U.S. Soy Delivers Sustainable Protein

Access to high-quality protein contributes to global food security. USSEC reinforces the value of U.S. Soy as a source of that high-quality protein for food producers and customers around the world. At the same time USSEC emphasizes the sustainability of U.S. Soy production to generate that protein, all by leveraging soy checkoff and U.S. trade investments.  

“U.S. Soy delivers sustainable, nutrient-dense protein,” says Will McNair, director of oil and soy foods for USSEC. “Soy provides all the essential amino acids in amounts that people need. Our farmers continuously improve in their efforts to grow that soy sustainably.”

He explains that malnutrition, including protein deficiencies, continues to be a challenge in many regions of the world. However, solutions to this challenge need to demonstrate long-term sustainability.

Celebrating Protein

USSEC tackled malnutrition directly by celebrating the fourth annual Protein Day in India in February 2023. It also introduced Protein Day in Bangladesh, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

“Protein Day 2023 promoted protein accessibility and affordability in these countries to improve health outcomes, reduce the burden of malnutrition and contribute to the overall well-being of the population,” McNair reports. “U.S. Soy provides a reliable source of high-quality protein for both human diets, as well as an affordable protein ingredient for animal feed, helping to meet human protein needs through eggs, meat, poultry and seafood.”

Country-specific Protein Day webpages on http://www.righttoprotein.com/ and comprehensive communications campaigns conveyed the value of U.S. Soy. An analysis of the regional nutrition industry and trends impacting consumer habits informed the development of messages and stories.

“We connected with leading restaurant associations in South Asia, conducted influencer outreach, shared meal plans, held social media contests, shared a customized Protein Calculator that included localized cuisines by celebrated nutritionists from each country and tailored customized Protein Day YouTube videos for every country,” he adds. “Together, these efforts are building awareness of the importance of protein and cultivating a preference for U.S. Soy to meet protein needs.”

USSEC also powered the second annual Right to Protein run in Nepal in January 2023 as part of the Right to Protein campaign. This event aimed to create awareness about protein deficiency, especially in children. About 5,000 runners participated, more than double the 2,000 people who joined in the inaugural run.

In India, USSEC supported the Plant-Based Foods Summit in May 2023 as a principal event sponsor. During the summit, companies pitched their brands to potential investors, while professional chefs demonstrated innovative plant-based recipes.

“We provided a platform for stakeholders to explore the potential of the plant-based foods industry in India,” McNair says. “Soy provides an excellent source of plant-based protein for this segment of the food industry in rapidly expanding markets like this one.”

Encouraging Sustainability

At the same time, USSEC emphasizes the U.S. Soy commitment to sustainability by raising awareness of the need for action and existing solutions to improve within the food industry supply chain. Recurring industry themes include supply chain challenges and calls from consumers for reduced carbon footprints and increased transparency.

For example, the first Sustainasummit Conference welcomed about 120 food industry business leaders from Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka and the United Arab Emirates. Held in Dubai, participants discussed incorporating sustainability into their business strategies. To encourage action to implement more sustainable practices within the food and feed supply chain, the conference covered topics including sustainable agriculture, green finance, sustainability in the supply chain, food security, sustainability strategy in emerging markets, the U.S. Soy Sustainability Assurance Protocol, or SSAP, and more.

“Sustainability requires collaboration and action from all sectors,” McNair explains. “Events like this position U.S. Soy as part of the solution to these challenges. Providing guidance to improve sustainability, especially through sourcing, has potential to increase demand for sustainable U.S. Soy in regions around the world.”

The soy checkoff’s Sustainable U.S. Soy logo allows companies that embrace these principles to demonstrate that to their customers. And use of that logo is growing. It appeared on soymilk served on a Vietnam Airlines flight celebrating the first anniversary of their non-stop service to San Fransisco. Japanese 7-Eleven convenience stores use the logo on their Seven Premium brand tofu bars.

“These are just a few examples of the more than 900 products around the world using the Sustainable U.S. Soy logo,” he says. “Shipments of U.S. Soy verified by SSAP continue to increase, evidence that the desire for sustainable sourcing is growing, and that U.S. Soy meets that need.”

This story was partially funded by U.S. Soy farmers, their checkoff and the soy value chain.

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USSEC team and event host at the second Right to Protein run in Nepal.
In March 2023, 7-Eleven in Japan introduced new flavors of Seven Premium tofu bars carrying the Sustainable U.S. Soy logo.