The following organizations, as leaders in sustainable development practices in the United States, are U.S. Sustainability Alliance (USSA) Members as of September 2022:
ASMI is a public-private partnership between the State of Alaska and the Alaska seafood industry established to foster economic development of a renewable natural resource. ASMI is playing a key role in the repositioning of Alaska’s seafood industry as a competitive market-driven food production industry.
Since admittance into the Union as the 49th state in 1959, Alaska has served as a model of fisheries management around the globe. One reason for this is that Alaska remains the lone state in the nation with a constitutional mandate stipulating all fish “be utilized, developed and maintained on the sustained yield principle.” U.S. law has governed sustainable fishery management since the passage of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act in 1976. This act requires that fisheries meet 10 strict national standards of sustainability.
More about Alaska seafood sustainability.
The Almond Board of California represents approximately 6,800 growers and 104 almond handlers. The Board traces its history back to 1950 when the Federal Marketing Order for almonds, which was primarily concerned with compliance and research, was established. The ten-member Board is elected and consists of five growers and five handlers.
The work of the Almond Board of California covers production, nutrition and market research, advertising and promotion in domestic and international markets, quality control and statistical analysis and market access/technical issues. When it comes to following sustainable agricultural practices, California Almond growers and handlers together are continuously challenging themselves to do more.
The California Almond Sustainability Program (CASP), which was established in 2009, leverages much of the research and expertise related to almond production. The modules cover water, air quality, energy and land (nutrient management, pest management and bee health), in part to better understand the ongoing sustainability practices of growers as well as to provide continuing education on these topics. Recently published Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) research demonstrated that almond trees accumulate and store significant amounts of carbon during their 25-year life cycles, and that with expansion of certain practices, the almond industry could become carbon neutral or even carbon negative.
More about California almonds’ sustainability.
AHEC is the leading international trade association for the American hardwood industry, representing companies and trade associations engaged in the export of a full range of U.S. hardwood products, including – lumber, veneer, plywood, flooring, moulding and dimension materials.
American hardwoods are derived from sustainably managed forests in the United States. All forest owners in the United States are subject to Federal legislation to protect habitats for threatened species. Tough regulations governing other aspects of forest management on private land have been implemented by individual states. An estimated 106 million acres of forest are in totally protected areas, representing 14% of all forest land.
More about the sustainability of U.S. hardwood forests.
The American Peanut Council (APC) is the trade association which represents all segments of the peanut industry. Members include peanut growers, peanut shellers, brokers, peanut product manufacturers, and suppliers of goods and services to the industry. The APC monitors developments in the domestic and international markets and responds with a diverse array of domestic and international marketing, trade servicing, food safety, research and issues management programs.
Peanuts have a great story to tell on sustainability. The American Peanut Council has set up a task force which is measuring the carbon footprint and other indicators of sustainability throughout the supply chain from the farm through processing, and even the life cycle of the packaging of its food products. It is the Task Force’s goal to forge a clear common understanding of what sustainability means within the peanut industry and to ensure that various constituencies’ (business, academic, consumer) evaluation of peanut sustainability is based on consistent sound science and appropriate principles, as well as provide industry members with goals, tools, and support to incorporate sustainability in their business operations.
More about the sustainability of U.S. peanuts.
Under the banner of COTTON USA, Cotton Council International (CCI) promotes U.S. cotton fiber and manufactured cotton products to more than 50 countries through 20 offices around the world. CCI’s COTTON USA programs generate market opportunity not otherwise feasible for the numerous individual, family and small business entities that comprise the U.S. cotton industry.
COTTON USA growers believe that responsibly grown cotton: uses resources responsibly; optimizes efficiencies; minimizes water, energy, chemical-use, waste and environmental impacts; provides safe and dignified working conditions; and provides social and economic benefits to local communities.
In order to produce cotton, U.S. growers comply with numerous stringent and enforceable federal regulations mandated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and other federal agencies. U.S. producers also utilize the most advanced modern techniques to reduce water, energy and chemical usage per unit of output and to preserve soil and habitats.
More about U.S. cotton sustainability.
Food Export Association of the Midwest USA is a non-profit organization that promotes the export of food and agricultural products from the Midwestern region of the United States. Food Export-Midwest, in conjunction with its member states, provides a wide range of services to facilitate trade between local food suppliers and importers around the world. These services include: export promotion, customized export assistance, and a cost-share funding program.
More from Food Export Association of the Midwest USA: “All In On Sustainability.”
Food Export USA – Northeast is a non-profit organization that promotes the export of food and agricultural products from the northeast region of the United States. The organization has been helping exporters of northeast food and agricultural products sell their products overseas since 1973, when it was first created as a cooperative effort between 10 northeastern state agricultural promotion agencies and the United States Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS). Food Export-Northeast, in conjunction with its member states, provides a wide range of services to facilitate trade between local food suppliers and importers around the world. These services include: export promotion, customized export assistance, and a cost-share funding program.
More from Food Export Association USA-Northeast: “All In On Sustainability.”
The Intertribal Agriculture Council (the IAC) was founded in 1987 to promote the conservation, development, and use of Indian agricultural resources for the benefit of the Indian people.
Before 1987, American Indian agriculture was virtually unheard-of outside
reservation boundaries. Since then, the IAC has established itself as the most
respected voice in the Indian community and government circles on agricultural policies and programs in Indian country, representing food and agricultural producers across 574 Native American and Alaskan tribes.
The IAC is committed to advancing regenerative agriculture and works with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service on programs to enhance the environmental stewardship of Native American lands while respecting traditional, cultural, and Native-led agricultural wisdom.
More about IAC’s work to improve the sustainability, health, and profitability of Indian country
Formed by the 2020 merger of the U.S. Hide, Skin and Leather Association and Leather Industries of America, the Leather and Hide Council of America (LHCA) is a full-service industry trade association representing the entire U.S. leather supply chain, including meatpackers, hides and skins processors, traders, leather tanners, finished leather goods producers, footwear companies, chemical suppliers, machinery producers, trade media and market reporters, freight forwarders, transportation service providers, financial institutions and more. The association provides its members with government, public relations, and international trade assistance and support. LHCA is a cooperator organization under the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s foreign market development programs, assisting U.S. firms develop new markets for U.S. agricultural exports. LHCA is at the forefront of the industry’s needs, providing members with education and technical information to compete in today’s global marketplace.
More about U.S. leather sustainability.
Since 1933, the North American Renderers Association (NARA) has been helping the rendering industry grow, advance, and become leaders in recycling and sustainability. The rendering industry consists of more than three-dozen firms operating more than 200 plants across the U.S. and Canada.
From the slaughter of more than 150 million head of cattle, calves, hogs, and sheep and more than 55 billion pounds of poultry annually, an enormous amount of byproducts are transformed into nearly 20 billion pounds of highly valuable feed and industrial products in the form of various types of fats and proteins. Rendering is a green industry that protects the environment by recycling carbon and energy and allowing items such as byproducts to be utilized as valuable pet or livestock feed ingredients or biodiesel rather than entering a landfill. Rendering is the most efficient and environmentally sound disposal alternative and has a low carbon footprint.
More about the rendering industry’s environmental impact.
NAEGA works to promote and sustain the development of the export trade from the United States of grains, oilseeds and primary products processed there from. NAEGA consists of private and publicly owned companies and farmer-owned cooperatives that are involved in and provide services to the bulk grain and oilseed exporting industry. NAEGA’s mission is to promote and sustain the development of commercial export of grain and oilseed and their primary products. NAEGA operating philosophy is “Working Together to Make Trade Work”.
The North Carolina SweetPotato Commission Inc. is a non-profit corporation with more than 450 members representing the state’s producers, packers, shippers, and other supply chain partners. The Commission’s mission is to market the North Carolina sweetpotato industry and increase consumption of this tropical vegetable through education, promotional activities, research, and advanced horticulture practices among its growers.
Thanks to the six sweetpotato farmers that chartered the Commission in 1961, the organization has maintained North Carolina’s ranking as the number one sweet potato-producing state in the United States since 1971. The state’s hot, moist climate and fertile, sandy soil make it ideal for cultivating sweetpotatoes. Its innovative, progressive producers also play a vital role in its success. More than 98% are part of family operations, and they farm with the intention of future generations continuing their legacy. These producers also recognize the value of agricultural research and collaborate with research institutions in the state and beyond to push the boundaries of what is possible – from increasing yield and improving pest resistance to minimizing waste by ensuring year-round shelf stability.
The Organic Trade Association (OTA) is the membership-based business association for organic agriculture and products in North America. OTA is the leading voice for the organic trade in the United States, representing over 8,500 organic businesses across 50 states. Its members include growers, shippers, processors, certifiers, farmers’ associations, distributors, importers, exporters, consultants, retailers and others. Organic products represented include organic foods, ingredients and beverages, as well as organic fibers, personal care products, pet foods, nutritional supplements, household cleaners and flowers.
OTA’s member organic businesses work together through networking, advocacy, and other initiatives to encourage and protect organic farming practices, and to share messages about the positive environmental and nutritional attributes of organic products with consumers, the media, and policymakers.
More about the environmental benefits of organic.
Softwood Export Council (SEC) is a trade organization working to promote strategic export market development for American-made softwood products. SEC represents U.S. softwood grading agencies, industry trade associations, state export promotional agencies, and others with a stake in global trade for softwood lumber. SEC creates an overseas presence, educating potential buyers and updating members on ever-changing economic policies world-wide. SEC conducts research on emerging markets and sustainability and stays up to date on the shifting economic marketplace on behalf of its members.
More about the sustainability of American softwoods.
The Council was established in 1965 as a non-profit organization to promote and protect the interests of growers, processors, warehousemen and sellers of dry peas, lentils and chickpeas in the United States. The 5,000 growers, processors, exporters and associates represented by the Dry Pea & Lentil Council take pride in their ability to produce the highest quality dry peas, lentils and chickpeas for national and international markets.
U.S. dry peas, lentils and chickpeas – earning the “Standard of Quality” seal every day.
More about the sustainability of pulse crops.
The USA Poultry & Egg Export Council, known by the acronym USAPEEC, is a trade association of the U.S. poultry and egg industry that is dedicated to increasing exports of U.S. poultry and eggs worldwide. Through its international network around the globe, USAPEEC keeps current on issues that have a direct impact on U.S. poultry and egg exports. The heritage of the family farm and the importance of the land have allowed the poultry and egg industries to take the lead in sustainable development practices as a core principle to maintain a safe and secure food supply and in fundamentally preserving hundreds of rural economies in many states.
More about the U.S. egg and poultry industry’s environmental impact.
The USA Rice Federation is the global advocate for all segments of the U.S. rice industry with a mission to promote and protect the interests of producers, millers, merchants and allied businesses. The USA Rice Federation represents a commitment to consensus-building, to equipping the U.S. rice industry with the strength of a united voice. On a national level, U.S. rice production has become increasingly efficient over the years, relying on fewer inputs to produce more rice. The rice industry is moving toward meeting increasing demand while achieving a reduced environmental impact for every 100 pounds of rice produced. America’s rice farmers produce more than 20 billion pounds of rice each year, providing 85 percent of the rice that is consumed in the United States.
More about the U.S. rice industry’s commitment to sustainability.
The U.S. Dairy Export Council is a non-profit, independent membership organization that represents the global trade interests of U.S. dairy producers, proprietary processors and cooperatives, ingredient suppliers and export traders. Dairy farmers have a long heritage as responsible stewards of the land, air and water, which has enabled them to pass their farms along to multiple generations. Through the U.S. Dairy Sustainability Commitment, dairy farmers, dairy processors, retailers and businesses are working together so they can continue to provide products that are nutritious, produced responsibly and economically viable for all. In 2009, the dairy industry committed to a voluntary goal to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of fluid milk by 25 percent by 2020, while adding business value to the entire industry. Individual dairy businesses and the industry as a whole need to collaborate, measure, innovate and lead to achieve long-term sustainability. Already, the U.S. dairy community has reduced greenhouse gas emissions 63 percent over the past 60 years.
More about the U.S. dairy industry’s commitment to sustainable dairy farming.
The U.S. Dry Bean Council (USDBC) is comprised of leaders in the bean industry with the common goal of promoting the U.S. edible bean trade, both in the United States and abroad, and educating U.S. consumers about the benefits of beans. The USDBC gives a voice to the bean industry and provides information to consumers, health professionals, buyers, suppliers and the media about the good taste, nutritional value and versatility of beans. As part of USDBC’s mission, the organization also collaborates with public health organizations, research centers, universities, and the entire supply chain on projects related to nutrition, food aid, sustainability and trade.
Bean farmers proudly foster the sustainability of agriculture through the production of beans. The nitrogen-fixing properties of beans improve soil fertility, which improves and extends the productivity of farmland. Intercropping with pulses increases farm biodiversity and creates a more diverse landscape for animals and insects. Beans are also highly water efficient and require less water compared to other protein sources. An unexpected ally against climate change, dry bean species have broad genetic diversity from which climate resilient varieties can be selected. By producing a smaller carbon footprint, beans indirectly reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
More about the sustainability of U.S. dry beans.
The U.S. Grains Council develops export markets for U.S. barley, corn, grain sorghum and related products vital to global economic development and to U.S. agriculture’s productivity. Founded in 1960, the Council is a private, non-profit corporation with 10 international offices and programs in more than 50 countries.
Its membership includes producer organizations and agribusinesses with a common interest in developing export markets. The Council tailors its programs to meet individual countries’ cultures and needs. Our technical programs teach livestock and poultry producers how to use feed grains effectively and manage their operations efficiently.
More about U.S. grains commitment to sustainability.
U.S. Livestock Genetics Export, Inc. (USLGE) is a nonprofit, nationwide trade association that brings together a broad base of U.S. livestock organizations. We represent the international marketing interests of the dairy, beef, swine, horse, and small ruminant (sheep and goats) breeding industries. Our members also include the embryo and semen industries, livestock export sector, and State Departments of Agriculture.
USLGE members match international producers with sources in the United States that offer genetics with superior credentials. The combined resources of USLGE members include most major species and breeds — resources that are unmatched by any other single organization. This unique broad-based team offers more sources for superior performance-oriented genetics than any other group in the world. USLGE works as a one-stop center to make the genetic selection process easier, more efficient, and more productive.
Read more about U.S. Livestock Genetics.
The U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) is the trade association responsible for developing international markets for the U.S. red meat industry. As a nonprofit organization it works to create new opportunities and develop existing international markets for U.S. beef, pork, lamb and veal.
The federation is headquartered in Denver, Colorado, and it has an extensive international presence with offices in Seoul, Tokyo, Beijing, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Singapore, Taipei, Mexico City, Monterrey and Brussels. USMEF also has special market representatives covering China, the Middle East, Europe, Central and South America, the Caribbean and Africa.
USMEF shares its local intelligence and more than three decades of experience with U.S. exporters, traders and buyers in addition to end users and processors in each market. As high-quality U.S. beef, pork and lamb have taken a lead position in international markets, exports play a more prominent role in industry growth and prosperity.
USSEC is a dynamic partnership of key stakeholders representing soybean producers, commodity shippers, merchandisers, allied agribusinesses and agricultural organizations. Production of U.S. soybeans is based on a national system of sustainability and conservation laws and regulations combined with careful implementation of best production practices by the nation’s 279,110 soybean farms.
In addition, U.S. soybean producers participate in numerous certified and audited voluntary sustainability and conservation programs. Since 1980, U.S. farmers increased soy production by 96% while using 8% less energy. Greenhouse gas emissions decreased 41% per tonne of U.S. soybean production since 1980.
U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) is the export market development organization for the U.S. wheat industry. USW promotes the reliability, quality and value of all six U.S. wheat classes to wheat buyers, millers, bakers, food processors and government officials in more than 100 countries around the world. USW does not buy, sell nor process wheat but helps make it easier for everyone else who does.
USW proudly represents the hard-working farm families that produce enough wheat every year to fill American tables, while still supplying a leading share of world wheat trade. USW links overseas customers directly to the wheat they purchase and to the farmers who grow it.
More about American wheat farmers’ commitment to innovation and sustainability.