USSEC hosted the 2016 U.S. Food-Bean Buyers Conference and Tabletop Trade Show on April 7 in Seoul, South Korea. The objective of the conference was to support U.S. food-bean exporters and Korean food-bean end-users / importers to take full advantage of the Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement. The conference was attended by 38 purchasing staff and 3 top executives from Korea’s soyfood processing industry; 10 USSEC member companies (Bluegrass Farms of Ohio, Inc.; CHS, Inc.; Clarkson Grain Co., Inc.; The DeLong Co., Ltd.; Global Processing Inc.; Natural Products, Inc.; SB&B Foods, Inc.; Soyko International, Inc.; and SunOpta, Inc.); United Soybean Board (USB) director Mark Caspers; USSEC Regional Director – North Asia Paul Burke; and USSEC Marketing Director – Human Nutrition/Oil Marypat Corbett.
Mr. Caspers gave a presentation, “U.S. Soy Supply – Assuring Sustainability and Quality IP Food Beans” at the conference. Other conference topics included the U.S. inland grain logistics; U.S. food grade soybean acreage insights; sustainable U.S. Soy; and Korea’s Special Act on Imported Food Safety. At the tabletop trade show, U.S. food-bean exporters displayed their food-bean samples on the tables and had individual meetings with Korean food-bean importers. Following the conference, 15 U.S. participants visited tofu plants at Dongwha Food Co., Ltd. and Busan port, which is the destination port for non-GM food-soybean import via container.
J&J Corporation (DBA: Soyko International Inc.) in Gary began processing and marketing seeds in 1986. The Marketing & sales of wide-ranging specialty Identity Preserved Commodities for customers worldwide. Products comprise of food quality non-GMO, Organic Soybeans, Tofu type soybeans and especially sprout soybean supplies a full line of Identity Preserved food. Facility also certified to utilizing such as Certified Organic and conventional non-GMO: dry beans, grains, seeds, soybeans.
USSEC hosted a 2015 U.S. food-bean conference on April 2 in Seoul, South Korea to bring together Korean food-bean end-users/importers and U.S. exporters to update both parties on market developments and to discuss terms and conditions for food-bean trade. This conference was a USSEC activity that supports 100 percent implementation of the tariff rate quota allocated for identity preserved (IP) food-bean import in 2015 and 2016 under the Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement. Nine U.S. food-bean exporters including SB&B Foods, Inc.; SunOpta, Inc.; Bluegrass Farms of Ohio, Inc.; Clarkson Grain Co., Inc.; The DeLong Co., Ltd.; Huron Commodities, Inc.; NeCo Seed Farms, Inc.; and Soyko International, Inc. introduced their companies to about 40 Korean food-bean end-users/importers focusing on their food-bean varieties, IP handling, and logistics. United Soybean Board (USB) director Belinda Burrier; USSEC Regional Director – North Asia Paul Burke; USSEC Marketing Director – Human Nutrition/Oil Marypat Corbett; and USSEC Marketing Assistant – Human Nutrition/Oil Jelena Smojver also attended the conference. After the conference, 84 percent of survey respondents, based on the information provided at this conference, said that the U.S. would supply Korea with good, consistent quality soybeans in a stable manner. Following the conference, ten participants from the U.S. visited tofu plants at Malgunsikpum, Inc., and a soymilk plant at Dr. Chung’s Food Co., Ltd., and shared information on specification of food-beans suitable for soy food processing.
USSEC held the 10th Southeast Asia Soy Symposium, held on March 25-26. The event attracted over 140 participants, well above the anticipated number of 80 to 100.
The event kicked off with a workshop for 40 invited participants. USSEC consultant Sam Waterfall from the Healthy Marketing Team conducted a Soy Marketing and Branding Masterclass, which focused on new product launches and branding. Also included in this year’s workshop were two soy case studies presented by USSEC Marketing Director – Human Nutrition/Oil Marypat Corbett and Peter Golbitz of Agromeris, covering soy oil and soy protein respectively.
The workshop was followed by the full day 10th S.E. Asia Soy Symposium on March 26. A total of 16 speakers from the U.S., Hong Kong, Japan, India, Indonesia, Thailand and Singapore shared their knowledge, expertise and insights covering topics from production, science and marketing and a panel discussion. Presentations included recent global and Asian market trends on soyfood, soy oil and ingredients as well as beverage consumption. The latest research and science on soy and health related to gout and infant nutrition were addressed, as were regulatory developments affecting soy labelling and promotion in various countries.
The topic of sustainability of soy in production and nutrition security were highlighted through the sharing of the U.S. Soybean Sustainability Assurance Protocol (SSAP) adopted by U.S. soy farmers to address the growing global interest in sustainable agriculture in recent years.
Adding to the culinary interest during the Symposium period were special soy food menus created by the hotel chefs that were incorporated into tea breaks and lunch. Samples and tasting portions of local and regional soy products were also on display. These products were contributed by co-sponsors and participating companies who had contributed the food items, soyfood recipes and dishes.
Organized by USSEC and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS), this year’s Soy Symposium was held back-to-back with the 9th Asia Grain Transportation Conference in Singapore in order to tap the complementary interests in the entire soy value chain among delegates in the food sector and those from the food and trade and procurement fields.
“This event showed the importance of soy for human food consumption, and showcases the breadth of knowledge available and the versatility of soy in modern food chains that will continue to grow. It is pertinent that USSEC provides such platforms that bring together all stakeholders with an interest in soy to exchange information and learn from each other,” said USSEC Southeast Asia Technical Director, Human NutritionYeong Boon Yee.
Besides USSEC CEO Jim Sutter, the four-day event was also attended by USSEC Chief Program Officer Ed Beaman; USSEC Chief Administrative Officer Rich Green; and USSEC Project Manager – Aquaculture/Customer Focus Dena Hensel. Grower leaders who participated at both events were American Soybean Association (ASA) director Kevin Hoyer and David Williams, United Soybean Board (USB) Director and president of the Michigan Soybean Association. Key food soybeans growers and exporters from the U.S. included North Dakota’s Robert Sinner of SB&B, Curt Petriech of SunOpta, as well as Brushvale Seeds, SK Food, JB Global & Richland Foods who are key members of the Northern Food Grade Soy Association (NFGSA), along with exporters from Ohio and Missouri.
The North Dakota Trade Office and NFGSA held a separate event on March 27, attended by soyfood producers who came for the 10th SFS. USSEC’s Singapore office assisted with local logistics and one-on-one meetings between suppliers and producers to establish needs and effect potential business transaction. The U.S. export companies were Brushvale Seeds, Richland IFC, SB&B, SK Food, Soyko and SunOpta.