USSEC Talks Sustainability and Innovation at the Consumer Goods Forum’s 2024 Global Summit  

USSEC was in the company of many global consumer goods giants recently, as part of a select group chosen to present interactive exhibits at this year’s Consumer Goods Forum Global Summit. The annual flagship event is exclusively for C-suite executives and focuses on sustainability and innovation in the retail goods marketplace.  

Held in Chicago this year, the summit provided a platform for USSEC to increase awareness and share the benefits of using the Sustainable U.S. Soy consumer packaged goods label. The label is found on over 1,000 products across more than 18 countries worldwide.

USSEC Director of Sustainability Abby Rinne, North Dakota soybean farmer and USSEC board member Cindy Pulskamp, and USSEC staff highlighted the importance of sustainable agriculture at the event and demonstrated U.S. Soy’s sustainability, quality and value through in-depth conversations and interactive virtual farm tours.

Topics among this year’s group of 1,100 executive attendees from 40 countries included the importance of working with farmers and how sustainable farming practices are compatible with future consumer buying trends.

“A key takeaway from our discussions was the mutual benefit of sustainable farming: supporting environmental goals and also enhancing profitability,” said Rinne. “The importance of sustainable agriculture was a prominent theme, with attendees recognizing that what is good for the environment is good for businesses.”

The summit also delved into future consumer trends, particularly noting that by 2030, 75% of new consumers will come from developing countries. This demographic shift presents significant opportunities for USSEC, which already has strong partnerships in these regions.

Presentations on the future of retail and supply chain innovation included the adoption of new technologies such as cabless trucks for the "middle mile" in supply chains, robotics for inventory and warehouse management, and the use of large drones in delivery logistics. A significant technological shift discussed was the transition from traditional UPCs to 2D barcodes within the next decade. These new barcodes, resembling QR codes, will provide extensive product information, including sourcing details, certifications, and sale statuses, all in a single scan.

The summit attracted a diverse range of companies, including Mondelēz International, Lotte Foods, Upfield, whose brands include Country Crock and other plant-based oil spreads, Coca-Cola, whose brands include fairlife dairy, Pulmuone, Vifon, Tan-Viet International, and Solla Animal Nutrition. USSEC representatives engaged in rich conversations about how sustainable U.S. Soy can help companies lower their carbon footprints and help meet their sustainability goals.

A clear take away from the event is that sustainable agriculture is a key element in consumer goods sourcing, meeting sustainability goals, and driving customer preference. USSEC’s visibility allowed attendees to learn more about the sustainable advantage of U.S. Soy, reinforcing U.S. soybean farmers’ commitment to sustainable farming practices.

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

Consumer Goods Forum attendees listen to a speaker during a breakout session in the “I-Zone” area across from USSEC’s interactive exhibit.
A visitor to the Sustainable U.S. Soy interactive exhibit takes a virtual tour of a U.S. Soy farm through virtual reality goggles.
USSEC Director of Sustainability Abby Rinne North Dakota soybean farmer, USB Director and USSEC board member Cindy Pulskamp talk with a Consumer Goods Forum attendee about the diverse uses of U.S. Soy.