News: Event followup
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.
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 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.
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.”
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.