Ag Supply Chain Asia (ASCA) Conference 2024: Driving Sustainable Agricultural Excellence

Event facilitated transactions and negotiations of an estimated 1.5 million metric tons of U.S. agricultural products.

The AG Supply Chain Asia (ASCA) Conference recently took place in Bangkok, highlighting sustainability and innovation as integral components shaping the future of agriculture. The conference provided a significant platform for discussions centered on the theme "Integrating Sustainability and Innovation for Future Agricultural Excellence."

Organized by the U.S. Soybean Export Council (USSEC), U.S. Grains Council, and U.S. Wheat Associates, this notable event drew more than 370 attendees from 20 countries, representing over 170 companies. The conference organizers are grateful for the support from U.S. farmer organizations and industry sponsors.

According to participant feedback, the conference facilitated transactions and negotiations estimated at 1.5 million metric tons of U.S. agricultural products. This positions the event as a key gathering within the agricultural sector in Southeast Asia. The transactions encompassed approximately 335,000 metric tons of soybeans, 385,000 metric tons of soybean meal, 180,000 metric tons of corn, 340,000 metric tons of dried distillers grains with solubles (DDGS), and 220,000 metric tons of wheat.

Advancing Global Food Security Through Sustainability

U.S. Ambassador to Thailand, Robert F. Godec, emphasized the pivotal role of ASEAN in the global agricultural landscape, citing the region's substantial contribution to U.S. soybean exports. He underscored the need for sustainable food systems to address evolving challenges like climate change and to ensure global food security. Ambassador Godec highlighted the ASEAN region's significance as the United States’ fourth largest agriculture export market with $2 billion worth of U.S. soybean exports to the region in 2023.

Global Momentum Towards Sustainability

Jim Sutter, CEO of USSEC, shared a global perspective on the role of U.S. Soy in achieving sustainability goals and the importance of making customers aware of how U.S. Soy producers are so focused on sustainability.

He emphasized the importance of our farmers' connection to the land they cultivate. “It is crucial that we bridge the care they have for the land with their sustainable farming practices and highlight this commitment to U.S. Soy customers worldwide. Whether in Southeast Asia, Europe, or South America, consumers value sustainability," remarked Sutter.

Lance Rezac, Chairman of the Board at USSEC, reiterated the sustainability in farming practices which are deeply rooted in generations of U.S. farming communities, including his own family. His remarks reinforced sustainability as not just a trend but a longstanding tradition among U.S. farmers.

Cary Sifferath, Vice President of the U.S. Grains Council, emphasized the importance of supplying sustainable ingredients across sectors. “There is a growing global momentum toward sustainability observed not only in the feed and livestock industry but also in corn processing and other sectors regionally and globally. This shift reflects the collective global effort to address consumers' demands and choices, not just in Southeast Asia, but also final end-users of some of those food products that the corn and corn co-products end up in the global food supply chain,” Sifferath said.

Joe Bippert, Assistant Regional Director for South and Southeast Asia at U.S. Wheat Associates, highlighted the current wheat supply landscape and the demand outlook, noting that various factors such as the conflict in Ukraine, droughts, and geopolitics have influenced market dynamics and prices. Despite these uncertainties, he emphasized the dynamic nature of the industry and the opportunities it offers for growth and innovation.

In summary, the Ag Supply Chain Asia Conference 2024 emerged as a resounding success, effectively illuminating the crucial imperative of integrating sustainability with innovation within the agricultural sector. By facilitating pivotal discussions and offering insightful perspectives, the event provided a holistic view of the future landscape of agriculture, underlining the indispensable role of sustainable practices and technological advancements in attaining agricultural excellence.

This article was funded in part by the soy checkoff.