Soy sustainability standard gaining acceptance with aquaculture certification schemes
A protocol for enhancing sustainability of soy grown in the United States is gaining acceptance from aquaculture certification schemes and organizations around the world, according to the U.S. Soybean Export Council (USSEC).
The U.S. Soy Sustainability Assurance Protocol, or SSAP, is a third-party audited
Certification that verifies the sustainable soybean production in the United States. It was developed by the United Soybean Board, the American Soybean Association, the U.S. Soybean Export Council, and the soybean boards of various U.S. states.
“As the aquaculture industry ramps up to meet growing global demand, the sourcing of sustainable feed ingredients is becoming a priority for feed manufacturers and aquaculture producers,” the USSEC said in a press release. “This is especially important for sustainability certification schemes, such as the Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP), which has recently included the SSAP as a soy sourcing standard as a part of their revised feed mill standards.”
The SSAP focuses on four sustainability directives: Biodiversity, to protect grasslands, forests, wetlands, and habitat of threatened species and migratory birds; Conservation practices to improve soil health and biodiversity and reduce erosion, runoff, energy use and inputs; Public labor and health and welfare; and continuous improvement in technology and cultural practices, which includes government programs for conservation, environmental quality, agricultural water enhancement and wildlife enhancement.
In 2016, six million metric tons of U.S. SSAP-verified sustainable soy were exported from the United States, and in 2017, the USSEC said it expected that number to increase, with shipments headed to 28 countries.
“Soybean farmers use sustainable practices such as crop rotation, no-till farming, cover crops and precision farming to protect the environment and nurture soil productivity for future generations,” Colby Sutter, the director of USSEC’s International Soy in Aquaculture Program, said. “SSAP certification assures soy customers and end users that U.S. soybeans are produced with the highest standards for quality, food safety and environmental protection.”