new national program, Sustainable Canadian Soy, was announced today by Soy Canada. Sustainable Canadian Soy is a voluntary program for Canadian soybean growers, grain handlers and exporters designed to meet the needs of soybean customers, ensure continued access to premium markets and drive new market opportunities.
“Customers have been asking for a verifiable sustainable program,” said Brian Innes, Executive Director, Soy Canada. “Sustainable Canadian Soy is a market-driven solution that will enable our industry to compete for market share and enhance the sustainability of Canadian farms and the entire soybean value chain.”
Sustainable Canadian Soy utilizes the Farm Sustainability Assessment (FSA), a globally recognized whole farm sustainability benchmarking and assessment program that focuses on meeting customer needs and values. The FSA aligns with Sustainable Canadian Soy priorities, including land use efficiency, climate-smart farming, soil health, water stewardship, biodiversity and habitat.
Grower participation in the program is voluntary and includes completing an on-farm sustainability questionnaire about economic viability, social responsibility, and environmental stewardship. “At this time, interest in the program is coming from users of food grade and Identity Preserved (IP) soybeans,” said Innes.
The new Sustainable Canadian Soy program was developed by Soy Canada with extensive farmer and industry consultation and is funded in part through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership’s AgriAssurance Program. The Sustainable Canadian Soy Program will be available for the 2023 growing season.
“When it comes to market growth and innovative gains in quality and production, soybeans are a Canadian success story,” said the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food. “This investment will enhance Canada’s reputation as the best source of sustainably produced soybeans in the world and create new market access opportunities.”
The program will be managed by participating grain exporters and handlers serving customers asking for sustainability verification. Innes notes the Sustainable Canadian Soy program was welcomed by international customers in discussions with the exporters and handlers during a recent Indo-Pacific mission.
“Canadian soybean growers are already following sustainable practices, and many participate in value-added programs that meet the needs of customers and offer premiums,” said Innes. “Sustainable Canadian Soy is one more way we can provide our customers value, keeping access to markets that add value to Canadian soybeans.”
Soy Canada is a national value-chain organization for the soybean sector, including seed companies, Canada’s 30,000 growers, exporters and processors. Created in 2014, Soy Canada leads the sector’s efforts on market access and market development, provides industry leadership on issues affecting the growth and profitability of the soybean sector and coordinates research efforts across the value chain and across the country.