On July 22, the U.S. Soybean Export Council, the United Soybean Board and the American Soybean Association announced that over 100 million metric tons of U.S. Soy Sustainability Assurance Protocol verified soy had been exported internationally in the seven years since the protocol’s conception, according to the two groups.
The program was created in 2014 when the U.S. Soy industry came together to create the independently audited SSAP in order to uphold U.S. soybean farmers’ commitment to sustainability.
Each year, around 20,000 farmers conduct annual audits that are then reviewed by third-party auditors through the USDA. This protocol is meant to measure farmers’ sustainable production practices, biodiversity, public and labor health, and ongoing improvement of their farming practices.
In the first year of the practice, only 6,845 metric tons were shipped with SSAP certification. However, since then it has become widely embraced by exporters.
25.8 million metric tons of SSAP certified U.S. soy was exported in 2021, contributing to the cumulative 100 million metric tons that have been shipped between 2014 and 2021.
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Further, the USSEC reported that North Asia and Europe request SSAP verified certificates for almost 100% of their purchases.
“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 the CEO of the American Soybean Association, Stephen Censky.
U.S. Soy that is SSAP certified offers a competitive advantage over soy from other countries because its packaging indicates that it is sustainably produced.
The program has been deemed compliant by the European Feed Manufacturers' Federation Soy Sourcing Guidelines, the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee's sustainable sourcing code for agricultural products, Consumer Goods Forum, and the Global Seafood Alliance's Best Aquaculture Practices for the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
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