USSEC recognizes growth in the adoption of Sustainable U.S. Soy (SUSS) label in the Americas region.
U.S. Soy farmers are leading the way in implementing sustainable, regenerative agriculture practices. Global recognition of these practices is growing, with an increasing number of food companies adopting the Sustainable U.S. Soy (SUSS) label as they shift procurement towards sustainable protein.
The U.S. Soybean Export Council (USSEC) is continuing to diversify international markets which, combined with the implementation of long-term economical and sustainable agriculture solutions, is going a long way toward meeting the food, feed and fuel demands of the growing planet.
In the Dominican Republic (DR) and Jamaica, along with countries in Central and South America, USSEC is working to promote the benefits of sustainable production with importers, processors, and crushers, while also making consumers aware that they can buy products containing soy that has been grown sustainably in the United States. USSEC provides education and insight to advance the use of SUSS in the Americas through different activities and programs.
The SUSS label is becoming increasingly visible and is now on more than 850 SKUs in 30 countries, forming an important part of the participating companies’ commitments to advancing the UN Sustainable Development Goals. U.S. Soy has the lowest carbon footprint compared with soy of other origins, with growers fully committed to advanced UN Sustainable Development Goal 2 – Zero Hunger.
The Dominican Republic is a key example of how food companies are adopting the SUSS label, with Pets Agroindustrial, Endy Agroindustrial, AGROTEL, AGROFEM, COAVE, Grupo Agropecuario Don Julio, and Agrifeed all adding the label to their products. This aligns with the mission and vision of the Division of Agriculture under the country’s Ministry of Blue and Green Economy, Agriculture and National Food Security, to accelerate sustainable agricultural growth and development and a goal of developing sustainable production systems.
That mission and vision is also consistent with the view of the U.S. Government. Last year, President Joe Biden hosted a Leaders Summit on Climate, from which emerged commitments including the need to advance sustainable development. In November 2021, the Government also released The Long-Term Strategy of the United States: Pathways to Net-Zero Greenhouse Gas Emissions by 2050, which also recognized, among other things, the need for more sustainable efforts in the agriculture sector.
In 2020/21, the Dominican Republic imported 686,397.87 million metric tons of soy products, including whole soybean, soybean meal and soybean oil, of which 580,965.20 million metric tons came from U.S. Soy. The Dominican Republic, the 10th largest economy in Latin American and the number one economy in the Caribbean region, is the sixth largest U.S. soybean meal importer and fifth largest importer of U.S. soybean oil. U.S. Soy has been collaborating with the country of 11 million since 1990.
“Our clients in the DR understand how sustainability initiatives can contribute to their organization's overall success, realizing that U.S. Soy, being sustainably produced, is the best partner for developing a sustainable business strategy,” says Fradbelin Escarraman, USSEC’s Market Lead for Dominican Republic and Jamaica.
The customers of U.S. Soy in the Dominican Republic say that adding the SUSS logo to their products gives them a competitive advantage and demonstrates their own commitments to sustainability.
"As a company, we are pioneers in obtaining the license to use the Sustainable U.S. Soy logo in the Dominican Republic,” said Sebastián Taveras, Feed Mill Manager, AGROTEL. “In the beginning, many people and customers wondered what sustainable soy was and we educated them through our social media profiles and our website, explaining that U.S. soybean is produced with a low environmental impact. For us as a company, it has meant a lot because just placing that logo on our bags is a plus. And we know that, although we have not yet conducted a market study, some people have come to buy our product because they know that we are certified with Sustainable U.S. Soy, which allows our brand to acquire greater value than other competing products without the license. The sustainability training provided by USSEC has led us as a company to work internally on sustainable investments at our sites. One of these investments is a solar panel park that allows us to save energy and reduce gas emissions."
USSEC has also been inspired by the feedback received from clients like from Marimar Cabrera, Brand Development Manager at Grupo Agropecuario Don Julio, who said, "Our experience using the Sustainable U.S. Soy logo has been very positive as it has allowed us to show our consumers that we use quality raw materials and high traceability, offering a superior end product. By adopting this initiative and applying for the license with USSEC, we are committed to being more sustainable, being more efficient in the use of our resources and providing greater value to our customers, with environmental and social transparency and responsibility."
This article was partially funded by U.S. Soy farmers, their soy checkoff, and the soy value chain.