Soy producers in the U.S. are sourcing their soybeans from 80 countries, including the Netherlands. With the new system of transferable certificates, consumers of soybeans can see exactly where the soybeans come from and whether they were grown sustainably. In the Netherlands, producers process soybeans into animal feed, food and non-food applications.
American American Soybean Export Council (USSEC) issues new certificates that can be renewed up to four times. This is important for the Netherlands because, according to CBS statistics, almost a quarter of the 1.3 billion kilos of soybeans our country imports from the US a year are immediately re-exported for processing overseas.
The exchange of new sustainability certificates is regulated American Soy Sustainability Assurance Protocol (SSAP). With this system, customers can verify the sustainability of soybean blocks and whether the purchased products meet their own environmental, social and governance objectives. Based on this data, they can report on progress towards achieving those objectives. Importers obtain a named certificate from an exporter which they can transfer to their customers. Such certificate can be exchanged a total of four times.
SSAP is a third-party audited, certified collaborative approach that monitors sustainable soybean production at the national level. The system is designed so that the mass balance of controlled standard soy remains the same in each transfer. Calculations of industrial processing are also included in the system. The organization that issues and maintains the certifications is US Soy Export Sustainability LLC.
A more sustainable diet
“Ensuring the sustainable sourcing of products is central to our commitment to responsible supply chains. We are pleased to see US Soyabean Sustainability certifications continue to improve, and transparent and reliable methods are implemented to measure sustainability performance. Transferable certifications are essential for our customers and companies to monitor and verify that the soy products we offer are sustainably grown. can, which will lead to a more sustainable global food system,” said Desislawa Barsachka, EA Sustainability Implementation Manager at Bunge.
Under the SSAP guidelines, U.S. soybean farmers must continually improve their sustainability performance, aiming to make their products more sustainable in the future. In addition, the SSAP includes farm accounting audits performed by an independent third party: the United States Department of Agriculture. The Independent International Trade Center (ITC) rated SSAP favorably against the European Feed Association (FEFAC) Soy Sourcing Guidelines. SSAP is certified by the Consumer Products Forum’s Sustainable Soy Sourcing Guidelines and the Global Seafood Alliance’s Best Aquaculture Practices.
“US soy farmers are committed to sustainability, so we always support their efforts to monitor the sustainability of their products. SSAP already does that, but with transferable certifications, we can now transfer that control to other customers,” said Abby Rinne, USSEC’s director of sustainability..
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