Sustainability is one of the agricultural issues of global concern. As economic development has doubled the global food demand, future agriculture will not only meet the needs of the world’s 9 billion people for the quantity and quality of food, but also deal with many risks brought about by global climate change and the deterioration of resources and environment, so as to be sustainable. The way of production can ensure that land and other resources are not excessively consumed, and ensure the safe production and stable supply of agricultural crops. Nowadays,”sustainability” has also become an important consideration for consumers in various countries when buying soybeans.
The U.S. soybean industry has always regarded the concept of “sustainability” as its top priority, and has promoted sustainable planting and production through a variety of strategies and approaches. Global buyers and consumers have a growing demand for safe and sustainable products, and strive to ensure a reliable supply of high-quality, sustainably produced soybeans.
As early as April 1935, the United States passed the”Soil Protection Act”, which laid the foundation for the sustainable development of the US soybean industry and evolved it A bill and a system of laws and regulations related to sustainable development.
For decades, American soybean farmers have also insisted on practicing sustainable farming, and have developed cover crops, no-tillage, drilling, field terraces, and grassland waterways. And buffer belts and many other ways to reduce farm water and energy consumption and prevent soil erosion, to achieve the unification of ecological benefits, economic benefits and social benefits. In the face of growing global food demand, the US soybean industry is ready.
How does the environmental footprint of US soybeans compare to other soybean markets and other major soybean producing countries? USSEC hired the Dutch Blond Consultants to help us answer this question.
farming, land use change (LUC) and the impact of soybeans on livestock and poultry production are the three main factors contributing to the carbon footprint. Blonk Consultants used Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) to compare 1 kg of soybeans, 1 kg of local commercial soybean meal, and 1 kg of soybean meal produced in the country of origin of the soybeans and found:
· In general, the United States has higher soybean yields, the least use of fertilizers, and efficient machinery
· In terms of protecting public forest land from deforestation, the United States ranks first in the world
· The overall impact of US soybean meal on the carbon footprint of poultry is small
These survey results show that the carbon footprint of US soybeans as a whole has achieved a lower carbon footprint in other soybean producing areas.
In 2013, the U.S. Soybean Industry Organization, together with several state soybean foundations and related industry partners, combined more than 275,000 legal and regulatory systems based on sustainable development and soil protection U.S. soybean farms’ best practices are based on the background of “big data” and adopted the independent International Trade Center (ITC) benchmark tool to develop the U.S. Soybean Sustainability Program (SSAP). U.S. soybeans thus have comprehensive and transparent measurement standards and Identity Certificate”.
As the concept of sustainability becomes more and more popular, more and more international soybean buyers believe that they choose soybeans produced in a sustainable and environmentally friendly way. It is essential to protect the earth’s environment. SSAP has become an important tool for the U.S. soybean industry to meet the needs of customers. It has also been recognized by many industry associations and import companies including the European Feed Manufacturers Federation (FEFAC). In the 2019/20 marketing year, the global export volume of SSAP-certified sustainable US soybeans was 21.3 million metric tons, accounting for 39%of the total US soybean exports.
U.S. Soybean Industry’s recent research report”U.S. Soybeans:Global Sustainability Commitments” introduces how U.S. soybean planting practices support the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDGs include 17 goals to eliminate poverty, protect the planet, and ensure that the world achieves peace and prosperity by 2030. Agriculture is one of the keys to connecting all these 17 goals. The US soybean industry cannot shirk its responsibility.
The research report identified 15 important issues in the environmental, social and economic aspects of US soybeans to continue to promote the US soybean industry to play a leading role in sustainable agriculture . Among them, SDG2-Zero Hunger, is the primary focus of the US soybean industry. Soybean consumption is an important source of high-quality protein for humans, and soybean production implements the highly adaptable agricultural practices emphasized by”Goal 2:Zero Hunger”.
As these 17 SDGs are interrelated, the efforts made for “Goal 2:Zero Hunger” will help achieve “Goal 6:Clean drinking water and sanitation facilities”,”Goal 12:Responsible consumption and production”,”Goal 13:Climate action”,”Goal 15:Terrestrial life”, and”Goal 17:Partnership.” At the same time, agricultural advancements in these five areas also contribute to the realization of SDG2 (Zero Hunger), the primary task of American soybeans.
Currently, U.S. soybeans have achieved four goals in terms of reducing the impact of land use, reducing soil erosion, improving energy efficiency, and reducing total greenhouse gas emissions. Considerable progress and will continue to improve practice. At the same time, we also invest in sustainable agricultural research and education to ensure that the industry’s sustainable goals are achieved.
As the importance of sustainable development continues to rise in all markets (including developed and developing countries), many international customers of US soybeans have adopted the SDG framework As a guiding light for its global sustainable development efforts. U.S. soybean farmers’ commitment to sustainable agricultural practices allows sustainable development to cover soybean farmers’ economic growth and every link in the supply chain, which not only protects precious environmental resources, but also helps ensure that the ability to meet future needs is not compromised. Under the circumstances, it meets today’s global demand for soybean products, so that high-quality US soybeans can be passed on from generation to generation.
To learn more about the sustainability of soybeans in the United States, please check this link:https://daredev.wpengine.com/zh-hans/sustainability/< /div>