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SOPA, IISR, Solidaridad launch Indian Standards for Sustainable Soy

13 Oct 2021 9:28 pm
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Indore, October 13 (Commoditiescontrol) The Soybean Processors’ Association of India (SOPA), along with the Indian Institute of Soybean Research and Solidaridad has launched the “Indian Standards for Sustainable Soy (ISSS)’’ developed in association with key soy industries.

ISSS is considered as India’s own sustainability benchmark for sustainable soy production and trade, and has been developed with the objectives to define country specific sustainability criteria for improving the soy productivity, better socio-economic conditions of farmers and workers and reducing the ecological footprints while enhancing the competitiveness of Indian soy industries in the global market.

The journey of ISSS started in the year 2015, with the conceptualization of the National Platform for Sustainable Soy by the Indian soy sector stakeholders. India being one of the major soy producers among top five countries and considering the global concerns for sustainability, the Indian soy industries have come forward for the development of Indian Standards for Sustainable Soy (ISSS).

SOPA chairman Dr Davish Jain said that a comprehensive process was followed to develop the Indian Standards for Sustainable Soy. Accordingly, a technical committee was constituted under the chairpersonship of the Director, Indian Institute of Soybean Research, involving all key stakeholders of the soy value chain and related sectors.

"The committee has significantly contributed to the development of the Standards and they have critically reviewed different versions of draft standards. With the objectives to provide scope for alignment with other similar prominent sustainability standards, the technical committee has thoroughly reviewed different national and international sustainability standards. Apart from this, many rounds of consultations engaging key stakeholders representing the government, businesses, industry associations, farmers and civil society organizations, etc. were done to give the final shape to the standard'' SOPA chairman said adding that the ISSS has been well aligned with similar other national and international sustainability standards, legislations and regulatory mechanism to promote sustainable production and trade.

Dr Jain further said that “At present, India does not have any such appropriate sustainability standard for soybean which is based on the local realities and needs of Indian Industries. Indian Standards for Sustainable Soy (ISSS) has been developed with the objectives to define country specific sustainability criteria and to provide a single sustainability standard for the country. It is designed while considering the requirements of the Indian soy 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 soy market. More importantly, this would address the issues of duplication and efforts needed due to multiple sustainability standards”, Dr Jain added.

Dr Nita Khandekar, Director, Indian Institute of Soybean Research (IISR) said “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. ISSS being a national standard is a very strong step forward towards solving the sustainability issues in the Soybean sector'', she added.

Dr. Shatadru Chattopadhyay, Managing Director, Solidaridad Asia said “The ISSS standard that has been jointly developed by SOPA, Indian Institute of Soybean Research and Indian industries will provide Indian soy industry with an economically viable sustainability model that is suited to Indian market realities. The implementation of ISSS standard is expected to create better farm management, improved productivity, better environmental performance and improved working conditions at the production sites''.

"The national standards are considered as the preferred vehicle for sector transformation. This will help towards addressing the real ground issues and related sustainability challenges. 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”, Dr Chattopadhyay added.

D N Pathak, Executive Director, The Soybean Processors Association of India, SOPA said, ``The Indian Standard for Sustainable Soy is a unified sustainability standard tailor-made for the Indian soy industry. The implementation of the standard will be instrumental in enhancing the competitiveness and credibility of domestic soy industries in local as well as global markets while improving the income and well-being of farmers and ensuring the production of soy in balance with nature.

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