Global Market Report: Soybeans

This report examines how voluntary sustainability standards can help address the social and environmental problems involved in producing soybeans, known as the "king of beans" for their versatility and extensive use.

  • Less than 2% of soybeans are grown in compliance with voluntary sustainability standards (VSSs).

  • Demand for VSS-compliant soybeans is growing mainly in Europe and the United States but not as fast as supply, leading to an estimated oversupply of VSS-compliant soybeans.

  • VSS compliance can be a valuable tool for helping tackle some of the sector's most persistent social and environmental problems.

While soybeans will continue to be an important commodity for the foreseeable future, the sector faces critical sustainability challenges related to deforestation, biodiversity loss, excessive use of herbicides, and human rights violations.

This report, part of IISD's Sustainable Commodities Marketplace Series, examines the growth and potential for VSSs to mitigate some of soybean production's worst environmental and social impacts.

Report details

Standards and Value Chains
State of Sustainability Initiatives
Focus area
IISD, 2020