A sustainable soy scheme has been launched in the US
The US soybean industry is launching a campaign to encourage cultivation practices that are best for the planet through a new sustainability mark for soy products.
Soy that is grown on US farms adhering to envriontmentally friendly methods will display a new sustainability mark.
According to the USB, the new mark denotes agricultural practices, such as no-till and cover crops, that deliver sustainable outcomes in biodiversity, soil carbon, water management, and overall soil conservation.
The body says that customers purchasing products with the sustainability mark displayed on them can be assured that the product was grown in the US, is compliant with all US environmental regulations, and was grown on family farms with responsible labour and agricultural practices which protect highly erodible soils and wetlands.
“It feels good knowing that when I grow this nutrient-dense protein, I am not only helping the food industry feed millions of families across the country sustainably but also contributing to a cleaner planet for the next generation,” said Belinda Burrier, a US soybean farmer.
For now, the mark is being piloted with just two companies in the US – DuPont and Soylent – which will showcase it on products that adhere to the criteria listed above.
“It’s an honour to be one of the first companies to receive the Sustainably Grown US Soy mark. For years, we have created market-leading products rooted in science and sustainability, so it was important to us to be a part of this pilot,” said Demir Vangelov, CEO of Soylent.
“DuPont Nutrition & Biosciences is proud to partner with USB and Soylent in developing the Sustainably Grown US Soy mark, which represents the many ways that US growers are working to ensure that US soy sets the global benchmark for sustainable plant protein production,” added Tony Andrew, Protein Solutions Business Unit Leader at DuPont Nutrition & Biosciences.
After the pilot programme, USB anticipates making the mark available to other interested companies, though they will have to prove that their farms adhere to the strict criteria set out by the USB.
To participate, the company will have to provide an overview of its supply chain, which USB says will be reviewed by a third-party auditor.
Soy has been linked with deforestation and soil erosion in some parts of the world, as vast swathes of forest are cleared to make way for planting this ubiquitous crop, which is used not just as a foodstuff itself, but also as animal feed and oil.
USB will be hoping that by rolling out this sustainability mark, it can encourage farmers in the US, and perhaps elsewhere, that the best practices (and most popular with consumers according to a survey completed by the body) are those that are kindest to the environment.