|Read Soy No More: Breaking away from soy in UK pig and poultry farming, a new report researched and written by Feedback, Sustain, the Landworkers' Alliance, Pasture for Life and ourselves.|
Models like the one presented in the report are incredibly useful tools when it comes to imagining what change might look like - it was a similar exercise that prompted us to found Hodmedod - but they shouldn't be read as predictions. Instead they're thought experiments based on the best available evidence and in our case, with boundaries set to help make best use of the time available. Be provoked, be moved to act - but don't imagine this is the last word! Read more on our blog...
Industrial farming is a primary contributor to global warming, environmental damage and land-use change. While a lot of attention has been given to methane emissions from ruminants the environmental impacts of the global animal feed supply chain have been obscured, in particular, the role of soy overproduction to feed the industrial pig and poultry sector.
In recent decades soy has become the primary protein source in livestock feed, and its overproduction has been the subject of scrutiny because of the role it plays in driving deforestation overseas in biodiverse regions such as the Amazon.
This report shows how soy supply chain certification initiatives alone will never be effective in halting deforestation, and that there is an urgent need to reduce our soy demand if we are to take meaningful steps towards climate change mitigation and reversing biodiversity loss.
For the UK, reducing soy demand necessitates an exploration of replacement protein sources for pig and poultry feed, as nearly 90% of the UK’s soy imports are used for animal feed – the majority of which is consumed by the industrial pig and poultry sector.
Furthermore, because of the precarity and exposure to price volatility of relying on global commodity markets for animal feed, this report argues that transitioning to soy free alternatives could also support a more resilient and economically viable pig and poultry sector in the UK.
In order to explore the feasibility of replacing soy with alternative feeds, this report models several different scenarios: