Secretary Vilsack Meets with USSEC in China, Witnesses Unloading of SSAP-Certified U.S. Soybeans
U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Thomas Vilsack visited a port in Guangdong Province, China on November 22 to witness a vessel of U.S. Soy Sustainability Assurance Protocol (SSAP) certified sustainable soybeans being unloaded and spoke with USSEC.
The vessel Delmar was loaded with 59,000 metric tons (MT) or approximately 2.2 million bushels of U.S. SSAP certified sustainable soybeans at the Reserve (Cargill) port, New Orleans. The exporter is Agrex of Overland Park, Kansas and the importer is Sino Grain.
USSEC staff, including USSEC Regional Director – North Asia Paul Burke and USSEC Country Director – China Zhang Xiaoping, took the opportunity to explain to the Secretary the shipment was certified sustainable and that the SSAP is based upon USDA regulations and is supported by USDA audits of soybean producers.
During Secretary Vilsack’s tour of the port in Guangzhou, he met with China’s General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ), which is the inspection and quarantine service of China for imported products. The Secretary was on a tour of Asia that included a stop in Japan November 19-20 to finalize details related to the implementation of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade treaty and was in China November 21-23 to participate in the U.S. China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade meetings
The meeting and port side ceremony between USSEC and Secretary Vilsack is an example of cooperation between USDA – Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS), USSEC, importer and exporter.