RTRS members have approved a new version of the Soy Standard. Furthermore the members agreed to launch a new corn standard. “This is an important milestone for the RTRS association,” according to the board.
Version 4.0 of the Standard for Responsible Soy Production and the Standard for Responsible Corn Production version 1.0 were the result of a multistakeholder review and development process. Both were in compliance with the ISEAL’s Codes of Good Practice, and of the integration with different global sustainability guidelines and initiatives. Both standards were approved by RTRS members by Written Resolution 2-2021. This was done together with the documents that include new requirements for RTRS to be admitted as ISEAL Community Member.
The process for the development of the corn standard began in 2019. At the time a Technical Working Group was created. A total of 33 organizations representing the three constituencies in RTRS membership (Producers; Industry, Trade and Finance; and Civil Society Organizations) participated. The team met on different occasions in Sao Paulo and Buenos Aires, led by RTRS Secretariat Technical Team.
The Working Group reviewed corn specific requirements for its implementation in the certification process. As a result, the RTRS Standard for Responsible Corn Production was drafted. This draft was subject to public consultation for two months. The Executive Committee gave its approval to the standard in 2021. It was finally submitted to RTRS members approval this year.
Meanwhile, following the last approval in 2017, the revision of the Standard for Responsible Soy Production V3.1 began in mid-2020. For this a Technical Working Group of more than 30 organizations was formed. They were facilitated by the Swiss firm BSD Consulting. Two public consultations were held whereby more than 200 comments and observations were gathered, and then reviewed by the Working Group. This resulted in a draft version of the new soy standard. This draft was approved by the RTRS Executive Committee in September 2021, and subsequently submitted to RTRS members approval.
In addition to the approval of the standards, the documents related to ISEAL membership were also approved. Being the first certification system in the soy sector to comply with ISEAL eligibility criteria RTRS became ISEAL Community Member.
As part of the application process, RTRS adjusted standards and developed new procedures. For example, documents were updated and new documents created. The approval of these documents demonstrates the commitment to continuous improvement of RTRS members as ISEAL Community Member.
Also read: RTRS complies with soy sourcing guidelines