ADM is among the world’s largest soybean originators and processors. Below are recent highlights of our work to foster a more sustainable soy supply chain.
195,000 = Documented hectares (equivalent to 481,000 acres) of sustainably cultivated soybeans sourced in 2015 through our Field to Market collaboration with Unilever.
382 = Number of growers enrolled in our Field to Market project.
134,000 = Metric tons of ISCC soy sourced in South America in 2015.
In recent years, several certification bodies – including the Round Table on Responsible Soy (RTRS) and the International Sustainability and Carbon Certification (ISCC) – have emerged to establish standards for the sustainable cultivation of soybeans and production of soy meal and soy oil. In North America, no such program or system has yet gained widespread acceptance. Therefore, we partner with other innovative companies that want to procure sustainably sourced soy.
For instance, ADM has teamed with Unilever, the WWF, the United Soybean Board, the Iowa Soybean Association and the Field to Market sustainable agriculture initiative to ensure the oil used in Unilever’s Hellmann’s Mayonnaise brand is sustainably sourced. Using Field to Market’s Fieldprint Calculator, which enables growers to analyze how their management choices impact natural resources and operational efficiency, our companies have been able to secure soybeans from Midwest farms that satisfy Unilever’s stringent sustainability requirements, and meet its commitment to customers.
ADM's Responsible Soy Standards
As a company committed to the responsible and sustainable development of agriculture throughout the world, we created the ADM Responsible Soybean Standard, a certification program with the main objective of promoting environmentally and socially responsible soy production. The initiative will enable our customers in Europe and other regions to source protein meal made from sustainably grown soybeans.
In March 2015, ADM launched its Responsible Soybean Standard in the Brazilian states of:
- Mato Grosso, producing an estimated 333,531 metric tons of soybeans.
- Mato Grosso do Sul, producing an estimated 172,000 metric tons of soybeans.
- Bahia, producing an estimated 125,000 metric tons of soybeans.
Approximately 100 growers are involved in the initial pilot.
ADM partners with an independent certifying agency to conduct annual inspections that assesses growers based on their adherence to a broad set of social, environmental, legal and agronomic standards, including their labor practices, water and soil usage, solid waste management, observance of land rights, legal compliance, and the responsible use of fertilizers. This standard meets the benchmark set by the European Feed Manufacturers’ Federation (FEFAC) defining a baseline level for soy imported to the European market. The results of the benchmarking assessments are shown on the ITC’s Standards Map for sustainable trade, where they can be compared with other sustainability standards.
You can read the full Responsible Soybean Standard here.
"Doing It Right"
880,000 = Approximate number of hectares (2,175,000 acres) of farmland listed with Brazil’s Registry of Socio-Environmental Responsibility under the ADM/Aliança da Terra “Doing It Right” program.
16 = Participating farms at the program’s inception in 2009.
425 = Participating farms today.
Since 2009, ADM and Aliança da Terra, a not-for-profit sustainable farming group founded by farmers, have partnered to help soybean growers in the Brazilian states of Mato Grosso, Mato Grosso do Sul, Minas Gerais, Para and Bahia improve their yields on existing cropland and minimize the need to expand into ecologically sensitive regions.
Under the “Doing it Right” program (Produzindo Certo), soybean growers agree to allow Aliança da Terra technicians to visit their farms, map the property and analyze the operations. From there, the organization develops a social and environmental action plan for the farmer and recommends a technical training program to help him or her achieve the plan’s goals. After one year, Aliança da Terra returns to the farm to evaluate progress against the plan and determine next steps in consultation with the grower.
In September 2015, representatives from The Forest Trust (TFT), a non-profit organization that works with companies to implement responsible sourcing commitments, conducted field visits to Mato Grosso and Bahia to assess the initiative. The goals of the visits were to:
- Identify environmental and social risks in our soy supply chain at a macro or regional level.
- Better understand how the supply chain is structured in each region.
- Ask people in each region to share their vision for pragmatic solutions to addressing identified risks.
You can learn more about TFT’s findings from those visits here.
You can read ADM’s soy sourcing policy contained in Our Commitment to No-Deforestation.
Committed to Effecting Change – Regional Sustainability Initiatives with Soy Farmers
9 = Years in which ADM has been a signatory to the Brazilian Soy Moratorium. ADM’s participation confirms our commitment to refrain from trading in soy originated in areas within the Amazon Biome that were deforested after July 2006. We are continuing to actively monitor the names of the farmers we buy from against the list of farmers who are shown by remote sensing to be in violation of the Soy Moratorium. ADM will continue to support the moratorium until a permanent instrument is in place that is robust enough to provide assurance that the soy we procure is not coming from land deforested after the Soy Moratorium cutoff date of July 22, 2008.
In addition, ADM currently has several soy sustainability initiatives underway, including:
- Soja Plus (“Soy Plus Program”) – Soja Plus is a multi-stakeholder initiative involving partnership with soybean farmers and their cooperatives, associations of cereal exporters, civil society organizations, private sector companies, universities, research institutions and agricultural extensions. The program builds the capacity of the rural producer, free of charge, to meet the market demand for sustainable products. Implemented by the Brazilian Association of Vegetable Oils (ABIOVE), of which ADM is a member, the program distributed brochures and promotes courses on health and safety at work, adequacy of rural buildings and the new Forest Code. It also coordinates field visits to benchmark farms and visits by technicians to monitor performance indicators. To date, Soja Plus has engaged nearly 5,000 farmers covering the supply chains of several different companies.
- The Nature Conservancy (TNC) Partnership – ADM supports TNC’s work to help the municipality of Correntina, Bahia in Brazil develop maps of all the land owners in the region and meet the requirements of the Rural Environmental Registry, or CAR (Cadastro Ambiental Rural). The CAR is an important legal tool in Brazil that ensures farmers are meeting the requirements of the Brazil Forest Code, and provides a means for monitoring land-use change over time. TNC currently has mapped 494 farms representing 67 percent of the total area of Correntina, accounting for more than one million hectares. The area is undergoing soy expansion, so our hope is that the mapping will help redirect the expansion to appropriate areas that are in compliance with ADM’s No-Deforestation Commitment.
- Sustentagro – In association with the Sustainable Trade Initiative (IDH) and global civil society group Solidaridad, ADM launched the Sustentagro project in 2015. The project strives to build links between producers, local governments and communities living in important soy producing regions of Paraguay, and helps producers adopt sustainable production practices in an effort to reduce impact on the environment and promote safer conditions for workers and communities. Phase 1 consisted of developing tools to carry out a diagnosis of soy production practices in the region and guidelines for sustainability practices, while working with municipalities to raise awareness about sustainable landscapes and appropriate areas for soy production.
- Sustainability Certifications – ADM continues to support farmers in Paraguay and Brazil to help them reach and maintain their International Sustainability and Carbon Certification (ISCC). ADM was the first company in South America to achieve ISCC certification for soybeans by working with growers in both countries to successfully complete exacting third-party audits. In 2015, ADM also contributed to the transition of the Dutch feed industry to sustainable soymeal by selling ISCC PLUS-certified soymeal to customers in that market. As a result, it is now possible to market both sustainable biodiesel and soymeal made from ISCC-certified soybeans.
Enhancing the Sustainability of the Softseed Supply Chain
9 = ADM Oilseeds production facilities in Europe that have been ISCC PLUS-certified, enabling them to supply the food industry with certified-sustainable edible oils from crops including rapeseed and sunflower seed.
Through the ADM Sustainable Oilseeds Program, participating rapeseed and sunflower growers in Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Ukraine develop environmental management systems and implement sustainable agricultural practices that address soil fertility, water protection, energy efficiency and biodiversity protection. Farms are subject to audits to help ensure compliance. The program is based on ISCC PLUS principles.
As part of the program, ADM has funded various biodiversity projects in Europe by means of The Strong Communities component of ADM Cares, which is strategically focused on environmental stewardship. The supported projects are pragmatic examples of biodiversity development and management for ADM farmers and suppliers participating in the Sustainable Oilseeds Program.
In the United Kingdom, ADM entered into a partnership with Linking Environment And Farming (LEAF Marque), a global organization that promotes sustainable agricultural practices at the farm level to produce sustainable rapeseed oil. In 2012, 59 farmers were LEAF Marque-certified; that number increased to 149 certified growers in 2015. This represents an increase from 7,300 hectares (18,000 acres) of rapeseed oil in 2012 to 27,000 hectares (67,000 acres) in 2015, and total farming area has increased by 528 percent, from 26,000 hectares (64,000 acres) to 138,000 hectares (341,000 acres), respectively. Through the use of integrated farm management tools, LEAF farmers continuously ensure considerable improvement in their environmental and business performance.