U.S. Soy Global Trade Exchange – EU/MENA Focuses on Quality, Sustainability of U.S. Soy

By - Monday, February 20, 2017

U.S. Soy grower leaders Todd Gibson, Bill Wykes, and Andy Fabin, along with USSEC Regional Director – EU/MENA Brent Babb and USSEC consultant Lola Herrera visited Bunge’s soy crushing facility overlooking Lisbon’s harbor. Portugal imported 260,000 metric tons (MT) in the last marketing year.

Discussions focused on the quality, consistency and sustainability of U.S. Soy during the 5th U.S. Soy Global Trade Exchange for Europe – Middle East/North Africa (EU/MENA) during the recent conference in Lisbon, Portugal. More than 180 customers and 15 USSEC members from 32 countries gathered to discuss the global soy market situation and expectations for the feed and food industry for Europe and the Middle East. USSEC’s two-day conference is one of the few events combining the soy industry throughout those regions and leading soy crushers, feed companies, and poultry and livestock producers were in attendance.

The feed industry visit included a sampling of pork products at Raporal, one of Portugal’s largest feed and livestock companies. Raporal president Cristina Sousa is the chair of the Portugal Feed Association and served as the welcome speaker at the U.S. Soy Global Trade Exchange – EU/MENA

Conference presenters highlighted the importance of the Europe and Middle East market with data showing that EU-28 and Russia represented the top three countries in poultry and pork production growth since 2010, behind only the U.S. Additionally, 13 of the top 30 global feed-producing countries are in Europe and MENA and were represented at the USSEC conference. With one-third of the global gross domestic product (GDP), this region continues to increase its soy consumption and remains highly competitive in poultry and pork production.

USSEC and United Soybean Board (USB) director Todd Gibson, American Soybean Association (ASA) director Bill Wykes, and USB director Andy Fabin highlighted the sustainability of U.S. Soy in their presentations. Each emphasized the sustainability practices of his farm and his production expectations for the upcoming growing season.

Regional customers noted their appreciation in hearing about soy production straight from the producers. USSEC Regional Director – EU/MENA Brent Babb stressed the importance of the U.S. Soy Sustainability Assurance Protocol (SSAP) and the positive environmental indicators of U.S. Soy production. Nick Major, representing FEFAC, the European Feed Association, discussed the importance of sustainability to consumers and retailers in the Europe market. The SSAP meets the benchmark of FEFAC’s soy sourcing guidelines and is a welcome source of sustainable soy supply for the European market. The EU is one of the major users of the SSAP certification system, which now totals over 6.7 million tons in export shipments this marketing year, over 10 percent of U.S. Soy exports.

USSEC Regional Director – EU/MENA Brent Babb talks about the SSAP to attendees of the U.S. Soy Global Trade Exchange – EU/MENA

A buyers’ team from Turkey included Taygun Ergene of Abalioglu Crushing Company; Ufuk Erdem of Tarim Kredi Yem A.Ş.; Murat Turhan of Keskinoglu Poultry Co.; Aykut Boz of Abalioglu Crushing Co.; Ethem Can of Sunar Feed and Crushing Co.; Sirri Kayhan, USSEC – Turkey; and Ayhan Kindap of CP Yigit Akin- Matli Feed Co.