, we can create a dialogue around these issues that will inform the way that suppliers, traders, retailers and NGOs take up this pressing challenge in the future."

This year"s conference will shed light on the most pressing current issues and geographies within the soy supply chain, including the role of government and social risks. It will also discuss the global current agenda including the Cerrado Manifesto that was announced in September 2017 in response to the ongoing destruction of the world"s most biodiverse savannah The Cerrado in Brazil. Already depleted to 50 percent of its original size by agribusiness the manifesto acknowledges that the responsibility for this problem – and indeed its solution - lie with the supply chain - from the producers to consumers.

In addition to a keynote speech from Porritt there will be speakers from ACT Commodities, Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC), Bayer, Cefetra, Consumer Goods Forum, Governo do Maranhão and Paraguay, Groupe Avril, Hopefull Group, Lidl, Nestlé, FEFAC, The Nature Conservancy and World Wildlife Fund (WWF).

Marina B. de Engels, President of RTRS says, "This year"s conference will deal with the most pressing issues around the soy industry exploring what buyers and producers need in order to grow the market for responsible soy. Commitment from all players is vital for this growth to be exponential. Furthermore, we will explore RTRS Certification together with various ongoing jurisdictional projects as a possible route to ensure stronger commitments to zero deforestation in the Cerrado and elsewhere without a negative impact on the producer and his / her ongoing efforts to work in a more sustainable manner. We will explore where RTRS can work with other parties and join forces to make things happen. And how might other geographies learn from the experiences of Brazil?

Ms de Engels went on to say, "We are at a pivotal moment and have the opportunity to help shape policy and enact change right along the soy supply chain. Soy is the number one export product of Mercosur countries, also strongly produced in the USA, Africa, Europe and Asia, impacting millions and the environment in both positive and negative ways. It is the base of many food, feed, energy and medicinal products that are consumed worldwide. For everybody"s sake, we must strive for a more responsible soy supply chain. RT13 hopes to facilitate a forum to add to this discussion with the contribution and stronger commitment of many of the industry"s most important players."

To register your place at RT13, or for more information visit the website, HERE.

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