India has developed sustainable standards for soyabean production, a move that could help farmers improve productivity while enhancing competitiveness of the processing industry globally. The Indian Standards for Sustainable Soya (ISSS), launched at the soya conclave in Indore during the weekend, were developed by the Soyabean Processors Association of India(SOPA), the Indian Institute of Soyabean Research, Solidaridad along with the support of key soya industries and businesses.
ISSS is considered to be India’s own sustainability benchmark for sustainable soya production and trade. It has been developed with the objectives including defining country specific sustainability criteria for improving the soya productivity, better socio-economic conditions of farmers and workers and reducing the ecological footprints while enhancing the competitiveness of the Indian soya industries in the global market.
“ISSS has been designed while considering the requirement of Indian soya industry and having scope for alignment with other similar national and international sustainability standards. This would strengthen the role of India in driving sustainability in the global soya market. More importantly, this would address the issues of duplication and efforts needed due to multiple sustainability standards,” said Davish Jain, Chairman, SOPA.
Under the ISSS, an innovative digital traceability tool is also planned to be introduced with the objective of enhancing robustness and credibility of ISSS. It would provide a comprehensive traceability solution for a transparent supply chain.
The assessment made with the help of this tool would provide a high degree of assurance to the farmers, soya industries, as well as consumers on social, agronomical and environmental aspects. “The ISSS will support farmers with better farm management, improve productivity and enable better environmental performance. The adoption of sustainable practices will bridge the yield gap through sustainable crop production and would enhance domestic availability of edible oils and enhance the livelihood of farmers. This will help stakeholders representing governments, businesses, industries as well as farmers associations to participate in a sustainability discourse more actively. This would strengthen the role of India in driving sustainability agenda with-in the sector,” said Nita Khandekar, Director, IISR.
“Solidaridad with many decades of experience in global and national standard setting and its implementation, is committed to work with Indian soy industries and the Indian Government to get ISSS recognized by different stakeholders across the world as an effective sustainability standard” said Shatadru Chattopadhyay, Managing Director, Solidaridad Asia.
The standards would improve the overall performance of soy industries and edible oil security for the country, which is an important step forward towards Atmanirbhar Bharat, said D N Pathak, Executive Director, SOPA.