In 2013, the U.S. Soybean Export Council (USSEC), American Soybean Association, United Soybean Board and several state soybean boards launched the U.S. Soybean Sustainability Assurance Protocol (SSAP). This program helps define and document sustainable performance in soybean production for international customers. The protocol covers four key components including sound environmental objectives, social responsibility, promoting economic growth and continuous improvement in technology and cultural practices. The protocol addresses how sustainable performance by U.S. soybean farmers is measured and verified by various government programs.
SSAP also offers exporters of U.S. soy the opportunity to obtain an official sustainability certificate that verifies the soy products they sell are raised in a sustainable manner. The certificate was developed through a multi-stakeholder process to ensure the methodologies for measuring sustainable performance are thorough, transparent and credible.
This was a strategic move by the soybean industry to assure international customers that U.S. farmers raise soybeans with high sustainability performance through areas such as reduction in carbon emissions, energy use, greenhouse gas emissions and soil erosion. Certification is done at shipment point by Soy Export Sustainability, LLC, based on an aggregate system representing nationwide soybean production. According to USSEC, 95 percent of U.S. farms currently participate.
To learn more about USSEC and the U.S. Soybean Sustainability Assurance Protocol, visit www.ussec.org.