Top 5 Things You Need to Know: US Soybean Sustainability Assurance Protocol (SSAP)

Top 5 Things You Need to Know: U.S. Soybean Sustainability Assurance Protocol
The U.S. soy industry launched the U.S. Soybean Sustainability Assurance Protocol (SSAP) in 2013 to verify the sustainability of U.S. soy. The SSAP provides assurance for international buyers who are seeking a verification of sustainability in order to meet their production needs.

  1. U.S. farmers are a critical piece of that story, and as the most effective spokespeople for U.S. soy, U.S. growers should speak confidently about their sustainability practices.
  2. The protocol is a certified, aggregate approach to the sustainability performance of U.S. soybean production. The data used is regularly compiled by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and other sources that collect it from U.S. soybean farmers through existing government programs. U.S. farmers are leading the way globally in terms of sustainable soy production. While this foundation is taken for granted in the U.S. as a bare minimum for truly sustainable farming, it sets a gold standard globally that many farmers of other origins can only aspire to.
  3. The SSAP has four directives: biodiversity and high carbon stock (wetlands, grassland, forest and biodiversity), production practices (conservation tillage, crop rotation and precision farming), public and labor health and welfare (EPA, OSHA, EEO) and continuous improvement (CRP, conservation programs and training).
  4. The U.S. soy industry has agreed upon four key continuous improvement goals for U.S. soy production – reduction in (1) land use, (2) soil erosion, (3) energy use and (4) greenhouse gas emissions. These outcomes will help meet end-user needs, which is one of the soy checkoff’s key strategic objectives.
  5. FEFAC, the European Feed Manufacturers’ Federation, recognizes the SSAP as meeting the requirements of the FEFAC Soy Sourcing Guidelines. Only 12 schemes have received this positive benchmark, and the SSAP is the only national level program to receive the distinction.


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