Soybean farmers are encouraged to learn more about a pilot program that procures sustainably grown soybeans for the retail market. A meeting will be held August 29 beginning at 9 a.m. at the Iowa FFA Enrichment Center in Ankeny in central Iowa. The Soybean Sustainability Program, introduced earlier this year, is a cooperative effort of Unilever, Archer Daniels Midland Company and the Iowa Soybean Association.
Participating farmers document responsible farming practices already being used on their farm to raise soybeans -- that includes precision agriculture, no-till and other conservation practices. In return, farmers receive a financial incentive when their soybeans are sold. At the August 29 meeting attendees will learn more about the program and have an opportunity to enroll with the assistance of qualified experts. A growing number of farmers are enrolling in the program, but more are needed to reach the initial goal of 50.
Program recognizes farmer commitment to providing quality soybeans
"The program recognizes our commitment as farmers to providing quality soybeans while embracing responsible farming practices," says ISA President Mark Jackson, who farms near Rose Hill and is enrolled in the program. "Its success depends on our involvement of soybean farmers."
Qualified soybeans must be delivered into the ADM Des Moines supply chain, which includes the ADM processing plant in Des Moines, an ADM grain elevator or a participating commercial grain dealer. Farmers must contact ADM or the local elevator with questions regarding participation. Unilever sources all its soybean oil to make Hellmann's Mayonnaise from the plant. Farmers can contact ADM Merchandiser Maree Deventer at 515-263-3266 or [email protected] to learn more about participation premiums and delivery options.
Unilever --- and consumers, they believe --- want to understand where their food is coming from and how it is produced. Company executives recently toured Jackson's farm to see firsthand how sustainable soybeans are being raised. "It's all about passion to make quality products," said Brian Orlando, Unilever senior marketing director for dressings in the United States. "The more you know how they're made, the better you can make them. Consumers want to know, as well."The FFA Enrichment Center is located at 1055 SW Prairie Trail Parkway in Ankeny. To learn more about ISA, go to the ISA website.