Archer-Daniels-Midland Co. said last week it will expand a pilot program that traces soybeans within its supply chain to ensure the commodities have no connection to deforestation.
The grain trader will extend its traceability capabilities to key locations across North America in the 2024 growing season, according to the announcement. The expansion follows the first successful shipments of "verified, fully traceable soybeans" from the U.S. to Europe.
The move also comes ahead of a European Union regulation set to go into effect Dec. 30, which will require companies to prove their agricultural commodities do not contribute to land degradation or originate from recently deforested land.
“At ADM, our future and success depend on the farmers we work with and for, which is why we’re committed to helping support their businesses and their legacies by ensuring that global markets remain open to U.S. agricultural products,” said Matt Hopkins, ADM’s vice president of North America River and Export.
The successful pilot involved the delivery of 2.4 million bushels of fully traceable soybeans to customers in Europe throughout 2023. ADM said it leverages technology, including Farmer Business Network's gradable digital platform, to verify and sort beans.
“While there are still issues — including how full compliance will be defined, measured and enforced — to work through in advance the EU’s deforestation regulations, we are confident in our ability to continue to deliver to customers in Europe,” said Jon Turney, ADM’s vice president of crush for Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
ADM aims for its supply chain to be deforestation-free by 2025. The commodities giant said in its 2022 environmental report that it has traced 100% of its direct and indirect soybean suppliers in Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay.
The grain trader is about 86% of the way toward reaching deforestation-free supply chains for its soybeans, it said.