NEWS BITES THAT MATTER
RTRS logo on Unilever’s Soy Beverages
Round Table on Responsible Soy (RTRS) credit buyers will be able to add a new logo to their products’ packages, adding to the existing “claims mechanism” that allows communicating support towards responsible soy.
In this way, credit buyers will not only be allowed to make claims on marketing materials and news releases, but will also be able to include a new communications tool that can be used directly on packaging. Therefore, customers and final consumers will get direct knowledge of the brand’s concern for environmental and social issues, as well as its contributions to RTRS and efforts to be part of a global solution.
Unilever will be among the first to use the RTRS Credits trademark — it will be on all of their Ades’ beverages in Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Brazil.
“It is a great step for RTRS to be for the first time in a product, to get to the supermarkets’ shelves, and let the consumers of the final product see the positive impact and the difference we can make if we work together,” says Agustín Mascotena, RTRS’ executive director. “We hope other companies that use soy in their products, directly or indirectly, start following this example, using the logo, and making visible responsible soy production.”
“This is a very important achievement for us, we are walking the talk, showing that it is possible to implement RTRS certification in our supply shed, guaranteeing that we are decoupling deforestation from our supply chain, and buying our soybeans from sustainable sourcing,” says Terence Baines, Unilever’s sustainable sourcing manager in Latam and chairman of the Brazilian RTRS Task Force. “Through this Task Force, we are working to ensure demand for RTRS soy can meet supply. We are encouraging our peers to map their ‘supply sheds’ in an attempt to find other partners to work with us in Brazil and the region.”
If you missed it, you can read more about Unilever’s involvement with RTRS, and the RTRS program in Canada, in the online version of ‘Growing RTRS soybeans’, an article that appeared in the June/July Ontario Grain Farmer at www.ontariograinfarmer.ca/ MAGAZINE.aspx?aid=1057. •
Sustainable Cropping Systems
At the end of July, South West Ag Partners presented a Sustainable Cropping Systems Demonstration in Pain Court. Approximately 150 farmers and industry members attended the morning event to hear presentations from Mark Brock, chair of Grain Farmers of Ontario; Merrin Macrae, associate professor and associate chair of undergraduate studies for geography programs at the University of Waterloo; Ken Nixon, a Middlesex farmer; and Kevin Borne, CEO of Environmental Tillage Systems. Speakers discussed sustainability, with topics ranging from what it could mean for individual farms to tips on strategies to increase sustainability. The event was moderated by Peter Johnson, senior project agronomist with Veritas.
South West Ag Partners’ Sustainable Cropping Systems combine tillage equipment, agronomics, precision farming, and custom application of nutrients into a cropping recommendation tailored for individual farmers designed to their needs in addressing environmental challenges. Featured in the systems are the SoilWarrior zone-tillage machine and a pilot project designed to help growers explore and develop crop production systems that are more sustainable from a soil and nutrient perspective. The introduction of Sustainable Cropping Systems is the latest service Southwest Ag Partners has brought to Ontario growers. Southwest Ag Partners also offers custom application with precision agriculture services through Veritas. •