Soybean trade : balancing environmental and socio-economic impacts of an intercontinental market
Faculty of Sciences. Biology
Engineering sciences. Technology
, 13 p.
University of Antwerp
The trade in soybean, an important animal feed product, exemplifies the environmental and socio-economic impact of global markets and global agricultural policy. This paper analyses the impact of increasing production of soybean in the exporting countries (deforestation and grassland conversion) as well as in importing regions (decrease in permanent grassland by substitution of grass as feed). Ecosystem services monetary values were used to calculate the environmental and socio-economic impact of observed land use changes. This is balanced against the economic value of the global soybean trade. The results prove that consumption choices in one region have real effects on the supply of ecosystem services at a large spatial scale. Conclusively, solutions to make this global market more sustainable are discussed.