By Jim Sutter, USSEC CEO
At USSEC, one of our key functions is to differentiate and build preference for U.S. Soy with buyers around the world. U.S. Soy enjoys several intrinsic and extrinsic advantages, but there is always a need for continuous improvement. That is where the High Yield PLUS Quality (HY+Q) program comes in. HY+Q gets both growers and seed companies to think more about selecting and producing varieties of soybeans that will deliver high yields and high quality together, keeping U.S. Soy moving along the path of continuous improvement.
What exactly is meant by “high quality?” At a high level, soybeans are generally grown to supply meal and oil, so we are talking about high quality meal and oil attributes.
Soybean meal buyers have historically looked at protein content as an overall view of the nutritional value of the product and look for as high a protein content as possible. As nutritionists do their formulations, they look deeper into the content of the various amino acids in the meal, so eventually these characteristics are a key consideration to livestock producers. Meal also contains constituents such as sucrose that supply energy to the animal – this also has value. As HY+Q does their analysis to determine “high quality” beans, all of these factors will need to be considered as various varieties are evaluated.
The United Soybean Board (USB) has started using the term “nutritional bundle,” which encompasses all the things that soybean meal users actually value: protein, amino acids, and energy content. USSEC’s goal is to have U.S. Soy known to contain the highest quality meal, as this helps us to differentiate and build preference.
Soybean oil buyers generally look for a product that will allow them to refine it with minimal losses and costs. Factors such as free fatty acid value, peroxide value, and color are key considerations. Another key consideration with regard to oil is the actual oil content in the bean; oil is almost always valued higher than meal, making crushers interested in a bean with a high oil content. As in the case of meal, USSEC’s goal is to have U.S. soybeans known as containing the optimal quantity and quality oil.
Determining “high quality” isn’t necessarily a simple process, but the HY+Q team is putting good parameters together and raising awareness of the need to produce a soybean that has not only a high quantity yield, but also a high quality yield. Additionally, there are differences due to regional and climatic variation – this adds to the complexity, but also provides a reason to keep it simple.
Getting everyone in the U.S. Soy industry to work together with a goal of growing the best quality beans possible is the purpose of HY+Q. Those beans will be different in different locales, but the goal is to have everyone working to hit the highest quality possible for his or her farm. Doing this should ensure that buyers from around the world seek out U.S. Soy as their preferred option when it comes to soybean supply – this will add value to the overall crop and to each grower’s bottom line.
Did you know that U.S. Soy has a dedicated You Tube channel?
USSOY.org’s You Tube channel features videos dedicated to building a preference for U.S. Soy. Playlist topics include Sustainability; U.S. Soy Farming; Sustainable U.S. Soy; From the Field: Exploring the World of U.S. Soy; U.S. Soy Customers; Subject Matter Experts; USSEC Market Perspectives; and Aquaculture. These topics are presented by a variety of experts from grower leaders to U.S. Soy Global Trade Exchange speakers.
To visit, click here.
A diversified team of Moroccan delegates representing the feed, poultry, dairy, and oil industries attended the 5th U.S. Soy Regional Trade Exchange –European Union (EU) / Middle East – North African (MENA) held in Lisbon, Portugal from February 8 -10.
Representatives from the leading poultry integrators, the largest feed mill, a dairy cooperative, and a vegetable oil refiner had the opportunity to meet other professional buyers from the greater region, along with traders and U.S. suppliers. This year’s edition of the trade exchange welcomed a number of attendees from several markets with great success, partially attributed to the high level and quality of all participants including customers, experts, USSEC and grower leaders’ representatives, that help to protect U.S. Soy’s market share in Morocco.
The Moroccan team’s participation in USSEC events reflects the importance of the U.S. as a major supplier of high quality soybeans and soy products. USSEC teams, consultants, and staff assisted professionals to learn more about the organization, the U.S. Soy value chain, and its world position.
The main factors impacting demand for U.S. Soy as a key ingredient in animal feed were among the issues discussed during interactions between suppliers and buyers.
Morocco has been able to maintain its place in the top ten U.S. Soy export markets for soybean meal and soy oil and remains the leading consumer of U.S. Soy products in the MENA region with a soybean meal market estimated at over 600,000 tons. Its imports include U.S. soybean meal, hulls, oil, and beans adding up to a total bean equivalent of nearly 600,000 tons per year.
Poultry remains the main market driver with about 19 kilograms (kg) of poultry meat consumed per capita and an average annual growth of 5 to 7 percent through modern structured emerging integrations.
USSEC continues to support animal industries in Morocco through targeted programs strengthening the U.S. as a major supplier of high-quality soybeans and products, highlighting the strength and intrinsic advantages of the whole soybean value chain. All team members had a higher understanding of soybean meal differentiation based on origin.
In Sri Lanka, USSEC has had two significant landmarks that helped obtain market access for U.S. Soy: the acceptance of genetically modified (GM) soybean meal for use in animal feeds and a zero customs tariff for imports.
In 2008, Dr. Athula Mahamage was appointed as USSEC’s Sri Lanka country representative and his concerted efforts with local influencers and policy makers helped lead to these accomplishments. As a result of this and the continued tech and trade efforts by Dr. Athula, the U.S. Soy industry has enjoyed a steady increase in the soybean meal market share in Sri Lanka. The country imported about 220,000 metric tons (MT) of soy meal in 2015/16, of which 70 percent is U.S. soybean meal.
However, markets change, policies get altered, and government rules are amended. Caught in one such transformation was the reversal of customs duty on soybean meal that was notified by the Sri Lankan Government in November 2016. The duty, which was set at 15 percent, put Dr. Athula and his team (members of the animal husbandry, finance ministry, and trade associations in the livestock and poultry industry) on alert. They worked strategically to bring the duty down to 5 percent in December 2016. As a next step, the team convinced the authorities at the finance ministry on the importance of soybean meal, which supports a growing poultry/animal feed industry in the country and has successfully gotten soybean meal listed in the Gazette Notification as an “exempted item” for customs duty. Competitiveness for U.S. soybean meal entering Sri Lanka was hampered slightly but has been successfully restored back to its original state.
Market access is a priority area for USSEC’s global market reach. Constraints of different natures exist in different countries and some issues may even crop up from nowhere like the one cited here. Continued efforts in this area ensure markets for U.S. Soy.
USSEC, in collaboration with Assalzoo (Italian Feed Association) and FCStone, recently held a risk management course in Verona, Italy.
25 people representing the Italian feed industry and soy crushers and importers attended the course, representing more than 70 percent of the industry. Participants from the main feed and meat production industry included the Veronesi Group and the Amadori and Martini Group. Italy’s feed industry produces nearly 13 millions tons annually, plus feed on farm, importing 2.2 million tons of soybean meal; the crush industry represents 2 million tons.
The objective of the course was to improve knowledge of risk management in the feed industry related to raw material used. Jaime Nolan Miralles and Rory Deverell, from FCStone Ireland, gave several presentations and provided tools for participants to apply in their businesses to better control their risk.
For these types of events, USSEC stresses the quality and sustainability of U.S. Soy. Brent Babb, USSEC Regional Director – European Union (EU) / Middle East – North Africa (MENA) discussed “The Sustainability of U.S. Soy” and Lola Herrera, USSEC South Europe consultant, presented “USSEC’s Compromise with the Italian Market” that explained USSEC’s projects in Italy and “Soybean Meal Replacement from Different Origins, Taking Quality into Account,” to highlight the added value of U.S. Soy.
USSEC hosted the Advanced Poultry Nutrition & Feed Manufacturing Seminar in Warsaw, Poland on March 20 and 21 for top Polish professionals involved in commercial poultry feed manufacturing. The majority of the audience represented major feed compounders operating in Poland, including Cargill, DeHeus, Wipasz, Golpasz, Piast, Ekoplon, and Tasomix, along with some smaller, but quality-oriented companies such as Neorol, Nutripol, Lira, ETOS, and Pasze BIOS.
Because the event was jointly organized by USSEC with the Polish Grain & Feed Chamber, Jerzy W. Kosieradzki, USSEC Technical Director – Northeast Europe, and Anna Zymerman, the Chamber’s Secretary General, welcomed the audience. Mr. Kosieradzki also introduced the participants to USSEC, its goals, and its activities.
A trio of renowned scientists and commercial specialists from Spain and Norway shared their knowledge: Dr. Gonzalo Mateos, professor of animal science at the University of Madrid; Dr. Birger Svihus, University of Life Sciences in Oslo, Norway; and Mr. Juan Acedo-Rico, Acedo & Associates, Spain.
Dr. Mateos spoke about the relationship between soybean meal’s physical properties, anti-nutritional factors, and their effects on birds’ performance. He later explained the factors affecting egg production in layers and how to influence broiler production with nutritional changes.
Dr. Svihus presented ways to optimize crop and gizzard functions through structural components and feeding management, later moving to influencing feed efficiency, litter quality, and gut health to eventually focus on how to adjust feed processing for maximum pellet durability.
Mr. Acedo-Rico added the engineering side of the picture by explaining efficient poultry feed manufacturing and the importance of diet meal conditioning for hygienic feed production, as well as grinding strategies at the feed mill for achieving adequate particle size.
After two days of lectures and discussions, the Polish audience was highly appreciative of the professional merit of the event and cutting edge know-how support provided to them by U.S. Soy.
USSEC attended the National Conference of the Romanian Feed Manufacturers Association, hosted by Smithfield, on March 16 and 17 in Timisoara City, Romania. Over 80 industry delegates and 10 foreign speakers from European and U.S. organizations participated in this event.
The USSEC delegation included American Soybean Association (ASA) vice president Bret Davis and United Soybean Board (USB) director David Iverson, and USSEC Regional Director – European Union (EU) / Middle East – North Africa (MENA) Brent Babb who traveled to Romania with the goal to increase awareness of U.S. Soy and promote sustainable U.S. Soy among members of the Romanian Feed Manufacturer Association.
After a brief introduction of USSEC provided by Mr. Babb, Mr. Davis spoke on “U.S. Soybeans’ Sustainability and Biotechnology” and Mr. Iverson discussed “U.S. Soy Outlook for 2017.” Both presentations were well-received by the audience and fit the conference agenda entitled “Security, Safety, and Sustainability for Increasing Competitiveness of the Feed Industry.”
In addition to the sustainability presentations made by the keynote speakers from USSEC, DSM, and Smithfield Romania, the audience was exposed to presentations approaching new sustainable feed products including extruded linseed or feed additives such as soy chelates. The event also provided the delegates with insight on the latest trends in raw materials, feed additives, and feed manufacturing, besides creating ample opportunities for feed companies and suppliers to interact and network.
USSEC Animal Utilization Consultant – Romania Dr. Iani Chihaia, acting as a facilitator for this event stated, “The solid presence and support of USSEC confirms our belief that the local feed and livestock industries will expand in the near future. We hope that the Feed Association will continue to serve as a platform for the industry players that allows our members to grow and implement the latest standards in safe and sustainable production.”
During the second day of the event, participants were invited to tour Smithfield’s Ferme Feed Mill, located in Vinga, Arad County. Over 60 people had the chance to take a tour to the largest and uniquely American-designed and -engineered feed mill in the country. The plant is an example of a feed manufacturer being able to produce different feeds under the latest safe and sustainable feed industry standards.
According to an ANFNC press release about the event, the conference in Timisoara was by far the best meeting of the feed association since its inception. Romanian representatives who attended and listened to the presentations were truly impressed with Smithfield’s overall organization, the quality of speakers and presentations, and the networking opportunities.
As for the foreign speakers and sponsors of the conference, the event allowed them to get a better understanding of the Romanian feed and livestock actual reality and potential for progress and expansion. It clearly showed the opportunities and potential that exists in this particular market for growth in livestock production and, consequently, the use of sustainable feed additives and manufacturing technologies, with U.S. Soy being one of the key products in this regard. Even though Romania is not one of the largest soy markets in Europe, its livestock and feed industries are growing and set a good example for other Eastern European countries to develop their industries.
Having USSEC delegates participating and giving speeches at the conference and offering support over the past several years for the development of ANFNC, as a strong professional organization and professional forum, is probably one of the most important success stories on how U.S. Soy farmers are committed to building relationships with European industry professionals and end users. USSEC will continue its promotional efforts to accompany the growth of this market and to position U.S. products in this market.
American Soybean Association (ASA) vice president Bret Davis and United Soybean Board (USB) director David Iverson traveled to Romania during the third week of March to visit with key soy importers and end users, including Bunge Romania, Banvit Romania, Combial – Bona Avis, Fatrom Swine Integration, and Smithfield Ferme. The delegation also visited the Animal Nutrition Research Institute (IBNA) to meet with shareholders, executives, and technical staff from customer companies. USSEC Regional Director European Union (EU) / Middle East-North Africa (MENA) Brent Babb joined the delegation and USSEC Animal Utilization Consultant – Romania Dr. Iani Chihaia escorted the group for the field visits.
The main goal of the grower leaders’ mission was to convey a strong message on the U.S. Soy Advantage and demonstrate the commitment of U.S. Soy farmers to the growing feed and livestock industries in Romania.
The week began with an informative meeting with Monica Dobrescu, Ag Specialist at Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) – Bucharest. Currently, Romania is the second largest EU 27 producer of maize and the top producers of sunflower seeds. With fertile soils and access to technologies, the country is producing annually over 20,000 metric tons (MT) of these products, but still exporting over 60 percent of the cereals and importing about half of the pork meat. The pork meat deficit and growing demand for animal products from the domestic and export markets has attracted several local and foreign investments (U.S., China, Denmark Holland, Turkey, Greece, and Switzerland) in the swine, poultry, and beef industries.
The delegation of U.S. Soy farmers had a tight and intensive program of visits, which gave them the chance to discover and understand Romania, one of the most important agriculture producing countries in Europe. Field visits were informative and allowed them to get a better understanding of the local farming sector, the reality of the feed and livestock industries, and the potential for progress and expansion. This helped the grower leaders to understand the opportunities and potential that exists in the Romanian market for growth in animal production and consequently, in the use of U.S. Soy products.
Continuing to support U.S. Soy customers will assist the development of this market and better position U.S. Soy products, especially because the companies and people visited during the week were very positive toward USSEC and U.S. Soy, standing to reason that the extra effort in supporting the current developments will deliver major returns in the near future.
USSEC hosted a one-day seminar in Bucharest during the first week of March for Romanian and Bulgarian nutritionists and feed mill managers with the goal to emphasize the efficient use and processing of U.S. Soy quality.
Through the papers presented at the seminar, consultants delivered a strong and clear take-home message: U.S. soybean amino acids’ digestibility and energy higher values advantages can better solve challenges of balancing feeds, high animal performances, and profitability. In addition, U.S. Soy farmers, as trusted suppliers, are able to supply the needs of today’s European feed industry for sustainably sourced ingredients.
“The audience enjoyed the information about relationship between soybean meal physical properties, anti-nutritional factors, and effects on animal performances,” stated USSEC consultant Dr. Gonzalo Mateos, professor of animal science at the University of Madrid, Spain. “There were very good interactions with participants regarding soybean meal attributes: particle size and particle size distribution, bulk density, color, trypsin inhibitors, urease and solubility indexes and how these properties impacts poultry and pigs performances. Several studies have been demonstrated that U.S. soybean meal is by far a superior ingredient compared to other origins soybean meals.”
Prior to and after the event, USSEC consultants Dr. Mateos, Dr. Birger Svihus, and Dr. Juan Acedo were escorted by USSEC Animal Utilization Consultant – Romania Dr. Iani Chihaia on field visits, with the goal of meeting soy end users and looking at the challenges that they are facing and how USSEC can provide solutions and maximize demand for U.S. Soy.
By the end of the activity, technical people from companies visited and seminar participants gained more knowledge about U.S. Soy’s positive attributes and, in this way, preference for U.S. Soy continues to be built.
The 5th regional Europe Union / Middle East – North Africa (EU/MENA) Soy Trade Exchange was held in Lisbon, Portugal, gathering almost 180 participants from roughly 40 countries.
The opening speeches and conference materials reminded the audience that soy products are the number one U.S. agricultural exports valued at over $20 billion with nearly 60 percent of total U.S. soybean production exported last year. Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa largely contributed to this export success. The U.S. Soy industry appreciates the partnership with the countries and companies represented in the audience.
The conference covered a number of topics that highlighted the developments and challenges central to the international and local soy markets and agricultural landscape. Major industry experts and senior trade representatives from Europe and MENA, including northeast Europe, attended the event and addressed many key topics. The participants showed real interest in learning about the latest developments in the soy markets, risk management, sustainability and quality.
In addition, the planned social and networking activities provided ample opportunities to develop and strengthen the relationships between the customers and key members of the U.S. soybean industry and explore real business opportunities.
Among the audience, USSEC had six customers representing leading commodity trading companies and feed compounders in the northeast European sub region who enjoyed the professional sessions and the whole conference.
Agnieszka Kotarska of Glencore-Poland said, “Thank you, USSEC, for having us at this highly professional and super interesting event. I am sure my Polish and Hungarian colleagues agree with me that the firsthand information gathered here and personal contact with many experts and industry members from the U.S., Europe, and other countries will be beneficial in our work in the months to come. We think it was a great event!”
These customers also valued the organizers providing all the presentations to them after the conference, calling it “unique” in the convention business.
USSEC staff and local regional consultants also held the event in high regard. USSEC Technical Director for Northeast Europe Jerzy Kosieradzki stated, “It was probably the best of all of the regional trade conference we had ever had in Europe/MENA Region. The presentations on soy markets and macroeconomic perspective were especially valuable and considered first class.”
The Lisbon Trade Exchange also confirmed that the earlier strategic decision made in the hosting region to reduce USSEC’s Europe/MENA customers presence at the U.S. Soy Global Trade Exchanges, while focusing instead on the regional buyers’ conferences every second year and clearly targeted team trips to the U.S., was a good decision.
USSEC’s aquaculture program in Southeast Asia is the centerpiece of SeafoodSource.com’s story, “Offshore Aquaculture Taking Off in Southeast Asia.” USSEC Aquaculture Program Lead Technical Consultant – SEA Lukas Manomaitis recently spoke to the publication about training and promotion programs to promote the use of U.S. Soy in aquaculture in key producing countries including Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.
Mr. Manomaitis discussed rising interest in offshore aquaculture, which species have the best potential for offshore aquaculture, and the growth in offshore cage aquaculture, among other topics.
To read the article in its entirety, please click here.
SeafoodSource.com’s website provides seafood buyers and sellers worldwide with in-depth news and information.
USSEC is featured in the online article “Quality, Sustainability Boost U.S. Ag Exports” on FarmWeekNow.com.
The story points out that even though China is the U.S. Soy industry’s top market, smaller markets hold future growth potential. Part of that growth is due to the U.S. Soy Sustainability Assurance Protocol, plus the consistent quality and availability of U.S. Soy.
To read the article in its entirety, please click here.
FarmWeekNow.com is a news and communications arm of the Illinois Farm Bureau.
USSEC attended the 2017 Commodity Classic, “Farmer Up!,” from March 2-4 in San Antonio, Texas. The Commodity Classic is generally regarded as the largest farmer-led and farmer-focused convention and trade show in the U.S. The convention provides opportunities for growers, member associations, agribusinesses, and media to scope out new products and connect with each other.
In addition to hosting a booth, USSEC also hosted a reception prior to the ASA banquet on Friday evening. About 85 people attended the U.S. Soy Family Gathering. Attendees included U.S. Soy grower leaders along with leadership from Qualified State Soybean Boards (QSSBs), ASA, and USB.
“The reception provided a good opportunity for the U.S. Soy family to meet and network before the ASA banquet,” said USSEC Stakeholder Relations Manager Will McNair.
USSEC held its board meeting on February 28 in San Antonio, Texas.
The board of directors discussed issues pertinent to the U.S. Soy industry, before listening to a review and adjustment of strategy, given by USSEC Chief Program Officer Ed Beaman.
In addition to his CEO report, USSEC CEO Jim Sutter provided an update on internally managed funds (IMF) funded projects. USSEC Communications Manager Lisa Humphreys provided an update on the content marketing strategy, including the re-launch of USSOY.org.
The board also covered public and operational policy, hearing reports from each committee: executive, audit & budget, membership/industry relations, and governance.
On March 1, the USSEC executive committee also had joint meetings with both the American Soybean Association (ASA) and United Soybean Board (USB) executive committees.
USSEC recently brought Dr. Jannes Doppenberg, swine nutrition expert at Schorthorst Feed Research (SFR), the Netherlands, to Poland to visit with a number of local feed compounders and swine integrators and discuss their feeding programs. From the point of view of the U.S. Soy industry, such personal visits of internationally renowned experts help to build up its relationships with key local nutritionists, which is key to delving deeper into their feed formulations, and encouraging them to share how they formulate feeds and which feedstuffs and nutrient restrictions they use.
At a couple of companies, presentations were shown on the effect of birth weight on technical performance and meat quality, along with the effects of dietary amino acid levels and genetics. In conclusion, weight selection of the starter piglets and split sex feeding will decrease feed costs and improve carcass validation. It was emphasized that higher levels of dietary amino acids will improve carcass quality, especially with genetically superior piglets and boars versus barrows. This will obviously increase the soybean meal usage.
The nutritional discussion at some of the other companies focused on lactating sow feeds. Results were presented on how to increase feed intake by using high quality proteins, meaning an amino acid profile as close to ideal as possible and a high ileal digestibility. This provided the USSEC consultant with the opportunity to mention the higher quality of U.S. Soy.
At one company, the discussion concentrated on comparing technical results from Poland with those in the Netherlands, U.S., and some other leading countries. With a lowest feed conversion ratio (FCR) of 2.6 (up to 3.1 with high slaughter weights), there was a lot of room for improvement. This meant the energy conversion was even worse. The use of an standardized ileal digestibility (SID) amino acid profile and net energy system were discussed in order to improve technical performance and validate the superior quality of U.S. soybean meal. The bi-monthly soybean meal quality by origin report produced by SFR for USSEC, which included shadow pricing for Poland, was shown to the customers.
Also, the expert’s meeting with the largest integration in Poland, ended with a clear conclusion that setting higher levels of SID amino acids in their pig diets would increase the usage of soybean meal slightly increasing the feed cost, but would result in better carcass quality of their finished pigs.
The USSEC Americas team recently took part in the 2017 International Production & Processing Expo (IPPE) in Atlanta, as part of their animal utilization mission to the U.S. Over 31,000 poultry, meat, and feed industry leaders from all over the world visited IPPE. The 2017 IPPE featured 1,273 exhibitors and just over 8000 international visitors from 129 countries, with Canada having the largest representation with almost 1,400 attendees. The largest regional representation, however, came from the Caribbean, Mexico, and South America, adding up to 3,226 visitors, showing the strength and interest of the related industries in the Americas Region.
USSEC participated by having multiple regions represented and through various activities. The presence at the booth of U.S. Soy grower leaders, staff, and consultants from diverse regions allowed for animated discussions and interactions with visitors and industry representatives from multiple countries as well as exposing them to the U.S. Soy advantage and communicating the U.S. Soy sustainability message. This all translated to a prime opportunity for USSEC to continue building a strong preference for U.S. Soy.
The USSEC Americas team was represented by Gerardo Luna, Pedro Lora, and Belinda Pignotti, who, prior to the event, worked closely with the local Foreign Agricultural Services (FAS) and U.S. Department of Trade Representations Foreign Commercial Service (FCS) representatives in the Americas to promote the registration of more than 750 contacts, all of whom were told about USSEC’s booth and encouraged to participate in USSEC activities during the event.
While attending IPPE, USSEC Americas consultants participated in the animal utilization (AU) contractor meeting held on February 1. Led by USSEC CEO Jim Sutter and Pam Helmsing, USSEC Marketing Director, Animal Utilization & Meal and Acting Asia Sub-Continent Lead, the meeting proved an interesting and useful experience allowing for interaction with contractors from different regions around the globe. Mr. Lora, Ms. Pignotti, and Mr. Luna shared relevant markets’ current conditions, successful experiences throughout the most recent fiscal years, and potential activities to best service stakeholders with U.S. grower leaders and staff.
At IPPE, USSEC hosted a luncheon where USSEC consultant Dr. Gonzalo Mateos presented a technical lecture, “Have You Checked Your Soybean’s Pedigree Lately? – Evaluating the Nutritive Value of Soybean Meal in Poultry Diets.” More than 120 people, including direct customers and lead industry association representatives, as well as FAS, FCS officials, and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) cooperators from more than 20 countries, attended this event. USSEC staff and contractors all collaborated in hosting such a distinguished group of guests.
Although the Americas region did not sponsor a group of industry representatives, prior to the event, consultants worked very closely with the local FAS and FCS representatives in the Americas, who did co-sponsor relevant attendees. Efforts by the regional team included promoting the registration of more than 750 contacts, namely from Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Mexico and Peru. These contacts were all previously informed of USSEC’s booth and its location, and were specifically invited to USSEC’s luncheon. The Americas regional consultants arranged for two major specialized media to cover and report on the event and to have Dr. Mateos interviewed, thus resulting in a strong support of the distribution of information on USSEC and the technical content of conference.
“IPPE was a great experience that involved team work and crossing the efforts amongst consultants from different regions,” said Mr. Luna. “We all enjoyed interacting with visitors from all over the world and introducing our regional customers to the grower leaders. Our customers enjoyed talking with them and our ‘neighbors’ from SoyMeal InfoCenter, which provided ideas for potential activities.”
He continued, “Our team really enjoyed the opportunity to service our membership, both exporters and allied classes, and to provide them with specific information, contact leads, and market references and updates. Our conversations with them on their specific interests and capacities allowed us to better suggest contacts and better target their efforts.”
Leading up to and during the Free Trade Agreement between the U.S. and Colombia, USSEC – Americas has worked on a number of projects promoting the usage of U.S. soybean oil to importers, refiners, end users and consumers.
With the new long-range strategic plan (LRSP), the direction has changed to build more demand and value in the marketplace. Buyers at oil refineries have shown increased interest in USSEC’s new projects, and 100 percent of all soybean oil refining companies have committed to the 1st U.S. Soybean Oil Risk Management conference.
In this fiscal year, U.S. soybean oil exports to Colombia have grown from 25,400 metric tons (MT) to 54,600 MT, or approximately 115 percent above last year at this time. Colombia is now the third highest importer of U.S. soybean oil in the world and U.S. imports are expected to increase.
USSEC – Southeast Asia (SEA) held its 2017 USSEC Aquaculture Feed Nutrition Workshop in Davao City, Mindanao, Philippines on February 20.
Levy Loreto L. Manalac, USSEC Technical Consultant, Aquaculture – Philippines and Mark Newman, USSEC Feedmill and Nutrition Consultant, led the workshop. Mr. Newman presented how to utilize U.S. Soy products to reduce the amount of fishmeal and fish oil in aquaculture feeds, information on milkfish nutrition, and how to maximize the value of feed ingredients in a high priced environment. Mr. Manalac introduced USSEC Soy in Aquaculture in SEA and the Philippines, and presented USSEC’s results on a milkfish feeding demonstration in the Philippines.
23 feedmill staff, salespeople, and managers from different aquaculture feedmills in Mindanao attended the workshop, in addition to representatives from a fisheries institution and a feed additive company.
USSEC re-launched its external facing website, USSOY.org, as the primary resource for U.S. Soy content on February 23.
“The goal of the new site,” explains USSEC Communications Manager Lisa Humphreys, “is to become the destination for international end users of U.S. soybeans and soy products.”
The strategy and redesign of USSOY.org has transformed the site into a publishing platform that prominently features new content and is integrated with USSEC’s content marketing strategy.
USSOY.org houses U.S. Soy content published and/or developed by USSEC, including written stories, videos, podcasts, and infographics.
“USSEC creates and aggregates large amounts of content, but we wanted to find a better way to share this with our customers and end users,” says Ms. Humphreys. “The new site let us deliver this content through a ‘need to know’ format and displays these resources in an easily digestible, streamlined manner.”
Writers from the U.S. Soy family, or external authors, are able to contribute content to this continually refreshed publishing platform. If the material is accepted through an approved workflow, the story will be published on the site.
USSOY.org content includes topics and stories that are compelling, relevant, and timely for the U.S. Soy industry. The site’s content is organized into six channels that group articles together and help users to easily find relevant content through sorting. The channels include:
Additionally, USSOY.org helps USSEC to demonstrate and support the U.S. Soy Advantage, a key component of the United Soybean Board’s (USB) Long-Range Strategic Plan (LRSP). The U.S. Soy Advantage is founded on innovation, which is focused on investment in continuous improvement and meeting customer needs. Through USSOY.org, USSEC and the U.S. Soy family are able to create and enhance partnerships that increase the value and preference for U.S. Soy.
USSEC hosted a team of delegates from Morocco’s feed, egg and poultry industries at the International Production and Processing Expo (IPPE) in Atlanta, Georgia from January 31 – February 2. The show, considered to be in the top 50 of all U.S. trade shows, is a world meeting forum for suppliers, producers, and processors displaying the latest equipment and services representing the entire chain of protein production and processing, creating a meeting platform for international soy buyers and U.S. suppliers. This year’s conference welcomed a record number of attendees with over 31,000 from more than 130 countries. Key decision makers from poultry operations, integrated companies, feed mills, associations, and allied industry professionals share ideas, network, and conduct business.
At the luncheon hosted by USSEC, attendees learned how to differentiate soybean meal by origin and the advantages of U.S. soybean meal through the presentation of Dr. Gonzalo Mateos, professor of Animal Science at the University of Madrid, titled “Have You Checked You Soybean’s Pedigree Lately? Evaluating the Nutritive Value of Soybean Meal in Poultry Diets.”
USSEC consultant – North Africa Benabdeljelil K. accompanied customers and guided them through various activities conducted by USSEC and IPPE. At the USSEC booth, they learned more about the organization and U.S. Soy products through discussions with grower leaders, including United Soybean Board (USB) director Bob Metz, American Soybean Board (ASA) director Brian Ogletree, and Rusty Smith, Arkansas Soybean Promotion Board. USSEC team members and several consultants from other markets discussed several issues related to soybean use with customers.
The main factors impacting demand for U.S. Soy as a key ingredient in animal feed, successful tactics to differentiate and create a preference for U.S. Soy, specific promotion materials, common communication messages adapted to regional needs were the issues discussed during the animal utilization meeting held by USSEC CEO Jim Sutter, aiming to develop successful and focused actions helped by collective expertise and resources.
The one-on-one interactions during the three-day event improved confidence and trust levels with the U.S Soy industry and USSEC’s worldwide operations.