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Global Food Companies Get Look at Farmer Sustainability Efforts

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The United Soybean Board and the soy checkoff’s Sustainability Initiative recently organized a series of farm tours to give five food-industry employers a firsthand look at all soybean farmers do to keep improving their farms’ sustainability performance. Kellogg’s, Kraft, Sodexo and Unilever – which together use a total of about 3.5-billion pounds of soybean oil each year – were represented.

The food industry is the biggest user of U.S. soy oil – consuming more than 80-percent of it every year. The importance the food industry and consumers place on using sustainably sourced ingredients is growing. In fact – a representative of Kraft Foods says they are dependent on the sustainability of farmers and want to promote their efforts. Now that representative sees there are many progressive measures farmers have taken. She plans to take that information back to Kraft, share those stories and help increase consumer awareness. Nebraska soybean farmer and team lead for the checkoff’s Sustainability Initiative Mike Thede says many people don’t realize the high priority farmers place on being good stewards. He says it’s important to show people how common these practices are among farmers and how they’re always looking to improve even more.

Participants of the tour saw farms in the three large and diverse soybean-producing states of Illinois, Iowa and Nebraska. They learned about strip tilling, how technology can improve efficiency, methods to remove nutrients from runoff water and more.

Source: NAFB News Service