Global agribusiness giant ADM and one other US exporter have partnered with the US Soybean Export Council (USSEC) to certify US soya for sustainability schemes in the EU, Biofuels Digest reported on 23 July.

The move is part of the SSAP-RED (US Soy Sustainability Assurance Protocol-Renewable Energy Directive) programme, supported by the United Soybean Board. The voluntary programme meets the requirements of the EU Renewable Energy Directive (RED) and sources SSAP-RED verified soyabeans as feedstock for the production of biodiesel.

As part of the RED regulations, EU member states are required to fulfil at least 20% of their total energy needs with renewable resources, with at least 10% attributed directly to transport fuels by 2020.

“Despite challenges with COVID-19, weather conditions and trade uncertainty, our US soyabean farmers remain dedicated and eager to supply a reliable and renewable product. It’s also making a big difference for EU consumers’ confidence in the agricultural supply chain as well as air quality,” said US Soybean Export Council CEO Jim Sutter.

ADM is the second US exporter to become involved in the SSAP-RED programme, which provides farmers, elevators and the US soyabean value chain with new market opportunities in the EU.

“The completion of our SSAP-RED accreditation is another step toward the long-term sustainable goals of ADM,” said ADM’s EU Biodiesel programme general manager Nick Smith.

“By leveraging ADM’s value chain from farmer origination in the US to our crushing and biodiesel facilities in Europe, we are now able to provide our biodiesel customer base in Europe with year-round options for sustainably sourced soya-based biofuel.”

Farmers interested in joining the SSAP-RED voluntary programme must deliver their soyabeans to a certified elevator that delivers to one of ADM’s river terminals and sign a “self-declaration” confirming their compliance with the requirements of the RED as well as the application of Good Agricultural Practices.

“The more growers who sign up, the more it strengthens the US soya value chain overall as a competitive supplier of sustainably-produced soybeans to biodiesel producers,” said USSEC chairman Monte Peterson, board member of the American Soyabean Association and soyabean farmer in Valley City, North Dakota.