Customers of U.S. Soy for Human Consumption Across the Region Wrap Up the Year on a High Note
By Moises Huerta, Communications, Marketing and Soy Excellence Center Lead – Americas, USSEC
The 2022 Americas CrushCon, held in Cartagena, Colombia, on December 7-8, successfully brought together nearly a hundred current and potential new Latin American customers and U.S. Soy farmers and advocates to highlight the outstanding food applications of U.S. Soy. Considered one of the USSEC Americas’ signature annual events, the 2022 CrushCon, with support from the soy checkoff, was packed with a robust series of presentations, testimonials, panel discussions, networking opportunities, and even live cooking demonstrations. Regional attendees left Cartagena with a comprehensive understanding of the strong commitment of U.S. Soy farmers to sustainability, innovation, and collaboration, as well as the solutions USSEC makes available to partners across the region seeking U.S. Soy for food applications, particularly U.S.-grown high oleic soybean oil (HOSBO) and U.S. soybean flour.
AMERICAN FARMERS AS ULTIMATE ADVOCATES OF U.S. SOY
Multi-generation family farming as well as innovation and sustainability as drivers of U.S. Soy farming in the United States continue to impress partners of U.S. Soy around the world, and the Americas region is no exception. Attendees at the 2022 Americas CrushCon closely listened to and engaged with representatives from Nebraska, Indiana, and Missouri who actively advocated for U.S. Soy and farmers’ commitment to continue partnering with Latin American customers. Among the conference’s featured speakers was Anne Meis, a fourth-generation farmer from Nebraska, who spoke about her farming operations and sustainability practices, particularly on soil health and livestock integration. In describing her experience at CrushCon, Anne noted: “When soybean farmers from Midwest states like Nebraska, Indiana, and Missouri are able to meet soy buyers from Colombia, Central America, and Mexico, then events like the USSSEC 2022 CrushCon Conference are successful. I had the privilege of bringing the U.S. Soy’s sustainability message to buyers. I shared ways our industry is using advances in soil health, water conservation, nutrient management, and seed genetics to be more sustainable. I also shared specific practices we are using on our fourth-generation family farm in Elgin, Nebraska. The conference was well organized and shared quality information on sustainability, high oleic soy oil benefits, crushing technical issues, and promoting soy foods.’
Notably too, Anne took every networking opportunity throughout the event to engage with local attendees to promote U.S. Soy and its advantages for human consumption. “Highlights for me were talking with a soy oil buyer in Guatemala and a feed meal producer who purchases 80% of his soy meal from the US. His family business is now producing soy flour and other soy foods for human consumption. That is exciting to see this market develop,” Anne highlighted.
DELIVERING WORLD CLASS INFORMATION AND EXPERTISE
The 2022 Americas CrushCon program also featured internationally recognized experts who shared analysis, insights, and outlook on market opportunities, nutritional advantages of soy foods, U.S. Soy-derived products such as HOSBO and U.S. soybean flour, and competitive innovation and technology behind U.S. soybean oil production. Quite importantly, as in other USSEC signature events, sustainability was a topic of high interest at 2022 CrushCon, where attendees were reminded about the importance of sustainability for U.S. agriculture and USSEC-endorsed sustainability tools and services like the soy checkoff’s Sustainable U.S. Soy (SUSS) program.
Carlos Salinas and Leonardo “Leo” Chapula, USSEC Americas Director and Human Sector Marketing Specialist (tasked with the design and implementation of the event), respectively, highlighted the growing relationship between U.S. Soy and Latin American customers, who increasingly turn to USSEC for sustainability programs. “Over the years, CrushCon has become an effective platform to create synergies and bring together U.S. farmers, industry experts, and customers from across the region, who are excited about products like U.S.-grown HOSBO due to its many advantages. It is also great to see a growing number of customers of U.S. Soy adopting the SUSS logo on their products. Just last month we registered company #21 in the region,” Carlos added. The 2022 Americas CrushCon also featured live frying and baking demonstrations by Latin American chefs who enthusiastically praised U.S. Soy-derived products and advantages for foodservice and food processing professionals, such as stability, longevity, and taste. Attendees enjoyed breaded shrimp cooked with HOSBO and pastries made with U.S. Soy flour. Certainly, the stakes and hopes are high for the future of HOSBO and other U.S. Soy-derived products in Latin America; and the USSEC Americas team is firmly committed to continue promoting them among current and new customers throughout the region.
This article is partially funded by U.S. Soy farmers, their checkoff and the soy value chain.