Summit Objectives

In early December 2007, the EU Committee of the Regions and other organisations hosted a conference in Brussels focusing on Non-GMO animal feed and its use in production of premium quality food products in Europe.

More than 360 participants from 65 European Regions and from as far away as Japan, China, India, Brazil and North America took part in the conference. They represented a wide range of trade and industry organisations, governmental institutions, and non-profit institutions, as well as more than 117 food businesses having 638 industrial sites with 90,152 employees, supplied by more than 683,810 farms.

Speakers presented compelling evidence that EU consumers continue to have a strong aversion to GM foods, including dairy, meat, and poultry products produced using GMO feed. Speakers also documented that consumer concerns continue to strongly motivate producers and retailers to use non-GMO soy and maize to produce their products. Recent developments in the German retail sector also strongly support this conclusion, as do new developments in Austria, France, and Italy.

Authorities from several producer countries also presented abundant evidence that put to rest concerns of the EU feed, meat, dairy and poultry industries that supplies of non-GMO soy, and soy in general, might be becoming sparse. These speakers documented that current supplies are more than adequate, with strong potential for growth, and presented robust evidence that it is unnecessary to resort to GMO feed ingredients to sustain the EU meat, dairy, and poultry industries. Data presented also strongly challenged doomsday scenarios from within the EU Commission regarding availability of feed ingredients and proposals to scrap current GMO regulations in order to permit the unrestricted use of GMOs in animal feed.

Not only was evidence presented demonstrating that Brazil’s production is already sufficient, by itself, to meet Europe’s non-GMO soy needs several times over, but that substantial and growing supplies are also available from India, China and, to an increasing extent, from eastern Europe.

The lively discussion that took place at the conference has sparked sustained dialogue and expanded cooperation between EU users of non-GMO soy and suppliers of these materials from South America, Asia, and even North America. Over the last three months, this on-going dialogue, energized by recent developments, such as the new German “ohne Gentechnik” labeling regulation, have led EU buyers, along with suppliers from South America and Asia, to conclude that a further conference was needed in the near future to create a forum that will enable all parties to make maximum use of these new developments, as well as to further facilitate cooperation and the creation of new strategic alliances between international suppliers and EU soy users.

This follow-up conference has been scheduled for October 7th-9th in Brussels, and will achieve the following objectives:

  • Provide participants with the latest, in-depth information regarding market and regulatory developments and conditions in the EU related, not only to non-GMO milk, meat, and poultry, but also to a wide range of other food products that contain soy and soy derivatives such as lecithin, oil, protein isolate, and fiber.
  • Provide users and suppliers of non-GMO soy derivatives with additional opportunities for networking and cooperation, and will enable them to develop and expand strategic alliances, leading to expanded supplies of soy and soy derivatives and more favorable business conditions for all.

Speakers invited include the following:

  • Government agricultural and regulatory officials from across Europe,
  • Members of the European Parliament and representatives of the European Commission,
  • Leading EU retailers and brand owners,
  • Producers of premium animal products, animal feed, and food products who make use of non-GMO soy,
  • Government officials, agricultural scientists, and producers/ processors/ suppliers of non-GMO soy and derivatives from South and North America, and Asia.

A new and increasingly important dimension will be introduced in this conference—the issue of social responsibility and environmental sustainability in soy production and processing. Not only do EU consumers wish to avoid eating GMOs, but they are also very concerned that their foods be produced in a socially responsible and environmentally sustainable manner. Food and agricultural companies are strengthening the social and environmental responsibility of their operations, not only because of consumer demand and their recognition of a range of other collateral benefits that improve their bottom line, but also because industry leaders are recognizing that attention to this issue is essential to assure the welfare of future generations. This conference will explore the responses of producers, manufacturers and retailers to this trend and future developments in this area.

Several of the companies sponsoring the conference have already embarked on programs designed to strengthen their corporate social responsibility and environmental sustainability. For these companies, sponsoring and participating in the conference are, themselves, part of their corporate programs for social responsibility and environmental sustainability. In keeping with this, all profits from the conference will be donated to community development projects in the Third World. All participants are invited to nominate candidate projects to receive these funds, and to vote during the conference to select the programs that will be funded.

Sponsored by
Platinum Sponsor: IMCOPA Platinum Sponsor: CERT ID Gold Sponsor: Grupo Andre Maggi Gold Sponsor: Caramuru
Silver Sponsor: SOL Team Silver Sponsor: Alro Soya Silver Sponsor: Belagricola Patron Friend: Sonic Biochem

Supported by
Supporter: EU Committee of the Regions Supporter: ABRANGE Supporter: Etica de Terra Supporter: Soil Association
Supporter: Soya Tech Supporter: GM-free Ireland Supporter: Organic & Non-GMO Report Support the Summit!

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