Soya meal from overseas is the most important feed component for REWE Group brands, and most of it comes from the United States, Brazil and Argentina. Like demand for meat and sausage, demand for soya meal is steadily increasing. Soya can be cultivated cheaply, as a monoculture, by using genetically engineered soya varieties that are resistant to the herbicide glyphosate, which keeps the fields free of weeds. More and more primary and secondary forests are being cleared to make way for these enormous areas – accompanied by a loss of biodiversity and the destruction of ecosystems and CO2 reservoirs. Monocultures lead to soil erosion, which in turn requires the clearing of more forest land. Leasing costs rise as soya plantations expand, forcing small farmers to seek new areas to settle – and once again forests are cleared. Glyphosate can be poisonous to humans, and some types of weeds have become resistant.