USSEC Regional Director – EU / Middle East North Africa (MENA) Brent Babb gave a presentation on sustainable U.S. Soy production to an audience of more than 200 in Budapest, Hungary. The Hungarian Research Institute (AKI) of Agricultural Economics and the Food and Agriculture Association (FAO) regional office hosted the event, which focused on the feed and livestock chain.
The seminar highlighted the opportunity to increase awareness of sustainable agriculture in Hungary and utilized a multinational panel of speakers to emphasize the prospects and concerns of increasing global agriculture. Mr. Babb described U.S. soybean farmers’ efforts to increase conservation, while at the same time increasing productivity of the land. Discussions included the U.S. Soy Sustainability Assurance Protocol (SSAP), success in key environmental indicators, and the role of innovation such as biotechnology in sustainable crop production.
USSEC greeted a team of 12 media representatives from several major European agriculture journals and mass media news outlets during their recent visit to St. Louis, Missouri.
Brent Babb, USSEC Regional Director – Europe and Middle East/North Africa (MENA) met with the media team, which was focused on “Innovations In Agriculture” and was coordinated and funded by the Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program. Trip objectives included:
- Demonstrate the positive aspects of innovation, U.S. agricultural diversity, and U.S. sustainable agriculture practices, climate smart agriculture, and precision agriculture
- Promote science-based regulations and policies and reduce potential trade disruptions in U.S. agricultural products
- Raise awareness of technologies and global production practices
Mr. Babb discussed U.S. soybean farmers’ decades-long focus on conservation and highlighted the sustainability improvements achieved by using innovative new biotechnology seeds, including reduced soil erosion and less chemical application. He also introduced the U.S. Soy Sustainability Assurance Protocol (SSAP) and highlighted that over 9 million metric tons (MMT) of U.S. Soy were exported under the SSAP this marketing year, making it the largest soy production conservation program in the world.
USSEC is featured in the online article “Quality, Sustainability Boost U.S. Ag Exports” on FarmWeekNow.com.
The story points out that even though China is the U.S. Soy industry’s top market, smaller markets hold future growth potential. Part of that growth is due to the U.S. Soy Sustainability Assurance Protocol, plus the consistent quality and availability of U.S. Soy.
To read the article in its entirety, please click here.
FarmWeekNow.com is a news and communications arm of the Illinois Farm Bureau.
The January 2017 edition of PorcMag, the leading publication of the French pork industry, contains a detailed article on sustainable soy production in the United States. Written by Pascal Kuipers, a Dutch food and agricultural journalist, the article describes the importance of exports to U.S. soybean producers; raises and addresses some of the common European concerns with GM, such as weed resistance and concentration of the industry while highlighting the contributions that GM technology makes to producing sustainable soybeans (less fossil fuel and greenhouse gases, less water and improved soil health); and comments on soy imports and incentives for the production of alternative protein crops in France. Focusing on sustainability, the article reviews the role of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS); the Field to Market Program and USSEC’s Sustainable Soy Assurance Protocol (SSAP).
USSEC and its partners have an active campaign to promote greater awareness of sustainable U.S. Soy among key industries in Europe, including feed companies and livestock producers. PorcMag is a principal news outlet for the French pork industry, publishing 6000 hard copies each month in addition to its substantial online readership.
Kuipers participated in a USSEC-sponsored trip to the United States last fall, which included visits to farms in Iowa, Maryland and Delaware. The visit and his interviews provided the basis of the article.
Discussions focused on the quality, consistency and sustainability of U.S. Soy during the 5th U.S. Soy Global Trade Exchange for Europe – Middle East/North Africa (EU/MENA) during the recent conference in Lisbon, Portugal. More than 180 customers and 15 USSEC members from 32 countries gathered to discuss the global soy market situation and expectations for the feed and food industry for Europe and the Middle East. USSEC’s two-day conference is one of the few events combining the soy industry throughout those regions and leading soy crushers, feed companies, and poultry and livestock producers were in attendance.
Conference presenters highlighted the importance of the Europe and Middle East market with data showing that EU-28 and Russia represented the top three countries in poultry and pork production growth since 2010, behind only the U.S. Additionally, 13 of the top 30 global feed-producing countries are in Europe and MENA and were represented at the USSEC conference. With one-third of the global gross domestic product (GDP), this region continues to increase its soy consumption and remains highly competitive in poultry and pork production.
USSEC and United Soybean Board (USB) director Todd Gibson, American Soybean Association (ASA) director Bill Wykes, and USB director Andy Fabin highlighted the sustainability of U.S. Soy in their presentations. Each emphasized the sustainability practices of his farm and his production expectations for the upcoming growing season.
Regional customers noted their appreciation in hearing about soy production straight from the producers. USSEC Regional Director – EU/MENA Brent Babb stressed the importance of the U.S. Soy Sustainability Assurance Protocol (SSAP) and the positive environmental indicators of U.S. Soy production. Nick Major, representing FEFAC, the European Feed Association, discussed the importance of sustainability to consumers and retailers in the Europe market. The SSAP meets the benchmark of FEFAC’s soy sourcing guidelines and is a welcome source of sustainable soy supply for the European market. The EU is one of the major users of the SSAP certification system, which now totals over 6.7 million tons in export shipments this marketing year, over 10 percent of U.S. Soy exports.