We urge the Co-op to rethink its position about a switch to GM animal feed. Farming Online reports a statement by Cesar Borges de Sousa, President of ABRANGE, the Brazilian Association for Producers of Non-GMO, assuring the four supermarkets, that Brazil has had a record harvest, producing over 20 million metric tons of non-GMO soya. Statistics can be seen here.
Three factors in the supply problem
First: there is a temporary shortage of supply getting through due to lack of available berths for mooring ships caused by spiralling export demand and some labour unrest. The BBC reports that some ships wait for two weeks and the approach roads are also congested with lines of lorries waiting to load. Exporters are actively seeking solutions to circumvent the export slow down.
Second: suppliers of the UK supermarket listed above do not arrange advance purchase contracts giving farmers an assured market for their non-GM crop, instead relying on “spot” purchase, when the crop actually comes on to the market hoping to get the soy cheaper. Unfortunately UK consumers and farm animals are the losers as European retailers who do enter into advance purchase contracts are given preference.
Third: it is said that one large supplier of non-GMO soy has withdrawn from the market and there is speculation that ‘considering national affiliations’, this change is related to the desire to open the UK to imports of GM soy from the USA. As yet no independent verification of this statement has been found.
A recent FSA poll indicated that nearly 70% of UK citizens prefer milk, eggs, poultry and meat produced with non-GMO feed. Mainland European retailers are responding to these consumer preferences by making strenuous efforts to expand the Non-GMO soy supply chain.
. . . should there be a switch, over time, to grass and forage and a short supply chain instead of soy?