The European Commission made a couple of announcements important to U.S. soybean farmers. Conservation practices required for U.S. soybean production now meet European Union standards. Also, biodiesel produced from U.S. soybeans can now be used in the EU. The European Union requires biofuels to meet a set of sustainability criteria outlined in its Renewable Energy Directive. The U.S. soy industry has its own sustainability guideline called the Soybean Sustainability Assurance Protocol. With this week’s announcement, the EU formally acknowledges that the SSAP meets its rigorous sustainability requirements.
Davie Stephens, a Kentucky soybean grower and American Soybean Association President, says, “U.S. farmers have long prided themselves on adopting newer and better methods for producing high-quality soybeans that are grown responsibly and sustainably. We’re pleased that the EU Commission has recognized our efforts by opening the door for SSAP-certified soybeans to be used in EU biodiesel.” The United States is the leading soybean supplier to the EU. While this announcement only applies to soybeans exported specifically for biodiesel production, the ASA sees this as a positive step toward enhancing its share in the EU marketplace. The EU’s decision will be in place until at least July 1 of 2021.