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> Policy and Strategy: Dean Food - ensuring sustainable sourcing of soy
Policy and Strategy: Dean Food - ensuring sustainable sourcing of soy
The Dean Foods WhiteWaves division buy more that 1.5 million bushels of organic soybeans farmed on more than 40,000 organic acres, for Dean Food’s Silk (Soya-Milk) products. Dean Foods have partnered with Conservation International to develop soy-sourcing guidelines, which incorporate environmental and social best practices from farmers and vendors.
The Silk Soyabean Sourcing and Production Program has three focal areas: environmental responsibility (biodiversity conservation, soil and water resource protection, waste and emissions management), 2) social management (community impact, farm and labour relations) and 3) continuous improvement. It outlines goals for improving bean variety without genetic modification, and ways to work with soybean growers to uphold best practices for biodiversity conservation, soil and water resource protection, and erosion management.
Conservation International are also helping Dean Foods to develop a comprehensive supplier survey to help develop new sourcing methods designed to protect biodiversity in the regions where WhiteWave sources its soybeans. The survey will be used to determine a baseline from which the company can enhance its sourcing methods. Improvements will include implementation of best practices for soil productivity, fertility and erosion management and landscape level management i.e. co-ordination between farms to maximize individual efforts e.g. biodiversity conservation corridors and buffer zones for shared water bodies. The company is also using the Integrated Biodiversity Assessment Tool to help determine where the farms occur in relation to important areas of biodiversity.
Source: http://www.silksoymilk.com/content/pdf/SilkSoybeanSourcingProgram.pdf (July 2009)