July 26, 2021
US Soy Sustainability Assurance Protocol reaches 100 million tonnes exports milestone
The US Soybean Export Council (USSEC), United Soybean Board (USB) and the American Soybean Association (ASA) have announced that over 100 million tonnes soy — verified by the US Soy Sustainability Assurance Protocol (SSAP) — has been exported internationally over the seven years since the protocol was launched in 2014.
In 2014, only 6,845 tonnes were shipped with a SSAP certificate. However, the adoption of the SSAP has grown exponentially since its inception with 65 US exporters issuing SSAP certificates for 25.8 million tonnes of US soy in the 2021 marketing year and cumulatively, 100 million tonnes from 2014-21. USSEC's reporting found that the North Asia and Europe regions request a SSAP verified certificate for nearly 100% of their purchases.
With the growing demand for sustainable soy globally, SSAP has been recognised as compliant with the European Feed Manufacturers' Federation (FEFAC) Soy Sourcing Guidelines, the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee's sustainable sourcing code for agricultural products, the Consumer Goods Forum and the Global Seafood Alliance's Best Aquaculture Practices for the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
"As consumer consciousness about health, the environment and the need to meet global nutrition and food security continue to drive demand for nutritious and sustainable protein, the US SSAP enables our global food, feed, consumer packaged goods (CPG) and retail sector customers with verified sustainable US soy," said Jim Sutter, chief executive officer of the US Soybean Export Council (USSEC). "A reliable supply of high-quality, sustainably-produced US soy plays a vitally important role in enabling families and the food-feed industry around the world to feed our growing planet sustainably, and US soy farmers are up to the challenge."
"Our SSAP certified soybean oil imported from the US has been used as a concrete release agent for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic main stadium and relevant facilities," said Saitama Ryokoku Company, a grain and feed wholesaler in Japan. "Interest toward environmentally-friendly initiatives and the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is increasing in Japan, and we will continue to supply SSAP certified soybean oil and soybeans in our sales activities to add value to our customers."
The US soy industry had developed the independently audited SSAP to back up US soybean farmers' commitment to sustainability.
Each year, US farmers perform an annual internal audit, which is reviewed by third-party, independent audits conducted by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). There are about 20,000 independent audits conducted each year. The SSAP outlines and measures sustainable production practices, biodiversity, public and labor health and continuous improvement of farming practices.
"US soy farmers have pursued sustainable practices for decades for the benefit of their businesses, the planet and our society as a whole," said Polly Ruhland, CEO of the United Soybean Board. "It's farmers innate stewardship to grow more with less and sustain their land and soils for the next generation. The milestone of 100 million metric tonnes of SSAP verified shipments is proof of how our farmers are striving to be global leaders in sustainability. The Olympic Games provide an international stage to demonstrate how US soy farmers and industry embrace climate smart agriculture to further increase sustainability."
With US soy that is verified sustainable under the SSAP, companies have a competitive advantage buying US soy compared to soy from other countries of origin. The opportunity to use a trademarked Sustainable US Soy logo on product packaging is offered to companies that source this sustainable ingredient in their products (verified through the SSAP).
Currently, over 30 companies use the Sustainable US Soy logo on more than 550 products to inform their consumers and/or customers of their sustainability credentials and differentiate from the competition.
"America's soybean growers are dedicated to the sustainability of our environment, society and economy. The SSAP is a vital part of this commitment and, as a result, continues to gain global food industry and institutional recognition," said Stephen Censky, CEO of the American Soybean Association.