Germany-based life sciences firm Bayer renewed on 10 January its cooperation agreement with the Round Table on Sustainable Soy (RTRS) to help South American soya producers certify their crops.

RTRS certification assured that the soya used as either a raw material or a byproduct had originated from an environmentally compatible, socially adequate and economically viable process, Bayer said in a statement.

Originally established in 2015, the Bayer-RTRS collaboration had improved communication, mobilised farmers to certify production and kick-started the certification process of several large cooperatives in Brazil.

“The cooperation has been focused on Brazil and will now be extended to Argentina and may also be extended to soya producers in other countries in Latin America in a next future stage,” Bayer said.

The firm and RTRS also intended to further develop their efforts to connect RTRS-certified farmers with food companies in order to promote the responsible soya market and certification among food companies.

Bayer said it believed that enabling more companies to purchase RTRS credits was a key instrument in incentivising sustainable production of soya based on RTRS standards.

The RTRS agreement was complemented by Bayer’s Valore programme, which provided Latin American soya producers with diagnosis visits, action planning, training, pre-auditing visits and facilitation of third-party auditing with the goal to ensure applicability for environmental and social certification.

RTRS is a global multi-stakeholder platform on responsible soya that strives to improve soya production in a dedicated and practical way.

To this end, the organisation established the RTRS Standard for Responsible Soya Production to assure soya was not involved in deforestation and its production had a positive impact on workers, communities and the environment.