Conservation practices required for U.S. soybean production meet European Union sustainability standards, and biodiesel produced from documented soybeans can now be used in the EU, the European Commission has formally announced.
The EU requires biofuels to meet a set of sustainability criteria outlined in its Renewable Energy Directive (RED). The U.S. soy industry has its own sustainability guideline, the Soybean Sustainability Assurance Protocol (SSAP), and with this announcement, the EU acknowledges that the SSAP meets its rigorous RED requirements.
In a statement, American Soybean Assn. (ASA) president Davie Stephens, a soybean grower from Clinton, Ky., said, “U.S. farmers have long prided themselves on adopting newer and better methods for producing high-quality soybeans that are grown responsibly and sustainably. The SSAP sets a high standard that demonstrates that commitment, and we are pleased that the EU Commission has recognized our efforts by opening the door for SSAP-certified soybeans to be used in EU biodiesel.”
The U.S. is the leading supplier of soybeans to the EU, and while this announcement applies only to soybeans exported for biodiesel, ASA sees it as a positive step for enhancing the EU market and validating the quality of the SSAP sustainability initiative. The EU’s decision will remain in place through at least July 1, 2021.