GERMANY, Bad Zwischenahn. Rügenwalder Mühle's "Soy made in Germany" pilot project has entered its second round this year.
According to the food manufacturer from Lower Saxony, soy was again sown in fields in North Rhine-Westphalia and Brandenburg in May. In the process, the company said, the acreage was doubled from 25 to 50 ha due to the good experience in the previous year. The first harvest in 2020 yielded 137 t of soybeans. These are currently being refined before the raw material will soon be extensively tested in the research and development department for use in Rügenwalder Mühle's vegetarian or vegan products.
"Sourcing the best ingredients as regionally as possible and manufacturing our products as sustainably as possible is very important to us," emphasized the branded company's managing director, Michael Hähnel. Local soy cultivation enables proximity to suppliers and producers, he said. This is also of great benefit to the environment, he said, because shorter transport routes save CO2 emissions and improve the sustainability of the products. According to the company, around half of the soy it processes has been sourced from southeastern Europe for some time.
In addition to this protein crop, the food manufacturer uses other plant-based raw materials of European origin. Peas, for example, come exclusively from France and wheat from the European Union. In order to be able to source even more ingredients regionally in the future, the company says its own research and development team is working on recipes with other promising domestic protein sources such as field beans, potatoes or lupins.