Identity Preservation (IP) is the process of differentiating commodities, requiring that strict separation -- typically involving containerized shipping -- be maintained at all times. Identity preserved is often used to market commodities like food-grade corn and soybeans. But there are IP contracts for conventional, organic and biotech seeds also. The vast majority of IP crops are grown conventionally, USDA notes.
The concept of IP has been accorded greater importance with the introduction of genetically modified organisms (GMO) into agriculture. "For markets that have sensitivities to genetically engineered food, such as the European Union, non-GE crops are specified and grown for that market. Domestically, some food manufacturers wanting to label their product as non-GMO will also demand an IP, non-GE crop to be grown and delivered," USDA notes.
On Dec. 2, 2021, Specialty Soya and Grains Alliance (SSGA), launched U.S. Identity Preserved: An Advancement in Food Traceability. Specialty Soya and Grains Alliance is a national business association of companies focused on the production, processing and shipping of U.S. IP field crops and their related products worldwide.
"With our U.S. Identity Preserved designation, we're delivering a quality assurance plan that brings together the U.S. IP industry and reinforces the United States as a quality origin for those IP crops," said Eric Wenberg, executive director, SSGA. "U.S. Identity Preserved will help U.S. processors and exporters broaden access and open more foreign markets, as well as better compete in the international market."
Wenberg added, "The value U.S. Identity Preserved processors offer comes through the strict protocols and safety measures that ensure the quality, consistency and security of their products throughout the value chain. Identity Preserved products demand a premium because of the close attention IP farmers, processors and shippers pay to quality requirements and safety and the commitment to fulfill the needs of their customers."
From seed to end user, IP practices segregate crops throughout the value chain, delivering a specific quality or trait to the end market. Those practices allow for open, transparent communication between supplier and customer; that feedback benefits everyone along the way.
Members of SSGA are known growers "who can deliver exclusive varieties with unique attributes, such as size, color and composition, that are ready for manufacturing. They practice segregated storage, controlling cleaning and shipping, and there is documentation of chain of custody (traceability)," said SSGA.
As traceability in food production becomes increasingly preferred by consumers and manufacturers, the U.S. Identity Preserved quality assurance represents a step forward for customers looking for grains with specific traits or qualities, such as variety, protein and sugar levels, color, bean size or flavor.
"When manufacturers purchase a U.S. Identity Preserved product, they can be assured the grains are traceable from their fields of origin throughout the process of production, processing, packaging and distribution, which provides the knowledge and assurance customers need," said SSGA.
Here is the new website and more info on U.S. Identity Preserved: https://usidentitypreserved.org/…
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