SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA, US — The US Soy Sustainability Assurance Protocol (SSAP) has earned Silver Level Equivalence when benchmarked with the Sustainable Agriculture Initiative Platform (SAI Platform)’s Farm Sustainability Assessment (FSA) 3.0, a key takeaway at Soy Connext, the global soy summit hosted by the US Soybean Export Council (USSEC), with support from the Soy Checkoff.

More than 600 buyers and sellers of US soy from 64 countries at Soy Connext heard expert speakers on major industry issues and built connections while learning about US soy quality during the event held Aug. 22-24 in San Diego, California, US. Teams from 38 countries also were expanding their experience and knowledge through industry tours focused on soybean farms and export operations across the United States.

“We’re so glad to have had the opportunity to come together in person to strengthen relationships with US soy’s international customers and industry partners,” said Jim Sutter, chief executive officer of the USSEC. “During this year’s forum we heard three recurring themes – we’re in transformative and volatile times, supply chains continue to face challenges, and consumers are calling for reduced carbon footprints and increased transparency. Soy Connext provides an excellent forum to collaborate so companies can leverage US soy’s superior quality, reliability and sustainability in response to these challenges.”

The US Soybean Sustainability Assurance Protocol (SSAP)’s aggregate approach recently was benchmarked with the SAI Platform’s FSA. The SSAP provides verified sustainable soybean production on a national scale for US soybean farmers. The benchmark eases the process for food and beverage sector to assess, improve and validate on-farm sustainability in their supply chains with US soy.

“This designation is important for international customers of US soy and holds the potential to expand markets, especially in Europe where demand for FSA-designated soybeans is greater,” said Abby Rinne, sustainability director at USSEC.  “The biodiversity, conservation practices, health and welfare, and continuous improvements that US soy farmers demonstrate every season are the foundations of the SSAP and what helped US soy achieve verification.”

The FSA Silver Level Equivalence designation is the latest third-party recognition of the sustainability of US soy. It joins the European Feed Manufacturers Organization (FEFAC), Global Seafood Alliance: Best Aquaculture Practices – Sustainable Feed, The Consumer Goods Forum, the Tokyo 2022 Olympics and the UK Roundtable on Sustainable Soya, all of which have already positively benchmarked the SSAP.

“The benchmark of SSAP against the FSA recognizes the excellent sustainability efforts that the program is making with regards to US soy,” said Joe Iveson, manager of FSA. “The benchmark also offers the opportunity for US-based farmers to better reach international markets as the FSA is a globally accepted definition and framework of what on-farm sustainability looks like.”

The USSEC, with its global office in Chesterfield, Missouri, US, focuses on differentiating, elevating preference, and attaining market access for the use of US soy for human consumption, aquaculture and livestock feed in more than 80 countries. The USSEC is funded by the US Soybean Checkoff, US Department of Agriculture Foreign Agricultural Service matching funds and industry.