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02.08.2017 |

Donau Soja and ProTerra Join for a European Cooperation

Amsterdam / Vienna -- The ProTerra Foundation, an international organisation based in the Netherlands, and the European Soya Organisation Donau Soja, an international NGO based in Austria, have agreed to work in close cooperation regarding the certification of sustainable soya grown in Europe. ProTerra recognises the Europe Soya Standard as the European interpretation of the ProTerra Standard. Soybean producers and processors within Europe will have their products certified according to the Europe Soya Standard, while soya producers outside Europe will continue to do so according to the ProTerra standard. This will allow all market participants to be certified according to one widely recognised standard and to maximize synergies between Donau Soja's European network and ProTerra's global experience. As the standard holder of Europe Soya, the Donau Soja Association will serve the European market with the support of the ProTerra Foundation.

"I am very pleased for the opportunity to work hand in hand with Donau Soja to provide synergies, alternatives and solutions for market participants who are securing the supply of sustainably grown European soybeans without GMOs that are equivalent to the soybeans and soya derivatives from Brazil and other origins certified against the ProTerra Standard. The pooled efforts with Europe Soya will result in a stronger and unified European soya standard that aims at zero deforestation and will benefit producers, processors, retailers, and – most of all – consumers", comments ProTerra Chairman Augusto Freire.

"I am extremely happy that our two organisations will be joining forces to certify and label sustainable European non-GMO soybeans and soya products according to a combined sustainability standard and quality scheme. We are convinced this will help us promote our mission to make European agriculture more sustainable by deploying legume crop rotation according to best practice standards. It will also be good for the market, there will soon be many more certified products available for all market participants. Thanks to our cooperation with ProTerra, we can have a much greater impact on the market and on sustainability", adds Matthias Krön, Chairman of Donau Soja Association.

EU legislation is the minimum requirement for the Europe Soya Standard and a baseline in all relevant aspects of the production chain, even for non-EU countries, such as Serbia, Bosnia, Moldova, and Ukraine. This is particularly relevant in terms of the use of chemicals, regarding which EU legislation exhibits more strict regulations than many non-EU countries. Europe Soya also forbids desiccation with substances like glyphosate. The Europe Soya Standard includes requirements such as a ban on land use change (e.g. no deforestation), the obligation to respect social and labour rights (ILO conventions), and a non-GMO status according to existing regulations. (For additional details see: www.donausoja.org/downloads.)

The continent of Europe currently imports the equivalent of around 40 million tons of soybeans per year that were grown on approximately 16 million hectares. The mid-term potential for European soy production and cultivation is around 15 million tons in the next ten years. Current production is approximately 9.2 million tons. ProTerra and Donau Soja share a common goal to jointly realise this potential via viable means and by way of sustainable soybeans grown in Europe as well as imported soybeans that are produced sustainably and in accord with the ProTerra Standard.

Augusto Freire and Matthias Krön jointly conclude that, "We are convinced that our new cooperation will allow us to contribute to a healthier and more sustainable agriculture worldwide."

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