Why Soya in Europe?

BECAUSE
IT IS A NUTRITIOUS FOOD FOR HUMANS AND ANIMALS

Soya contains lots of vegetable protein, high-quality fatty acids and a cocktail of nutrients comprising vitamins, minerals and trace elements. It has been an important element of human consumption for thousands of years and is enjoying ever greater popularity. European soya beans are grown regionally by European farmers and are not genetically modified.

BECAUSE
WE NEED
IT HERE

Those in Europe who enjoy an egg for breakfast or some meat for lunch have probably consumed soya indirectly without knowing it. This is because soya is used as the most important protein feed for pigs and chickens in large parts of European farming.

A total of around 40 million tons of soya is fed to animals each year in the EU. To produce these quantities, you need an area the size of some 20 million football fields (14,3 million ha).


Europeans eat an average of 160g soya per day


For one egg, our hens eat around 25g soya


For one chicken fillet (100g), our chickens eat 50g soya


For one piece of pork (100g), our pigs eat 60g soya


BECAUSE WE NEED IT HERE

Those in Europe who enjoy an egg for breakfast or some meat for lunch have probably consumed soya indirectly without knowing it. This is because soya is used as animal feed for pigs, chickens and cows in many parts of European farming.
A total of around 40 million tons of soya is fed to animals each year in the EU. To produce these quantities, you need an area the size of some 20 million football fields (14,3 million ha).

Europeans eat an average of 160g soya per day


For one egg, our hens eat around 25g soya


For one chicken fillet (100g), our chickens eat 50g soya


For one piece of pork (100g), our pigs eat 60g soya


BECAUSE
IT IS SUSTAINABLY GROWN HERE

The soya beans consumed by our livestock are mostly imported – in 2017, that was a total of 36 million tons. These imports come mainly from South America, where soya is often grown in monocultures or duocultures, on rainforest or savannah soil, and involves a heavy use of pesticides and genetically engineered plants. The cleared forest soils can often no longer cope with the high levels of precipitation, which leads to massive erosion damage.

In the European Union there are strict rules for the use of pesticides; no genetically modified seeds are permitted for legumes and there is compliance with EU-wide and international regulations on labour and human rights. The Donau Soja Association also runs the Donau Soja and Europe Soya labelling programmes, which go considerably beyond these stringent requirements and implements these high standards in EU and non EU countries alike.

BECAUSE
IT GROWS
WELL HERE

The soya plant was successfully propagated in Europe by the Austrian professor of Plant Production Friedrich Haberlandt around 140 years ago and since then, it has been cultivated particularly in Central, Southern and Eastern Europe. Thanks to progress in farming techniques, it can now be cultivated in central and northern Europe too.

BECAUSE
IT’S GOOD FOR THE SOIL
AND THE CLIMATE

Like other legumes, soya binds the plant nutrient nitrogen from the surrounding soil air with the help of root bacteria. This means that soya is not dependent on artificial nitrogen fertilizers like other crops such as wheat or maize. This root system is also advantageous for the subsequent crop, because soya leaves valuable nitrogen and soil in good workable condition. Farmers can cultivate this protein-rich plant to supplement customary arable crops such as wheat, barley and maize. In this way, they contribute to more diverse crop rotations. Legumes also include other species like broad beans, peas, sweet lupins, lucerne and clover. Despite their beneficial effects, protein-containing plants started to fall in popularity until the 2000s.

Donau Soja wants to help change this situation and create economic perspectives so that farmers can successfully cultivate legumes.

BECAUSE
IT CAN STRENGTHEN COMMUNITY IN EUROPE

Eastern European countries such as Ukraine, Romania and Bulgaria have large areas of arable land, a warm climate and experience in growing soya. They are therefore well-placed to make a significant contribution to Europe’s soya supply, as well as encourage European integration through trade and an exchange of knowledge with western European countries.

BECAUSE
IT CREATES JOBS AND ENSURES JOB SECURITY

A European soya supply requires research, more animal feed plants, more cultivation facilities, more oil mills and more soya toasting plants. All this is necessary to harness the benefits of soya. We need new value creation and supply chains and we need people to plan and implement it all. Developing a European supply of soya therefore ensures job safety and creates new positions.

„We are very lucky to have such a fertile land along the Danube and good genetically unmodified soybean varieties. It’s not easy, but that is the best we know to do.”,
Slavko Topalović, Lugovo

„I have been producing soya for 29 years. There is a tradition in our family: my father did it, his father did it, and now I do it. We have a tradition, knowledge, and with good technology and a lot of effort, the yields must be good.”,
Stevan Farkaš, Bač

,,From soybean we live and feed our domestic animals, so soya is food for our family, too, and therefore it’s very important for usthat it is FREE GMO.’,
Fišteš Klara i Ferenc, Srbobran

,,We need to do what we love. And me, I love to work with soya and to do farming.’’,
Valerija Balint, Telečka

,,We have to work, surely. From the down till dusk, but this is why our soybean along the Danube is always good.’’,
Arpaš Ištvan,Telečka