First Latin American Company Signs Sustainability Agreement with USSEC
USSEC recently signed an agreement with INOLASA, Central America’s largest soybean processor, for utilization of the Sustainable U.S. Soy trademark. The deal marks the first such agreement in the Americas, outside of the United States.
“We are thrilled to engage in this partnership that will raise awareness for sustainably produced food products, while making U.S. soybean producers more competitive in the region,” commented Kevin Roepke, Regional Director – Americas. “We’re immensely thankful to INOLASA for being on the bleeding edge of sustainability and showing their customers that environmentally friendly production practices are critical for their business model.”
Based in Costa Rica, INOLASA is a long-term ally of USSEC, which serves much of Central America and carries a wide range of products including soybean oils, lecithin, and soybean meal. The SUSSTM will now add value to their most popular brand of soybean oil—marketed under the label known as “Capullo,” as well as their lecithin product known as Leci-Soy.
“Ultimately, we want to get all 15 INOLASA brands underneath USSEC’s sustainability umbrella and use this as a springboard for other countries in the region,” said Luis Bustamante, regional soy marketing specialist for USSEC and chief architect of the agreement. “Our goal is to position U.S. growers as the most sustainable producers of vegetable oils in the world.”
While palm oil and soybean production are on the rise in Latin America, so is deforestation. According to the Brazilian government, 2018 saw the most Amazonian deforestation in a decade, at nearly 8000 km2. Most of the deforestation occurred in the states of Pará and Mato Grosso, which represent nearly 30 percent of Brazilian soybean production. Conversely, the United States has been steadily increasing forest area since 1920. Moreover, Latin America is now home to the world’s third (Guatemala) and fourth (Colombia) palm oil exporters, making for increased regional competition.
“This achievement has been a multi-tiered program on the part of USSEC, starting with individual meetings to introduce the concept and then blossoming into formal seminars and trade missions. “This has been one of the major initiatives, on the part of USSEC, over the past year,” remarked Leonardo Chapula, USSEC Americas oils and proteins marketing manager. “It’s great to see such an important project result in such a tremendous success.”
“Ultimately, USSEC is strategically positioning U.S. soy producers as the most sustainable option in a world where sustainability is increasingly important. This will help our competitive advantage within the region,” added Roepke.
More information about the U.S. Soy Sustainability Assurance Protocol and the Sustainable U.S. SOYTM can be found at http://www.usses.org.