ZAHID CHUGHTAI DUBAI (U.A.E)
U.S. Soybean Export Council (USSEC) successfully hosted the inaugural ‘Sustainasummit’ event dedicated to promoting sustainability and raising awareness about environmental issues in the South Asian region as we collectively strive towards Ending Hunger and achieving food security through the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.
Over 100 participants from India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka attended the event and discussed ideas and initiatives to urgently raise awareness amongst the South Asia populace regarding sustainability – whether it be food security, poultry, or aquaculture.
Industry stalwarts joined the conference to discuss and learn how the region can benefit from best sustainability practices and ensure that we collectively contribute towards protecting the planet without compromising on growth and productivity for future generations. The Summit also brought together leading experts, policymakers, and business leaders from all over the world to present innovative solutions and best practices for creating a more sustainable future.
The summit featured keynote speakers such as Juhi Gupta, Director of Sustainability, South Asia Markets, Tetrapak, Lucas Blaustein, Regional Agricultural Attaché, USDA Foreign Agricultural Service, George Chamberlain, President, Global SeaFood Alliance, Alka Upadhyay, Partner, Climate Change & Sustainability, EY, Rida Amjad, Communications Officer, United Nations Development Program (UNDP) among many others.
Topics such as USDA’s role in sustainability, how farmers in western markets are using sustainable practices to ensure the longevity of their lands as they pass on to the next generations, incorporating ESG to earn credibility, creating green supply chains, etc. to name a few.
Commenting on the success of the summit, Kevin Roepke, Regional Director, South Asia & Sub Sahara Africa, USSEC, said, “We believe that sustainability is a critical issue that requires collaboration and action from all sectors of society and the Sustainasummit is an important step in promoting sustainable practices and inspiring the much-needed change. During the summit, we heard three recurring themes – we’re in transformative and volatile times, supply chains continue to face challenges and the fact that consumers are calling for reduced carbon footprints and increased transparency.
I believe this platform provided an excellent forum to further collaborate so that players across markets can leverage from U.S. Soy’s superior quality, reliability, and sustainability innovations in response to address these challenges”. “We firmly believe that sustainability is not just an option, but it is a responsibility. We recognize the important role we play in protecting the environment for future generations and are dedicated to reducing our carbon footprint. Our goal is to create a more sustainable future and set a positive example for others to follow. USSEC’s inaugural Sustainasummit proved to be a dynamic and inspiring event that encouraged us to be a part of the solution and push ourselves to do better to create a sustainable future”, added Deeba Giannoulis, Head of U.S. Soy Marketing South Asia and SubSaharan Africa (SASSA), USSEC. “The event is a step in the right direction for the larger grower, buyer-seller ecosystem because sustainability’s fundamental principle is continuous improvement and that is exactly what the discussions highlighted. We look forward to continuing to encourage and partner with all stakeholders across the region to improve on this front with the help of science and technology. I am personally very confident that USSEC’s effort to encourage South Asia to incorporate more sustainable practices will turn out to be mutually beneficial to them as well as the planet in the years to come” added Dennis Fujan, a fourth-generation family farmer from Prague, Nebraska and a member of the American Soybean Association Board of Directors.
Attendees embraced the opportunity to network with like-minded individuals, learn about best practices, and participate in meaningful discussions on diverse subjects that can help us move the needle on the SDG goals.
The summit resulted in impactful discussions on a global level around renewable energy and clean technologies, sustainable agriculture and food systems, climate action and environmental conservation and corporate sustainability and responsible business practices. It highlighted how together, we can make a difference and ensure a healthy planet for generations to come.