This page provides an overview of the corporate social responsibility (CSR) risks related to soy grown in Argentina.
Soybean production in Argentina is estimated to be over 60 million tonnes per year and is grown on approximately 20 million hectares of land. 84% of the production is exported as bean and soy by-products, generating approximately US$8 billion per year in export revenues.
Soy is grown in the temperate and subtropical biomes of:
- Chaco seco, Chaco húmedo, Espinal and Pampa biomes in the Northwest (NOA)
- Northeast Argentina (NEA)
- Pampeña in central Argentina.
Soy production involves a large number of producers (approximately 70,000), 6% of which manage 54% of the total production. Medium-sized farms (between 2,500 and 10,000 ha) are the most widespread, covering approximately 47 M ha. Large plantations (greater than 10,000 ha) cover over 65 million ha.
The most serious threat linked to soy production is deforestation. Since 1990 Argentina has lost 7.5 million hectares of Native Forest; almost 80% of the deforestation has taken place in the NOA and NEA regions.
Major ecological threats associated with soy farming in Argentina include deforestation, biodiversity loss, and carbon emissions resulting from land use change and forest fires. Land tenure conflicts and indigenous communities’ rights are an area of high concern. It is also reported there is a high level of informal labour used in soy farming and production. other business and legal risks. The biggest underlying contributors to these problems are corruption, lack of effective laws and weak enforcement of existing laws.
A number of CSR risks are present in Argentinian soy supply chains. The risks are wide ranging and appear across the business, social and environmental areas. If you are sourcing soy from Argentina you should take care to ensure the extensive risks identified are not present in your supply chains, or have been sufficiently mitigated.
Score: 40 / 100 in 2018
Rank: 85 out of 180 countries in 2018
There are currently no armed conflicts in Argentina according to the Council on Foreign Relations' Global Conflict Tracker.
Soy from Paraguay can be certified by the Round Table on Responsible Soy (RTRS). 56,641 ha is certified (2017)
Gather information on your supply chain
- Find out the different sources of soy
- Determine which source type your soy comes from
- Find out the main documents that can be used to indicate legality throughout the supply chain
Sources of soy
|Soy source types||Description of source type|
Soy from smallholder plantations that are privately or family-owned and family-managed. Supply chains can be uncertain.
Small/medium-sized plantations under agro-industry management pools
Soy from small and medium-sized plantations that are privately owned, but managed by private companies through a land leasing / sub-contracting scheme. The supply chains are vertically integrated.
|Medium-sized, privately owned and managed plantations||Soy from medium sized, privately owned and managed plantations. The supply chain have links to local traders|
|Large, professionally managed plantations||Soy from large plantations that are owned by private companies (S.A.) or groups of holders. The plantations are professionally administered with fully integrated supply chains.|
Documents to indicate legality
Processing, trade and transport
Export and customs
Assess the risks in your supply chain
- Find out the main environmental, social and legality risks
- Download the full risk assessment to see more detail
Main environmental, social and legality risks
Mitigate the risks in your supply chain
Learn which actions we recommended to mitigate the risks associated with the soy sources from Argentina.
We have two tools to help you mitigate risks for Argentinian soy supply chains:
- The Supplier Evaluation Checklist for soy from Argentina will help you identify and specify the risks in your supply chain.
- The Risk Mitigation Guide gives you a detailed overview of risks in Argentina, and how to mitigate them.
The tools above give you the most information. Below is a summary of our recommended actions to mitigate the risks associated with the soy sources from Argentina.
1. Fully map your supply chain
Our supply chain mapping tool can help you do this.
2. Obtain and verify documents
- Land tenure and business documents
- Possession title (Informe de Dominio): Private land owners must hold a valid land title issued by the National Rural Land Registry of the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights (federal level) and the Provincial General Registry of property (province level)
- Provincial Land Property Registry: Report of domain conditions (Registro de la Propiedad Inmueble Provincial: Informe de condiciones de dominio)
- Provincial Rent: Debt Free of Property Tax (Renta Provincial: Libre Deuda del Impuesto Inmobiliario Básico)
- Report of Municipal Debt Free (Informe de Libre Deudas Municipal)
- A legal long term leasing contract (for land renters/tenants). This contract should be registered with the Federal Administration of Public Revenues (Administración Federal de Ingresos Públicos AFIP) and notarial registered at General Provincial Registry of Property (provincial level).
- Operator/Producer’s Single Code of Fiscal Identification (Código Único de Identificación Tributaria (CUIT) / Single Code of Professional Identification (Código Único de Identificación del Ganadera (CUIL)) administered by the AFIP.
- Documentary evidence that CUIT/CUIL identification is registered with:
- The National Health Registry of Farming and Livestock Producers (Registro Nacional Sanitario de Productores Pecuarios (RENSPA))
- Single Register of Official Accounting (Registro Ünico de Cuentas Oficiales (RUCO))
- A map identifying the traditional communities close to its farm boundaries. Your supplier may be able to provide you with this
- Records of Free Prior Informed Consent and copies of negotiated agreements (if applicable)
- Evidence that a dispute resolution policy is in place
- Tax related documents
- A certificate showing that no taxes are owed (Libre Deuda Fiscal) from the AFIP.
- Annual financial reports
- Receipts of income and sales taxes payments
- Electronic Invoices - volumes and quantities in sales and transport documents shall match the taxes paid
- Employment-related documents
- Early registration certificate (Certificado de alta temprana)
- Employee registration with the Federal Administration of Public Revenues from the AFIP
- Employee payroll list, F 931 (Nómina F 931)
- Sworn statements, certificates, application certificates and payment certificates, F 391
- Employees’ National Identification Card Numbers (DNI de los empleados)
- Policies and procedures confirming ILO Fundamental Conventions are upheld
- Receipts of life insurance payments
- Employee pay slips when cross checked with Salaries Resolution by the National Commission for Rural Work (Resolución Salarial by the Comisión Nacional de Trabajo Agrario) confirm that the salaries:
- meet legal requirements
- comply with collective bargaining agreement requirements
- are at least the legally established minimum wage
- Health and Safety (H&S) related documents
- RSPS form on Health and Safety (acta del RSPS de Seguridad e Higiene)
- Registered provision of Personal Protection Equipment (Elementos de Protección Personal)
- Occupational Risk (Aseguradoras de Riesgos del Trabajo (ART)) insurance
- ART membership certificate (Certificado de incorporación)
- Workplace accident records
- Training register
- Registration of pre-employment and periodic medical examinations
- Occupational risks report (Informe del relevantamiento general de riesgos laborales)
- Inspection sheets from the National Registry of Agricultural Workers and Employers (RENATEA), Argentina Union of Rural Workers (UATRE) and Stevedores-Superintendence of Occupational Risks (SRT).
- Insurance documents. Verify that the supplier is insured for Occupational Risk (Aseguradoras de Riesgos del Trabajo or ART) and that employees’ National Identification Card Numbers (DNI) are registered on the insurance documents
- Inspection sheets from the Superintendence of Occupational Risks (Superintendencia De Riesgo De Trabajo, SRT). Determine whether the employer has undergone any inspections.
- Environmental documents
- Approved environmental impact report or study (Informe de impacto ambiental aprobado)
- Environmental monitoring plan (Plan de monitoreo ambietal predial)
- Mitigation plan (Plan de mitigación)
- Provincial approved environmental resolution or certificate for forest management or land use changes (Resolución o nota de aprobación ambiental provincial)
- Authorisation for the use of agrochemicals (Autorización de uso de agroquímicos)
- Approved resolution for hazardous waste registration (Resolución de aprobación de inscripción de residuos peligrosos).
- Provincial approved resolution for the use of fire (Resolución de Aprobación Provincial del Uso del Fuego)
- Soil erosion control plan and measures (Plan de control de erosión de suelos con listado de medidas)
- Provincial approved resolution for water use (Solicitud de uso del agua)
- Land-Use Change Plan application (Plan de Aprovechamiento de Cambio de Uso del Suelo)
- Native Forest Management Plan compliant with National Act 26.331 on Native Forests (Ley 26.331 - Bosque Nativo)
- Provincial approved resolution for soy farm establishment in reserve areas (Resolución de aprobación provincial de áreas de reserva)
- List of rare, threatened and endangered species as categorised in the IUCN Red List and Provincial CITES lists that could be found in the farming area (UICN-Listas Nacionales/provinciales-CITES encontradas en el establecimiento productivo)
- Biodiversity surveys and High Conservation Value (HCV) assessments
- Conversation/High Conservation Value (HCV) management plans
- Cattle farm boundary map crossed-checked with the following documents confirms that the farm is not located in a protected area, category I (conservation) and II (restoration) native forests, have not threatened high conservation values, and have not been established by the conversation of primary forests or ecosystems
- Land-use Planning Map of Native Forests (Mapa Ordenamiento Territorial de Bosques Nativos)
- Official Native Forest cadastre of the Ministry of Environment: http://www.minagri.gob.ar/
- Maps of National and Provincial Protected Areas,
- If any land conversion has been conducted, verify that it has only been done in Category III areas and in accordance with the Authorized Plan for Land Use Change
- HCV assessment or proxy maps and data of, e.g., biological corridors, watersheds/courses, buffer zones, riparian and conservation areas, vulnerable slopes/soils, high fire risk areas, critical local communities and indigenous populations sites and resources, habitats and landscapes of cultural, archaeological or national or international historic importance
- Social impact evaluation
- Map of the farm boundaries
- Historical remote sensing imagery evidence to confirm no conversion of primary forest, and HCVs post November 2005.
- Burning permit: Application for agricultural burning permit (Permiso de quema: Solicitud de permiso para quema agrícola)
- Burning plan (Plan de quemas)
- GMO related documents
- Laboratory GMO-free certificate
- Organic soy certificate
3. Consult stakeholders
- The Ministry of Justice and Human Rights and/or the National Agency of Rural Land confirm registration of farm has been granted following legally prescribed processes
- The Ministry of Justice and Human Rights (http://www.jus.gob.ar/derechoshumanos/publicaciones/busqueda-por-temas/pueblos-originarios.aspx) and Amnesty International Argentina (http://www.territorioindigena.com.ar/Pueblos-Originarios) confirm that there are not any conflicts with indigenous peoples over land use.
- Neighbours, local communities, landowners and other stakeholders confirm that land tenure rights are clear and, where applicable, the lease of the land has been agreed by all the landowners.
- Neighbours, local communities, landowners and other stakeholders confirm that there are not any court orders or other legal decisions that mean that the company is not allowed to operate due to conflicts of land tenure.
- Authorities from General Justice Inscription (Inscripción General de Justicia IGJ) confirm that the supplier is up to date in payment of applicable income and sales taxes
- Consult the AFIP and Provincial Income Administration (DGR) that the supplier’s tax obligation is fulfilled and they have tax debt free status
- The AFIP and Provincial Income Administration (DGR) confirm that the supplier’s tax obligation is fulfilled and they have tax debt free status
- The AFIP confirms, via a historical employees’ registration list that employees have been legally employed
- Employees confirm that:
- They are covered by mandatory insurance policies
- Are above the minimum age for soy farm activities and hazardous work
- The company does not employ unregistered workers, either on probation, or who receive government benefits for the unemployed
- The Social Security System (Alta en el Sistema de la Seguridad Social) confirms that the employee payroll list (F 931) is registered with them
- National Registry of Agricultural Workers and Employers or Argentina Union of Rural Workers confirm that there are not any outstanding claims filed with the supplier.
- Inspection sheets from the Superintendence of Occupational Risks (Superintendencia De Riesgo De Trabajo, SRT). Determine whether the employer has undergone any inspections
- Workers and local stakeholders confirm that the land was not cleared or prepared with fire.
- Stakeholders such as Greenpeace, World Wildlife Foundation Information and Proyungas confirm that no deforestation has taken place
- Stakeholders such as Fundación Vida Silvestre, Greenpeace, Aborgin Argentina, Solidarity Networks, local NGOs, indigenous and local community representatives confirm that the social impact evaluation and HCV 5 and 6 survey outcomes meet requirements
- Relevant authorities confirm that there have not been any complaints or penalties against the cattle farm regarding illegal burning and/or if there are registered incidents of uncontrolled fires connected to the cattle farm
- The National Registry of GMO Operators and INASE (National Seed Institute) registry confirm that the farm does not use GMOs
4. Carry out on-site verification
- Confirm farm is within the authorized boundaries listed in the relevant licenses
- Confirm that the company has Health and Safety (H&S) training, procedures and equipment (Elementos de Protección Personal) in place
- Conduct interviews with the employees:
- Request to see their National Identification Card (Documento Nacional de Identidad) and cross check that they have been registered in the National Identity Registry (Registro Nacional de Identidad), within the Form 931 list and are on the Companies for Occupational Risk (ART) list
- Ask them to describe their tasks, the amount they are paid by the employer, the basis on which they are paid (daily/day’s work - journal, monthly, by performance/production), the number of hours in their workday, and how many days in the week they work
- Confirm management plans for protected sites, species and High Conservation Values are implemented and monitored
- Confirm that maps/remote sensing images for deforestation reflect reality
- Confirm that all workers are employed according to the regulations and required contracts
- Confirm that there was active consultation and/or a Free Prior Informed Consent process was conducted and that there is a dispute-resolution mechanism in place
- Confirm that the supplier has documentation or a copy of a management plan that ensures required legally protected areas and species are safeguarded in accordance with the law
- Confirm the existence of a manual for the use of fire and preventive measures
- Confirm the quantities of soy sold and transported in relation to the declared farm area by cross checking the Consignment Note (for transportation) and electronic invoices