New Identity Preservation Program Aims to Add Value to Cultures

Farmers in the United States grow a high-value crop, but the world buys it at commodity prices. A new program – US Identity Preserved – wants to change that. Created by the Specialty Soya and Grains Alliance, the quality assurance program represents a breakthrough in food traceability. The new program was announced on December 2, at a special event in Minneapolis, Minnesota, including the unveiling of the logo that signifies products marketed with the program.

“We want to help the buyer understand why premium crops are worth paying for,” says Eric Wenberg, Executive Director, SSGA. “It is an education and promotion system to reach new buyers with traceability from the fork to the farm.”

Wenberg says the new program will help American producers access more foreign markets, and through the use of preserved American identity, farmers will be able to participate in this value-added market. “And I said fork to farm, although in identity-preserved systems it’s usually the other way around,” he explains. “We say from the fork to the farm because identity preservation is the means by which the consumer can tell the producer what they want, and it can be delivered all the way through the value chain as ordered. “

Rob Prather, Chief Strategic Ambassador, Global Processing, Inc., a Monticello, Illinois processor, says US Identity Preserved will add value. “We process, package and ship identity-preserved products in containers around the world from Iowa,” he said. “The prominence of this brand shows that as a company we stand behind what we have done and what we are doing. The consumer has a say and we will give the customer what they want, not what we have.”

Moving out of the “commodity” sector and into identity-preserved markets has long been a goal of agricultural organizations. Wenberg told Farm Progress that in today’s market where margins are under significant pressure, expanding demand for specialty grains and identity-preserved businesses can offer better prices. “This market is under tremendous margin pressure, but this approach can add value,” he says. “US Identity Preserved will help US processors and exports expand access and open more foreign markets, as well as better compete in the international marketplace.”

US Identity Preserved provides product certification for the customer, it is a system that processors can leverage to deliver high value products to meet customer needs. Additionally, the end customer can access the information through the value chain with the system.

Company of the future

The idea of ​​an identity-preserved system is to reserve cases for the future. The buyer is trying to meet a specific consumer demand and, through identity preservation, he is essentially ordering today the crops he will need in the future. Crops that meet specific consumer demands.

There is a growing demand from consumers and retailers for a better understanding of how and where food is produced, making traceability increasingly important. Growers participating in the program must follow rigorous specifications throughout the production process – from pre-planting to harvesting, storage, processing and distribution. This includes taking great care to avoid cross contamination, adhering to field checks and program audits, chain of custody verification, proper labeling, product identification and other controls and insurance.

By making this investment in the crop and meeting the needs of buyers, the farmer receives a premium for the finished crop, and this premium is guaranteed in the final price before the crop is planted.

Add Wenberg: “The value delivered by identity-preserved processors in the United States comes through the strict protocols and security measures that ensure the quality, consistency and safety of their products throughout the value chain. Identity-preserved products demand a premium because of the close attention farmers, IP processors and shippers pay to quality and safety requirements and a commitment to meeting their customers’ needs.”

Information about the new program is available at usidentitypreserved.org where farmers and potential buyers can learn more about the system.

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