The final days of the 2013 Commodity Classic in Kissimmee, Fla., ended on a high note for members of the American Soybean Association as their voting delegates reaffirmed the association’s commitment to several issues facing today’s agriculture community, including trade, transportation, biotechnology, regulation and sustainability. The group also discusses farm bill policy, which can be read here.
"The resolutions process is a great reminder that ASA’s policies come directly from the ground up," said ASA President Danny Murphy, a soybean farmer from Canton, Miss. "The policies are raised, voted on and established as ASA priorities through an entirely farmer-driven process. It keeps farmers involved and it keeps ASA firmly tied to the everyday concerns of soybean farmers."
ASA’s delegates formalized the association’s support of a comprehensive Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) Agreement with the European Union that would provide meaningful market access for exports of U.S. soybean products and address trade barriers, including current EU biotechnology policies, and the Renewable Energy Directive (RED).
ASA continues support of funding for waterways infrastructure including additional and alternative financing measures that provide a steadier and more reliable funding stream to reduce project costs and timeframes for completion.
Biotechnology was also a key topic of discussion, as delegates voted to encourage the swift approval and deregulation of high-oleic soybeans. The delegates also established the association’s opposition to state food labeling requirements that go beyond those implemented by the federal government.
On regulatory matters, ASA’s delegates supported raising the quantity of on-farm fuel storage that would be subject to the EPA’s new regulations requiring containment plans and practices to 10,000 gallons or greater. Delegates also expressed support for voluntary conservation and water-quality programs that are farmer led.
Finally, delegates endorsed the work undertaken by the soybean industry to develop a "U.S. Soy Sustainability Assurance Protocol" that documents and promotes to buyers worldwide that U.S. soybeans are the world’s most sustainably-produced soybeans.
The resolutions passed by the delegates on Friday will be available in full on the ASA website in the coming weeks.