By the organization of in-depth exchange meetings, the Collaborative Soy Initiative seeks to initiate a bridge building process between the different international and regional initiatives committed to the deforestation and conversion free sustainable soy agenda.
These exchanges meetings, the so-called Meta Meetings of Soy Initiatives, have brought together key representatives of the most relevant global and regional soy initiatives who are highly motivated to go one step further and to contribute even more to the CSI vision than they already do today. In these meetings, the initiatives bring their expertise to the table to join forces and to reinforce each other.
The objective of these meetings is to create more synergy & more consistency between different approaches & strategies, to explore how the initiatives can be more complementary and mutually reinforcing and finally to identify the fields of intensive collaboration, by a process of collective thinking.
These meetings have brought together the 15 most relevant initiatives with regional or global reach. The names of the participating initiatives and the coordinators can be downloaded here. Disclaimer: this is the list when we started, it also has known changes over time.
To start with, the participants were asked to prepare a one pager with general information & specific information regarding their contributions and encountered hurdles regarding deforestation free sustainable soy. This survey can be downloaded here.
Collectively, we identified 5 interrelated core actions for making scale and creating impact that could benefit from our collaboration in CSI:
1. Promote ambitious, compatible sustainability targets by users to create scale for conversion free sustainable soy
2. Based on these goals & targets create consistent (at least compatible) asks to traders and producers
3. Develop a shared narrative of these asks
4. Engage with traders and producers to create effective and constructive communication about asks
5. Create incentives for producers to meet requirements
In the two 2020 Meta Meetings presentations were held on these topics:
In March 2021 we specifically discussed dealing with requirements (asks) and incentives for suppliers in conversion risk landscapes, such as the Cerrado. How can asks, such as legal and conversion-free responsible soy production and increased transparency in the value chain, be better matched by incentives, such as market access, preferential sourcing, and financial incentives such as premiums and payments for ecosystem services? Work in progress for collective thinking.
Below please see the powerpoints presented by:
In June 2021 we followed up on these issues and discussed the convergence and collective elements of a shared (CSI) narrative that we've been able to create sofar. Meanwhile we encounter confusion in the market. "Conversion free physical soy now!" is of high importance, but are we losing the recognition of integrated criteria (beyond conversion free) and the down-to-the-ground lessons from landscape initiatives? What do such different instruments have to offer in terms of solutions, and what do combinations of them deliver?
We need to combine the multiple roads to a responsible Rome. We presented a draft "magicube" for soy sustainability solutions, to be used in different combinations for different circumstances. Furthermore we've learnt more about what the Soy Roadmap and Soy Toolkit have to offer as guidance on supplier engagement specifically. See powerpoint presentation with combined contributions from Heleen van den Hombergh, CSI and Jane Lino & Sylvia Torres Castro, Proforest
And last not least, we learnt about the new PES mechanism for soy being piloted in the Brazilian Cerrado right now, by Fabiola Zerbini, Tropical Forest Alliance.
Next meta meeting will take place on Sept 16th: Communicating a shared narrative.
Soon after that an outreach webinar will be held on our shared narrative and lessons learnt in the Meta Meetings.