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Kesko Oyj: Kesko commits to use responsibly produced soy

KESKO PRESS RELEASE 19.2.2016 AT 13.00 1 (2)

Kesko commits to use responsibly produced soy

Kesko, Arla Finland, HKScan Finland and Unilever Finland have initiated a
Finnish soy commitment in cooperation with WWF Finland. The members of the
commitment pledge to ensure that by 2020 all the soy used in the production
chain of their private label products will be responsibly produced, either
Round Table on Responsible Soy (RTRS) or ProTerra certified soy.

The Finnish soy commitment covers both the Finnish production chain and
sourcing from other countries. Certification applies to the origin and
production chain of soy and will be made by an independent third party. The
more than a hundred criteria of this certification include audits of the
environment, the local community and working conditions. The RTRS and
ProTerra certificates of responsible production significantly reduce the
environmental impacts of soy cultivation by preventing natural environments
and threatened areas from being turned into cultivated land.

"WWF has worked for years at an international level to promote the adoption of
responsible soy. It is great that companies have realised the importance of
our message. This is an important step and a concrete example of how
companies' sourcing can have a direct influence on their environmental
impacts. We encourage other Finnish operators to accept the challenge,"
saysLiisa Rohweder
, CEO, WWF Finland.

We challenge other operators to join in

The Finnish soy commitment is an open group. Its contents and members are
presented at wwf.fi/soijasitoumus. The founding members of the commitment -
Kesko, Arla Finland, HKScan Finland, Unilever Finland and WWF Finland
-challenge other Finnish operators to join in. The participating companies
pledge to ensure that by 2020 all soy used in the production chain of their
private label products will be responsibly produced, either RTRS or ProTerra
certified soy. The companies will annually report publicly on their progress
in achieving the commitment.

Soy production has environmental and social impacts

Soy is one of the most cultivated plants in the world. Soy is an ingredient in
many foods and soy feed is used in the production of foods of animal origin.

Six percent of soy is produced directly for human consumption; most of it is
used as an ingredient in feeds for farmed animals and ends up on our tables
through meat and dairy products and eggs.

The largest environmental impacts resulting from the continuous expansion of
soy cultivation areas particularly in South America relate to deforestation,
the increase in greenhouse gas emissions, the loss of biodiversity, and
erosion. Soy cultivation is reported to cause social problems related for
instance to land ownership and distribution of income.

RTRS promotes sustainable soy cultivation and responsible soy production

The Round Table on Responsible Soy (RTRS) is an international initiative on
responsible soy production in which various stakeholders work together to
ensurethe sustainable cultivation of soy and the social responsibility in the
soy production. Kesko applied for membership of the RTRS in February 2016.

Kesko recommends that responsible RTRS or ProTerra certified soy be used in
the ingredients of soy origin of the grocery trade's private label foods, in
the production of products of animal origin and as an ingredient of the
animal feed products sold by the agricultural trade. The objective is that by
2020 only responsible RTRS or ProTerra certified soy will be used in these

Further information:

Vice President Matti Kalervo, Corporate Responsibility, Kesko, tel. +358 50
306 4081
Project Coordinator Stella Höynälänmaa, WWF Finland, tel. +358 40 507 3123,
CEO Liisa Rohweder, WWF Finland, tel. +358 40 840 7461, liisa.rohweder@wwf.fi

is a Finnish listed trading sector company. Kesko operates in the grocery
trade, the home improvement and speciality goods trade and the car trade. Its
divisions and chains act in close cooperation with retailer entrepreneurs and
other partners. In 2015, Kesko's net sales totalled €8.7 billion and it
employed more than 20,000 people. Kesko has over 1,500 stores engaged in
chain operations in Finland, Sweden, Norway, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania,
Russia and Belarus. Kesko's shares are listed on Nasdaq Helsinki. The
company's domicile and main premises are in Helsinki.

WWF Finland is part of the wide, international WWF network, which has offices
in around 50 countries and operations in over a hundred countries. We a
building a future in which humans live in harmony with nature. WWF has worked
for years to promote the use of responsible soy and appealed to key companies
both in Finland and worldwide.


This announcement is distributed by NASDAQ OMX Corporate Solutions on behalf of NASDAQ OMX Corporate Solutions clients.
The issuer of this announcement warrants that they are solely responsible for the content, accuracy and originality of the information contained therein.
Source: Kesko Oyj via Globenewswire


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