Five commodity/feedstuffs traders and manufacturers from Poland and Czech Republic were among the hundreds of customers from around the world who came to the U.S. in early September for the U.S. Soy Global Trade Exchange in Minneapolis.
USSEC Technical Director – Northeast Europe Jerzy Kosieradzki accompanied this team, which was excited by its visit to the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT). For Michal Hadasik, Pawel Dulacz, Krzysztof Ulas and Jakub Jan Agas, who purchase grains and soybean meal on a daily basis, their time spent at the capital of global commodity trade and the opportunity to meet with the brokers in person was of great importance.. It was equally significant for Marek Kumprecht, a livestock nutrition and compound feed production specialist at DeHeus in the Czech Republic, but for other reasons: it was his introduction to the price discovery mechanism and risk management, which would help him in his new top managerial job at his company.
All of them, like many other international visitors, enjoyed visiting Minnesota soybean farms, where they not only appreciated the farm families’ hospitality, but they also enjoyed having the opportunity to hear first-hand accounts of how U.S. Soy sustainability works at the farm level. Combining the theory on sustainability presented on and discussed at the Global Trade Exchange’s breakout sessions and at the trade show with the practical daily reality for an average U.S. corn and soybean grower was of special importance to the visitors and resulted in more trust in the U.S. products.
This year’s U.S. Soy Global Trade Exchange was exceptionally well received by USSEC’s Northeast European customers. All of them agreed that the event offered a wide variety of subjects and every participant could find plenty of solid information for himself/herself.
Mr. Kosieradzki shared, “It was obvious for me that my customers would appreciate the keynote on the outlook for global economy and international trade, but I was truly surprised when my whole group decided to attend the session on soymeal quality by origin by Dr. H. Stein, University of Illinois, and they truly valued this newly acquired knowledge very highly. It is great for the commodity traders to listen information on this important topic!”
“The Northeast European customers also established or renewed a multitude of contacts during their very busy week in the U.S., which was an important added bonus for them,” concluded Mr. Kosieradzki.
USSEC recently conducted a baking workshop at the University Vasco de Quiroga in Morelia, Mexico, to promote the use and performance of U.S. soybean oil margarines, shortenings and soy flour in baking applications.
This workshop, led by USSEC consultants Jorge Martínez and Oliverio Cruz, consisted of one theoretical session and one practical session. About 30 people from the baking industry in Morelia attended.
Mr. Martinez gave two presentations, the first titled “The Health Benefits of Soybean Oil.” The second covered the baking process, where he discussed the basic and optional ingredients for bread making and their functions, classifications of flours and their functions, dough formation and the relation with the gluten formation, baking dynamics, and the functions of shortenings and margarines. To illustrate these concepts, he discussed the preparation of recipes of baked goods and cookies.
Mr. Cruz conducted the practical session, where four kinds of common breads were prepared using U.S. soybean flour and soybean oil shortenings and margarines. Experienced bakers and participants tasted the prepared breads and all concluded that the use of soybean products does not affect the flavor and functionality of the breads, but enhances them. Participants also decided that the addition of soy flour to bread enhances the profitability due to a greater dough yield, lower dough cost and increased shelf life.
USSEC participated in the Abastur Trade Show in Mexico City from August 31 – September 3, to promote soybean oils and soyfoods. This trade show is one of the largest for the retail and food service segments in Mexico and Latin America. About 1,300 exhibitor companies from 12 countries participated in the 2015 show.
In the USSEC booth, more than 20 soybean products were exhibited and promoted, including soybean oils, soymilks and texturized soybean protein (TSP) foods manufactured by eight companies that consume U.S. soybeans and U.S. crude soybean oil in the Americas Region.
USSEC consultants Jorge Martinez, Pedro Gonzalez and Adela Perez worked at the booth and helped managers and representatives of the participating companies to exhibit and promote their U.S. soybean products, making more than 70 new commercial contacts.
Chef Giuseppe de Pascuale prepared different recipes using soybean oil, TSP, and soybean beverages for participants to taste.
The Abastur Trade Show promises to increase the sales of the soybean products of the participant companies and the consumption of U.S. soybeans and soybean oil.
USSEC recently provided technical service and held a seminar for Colombian fish producers.
Consultants Dr. Greg Lutz and Jairo Amezquita, together with staff from a local aqua feed mill, visited fish producers in the cities of Pereira, La Union, Ginebra and Palmira to provide technical service. They also held a seminar for nearly 60 people about the genetic aspects to improve the Colombia’s existing tilapia strains, which will help increase fish production and the consumption of U.S. Soy products. Dr. Lutz gave a presentation, “Improving Tilapia Genetics,” which received much attention from the aqua producers in attendance. He emphasized the current necessity for improving the strains of tilapia available in the region and the importance of local aqua production. After the conference, Dr. Lutz answered many questions and was also contacted by many participants who requested more information about fair practices management. Mr. Amezquita gave a presentation called “USSEC’s Role in the Development of Aquaculture in Latin American,” where he emphasized the current situation of the industry in the world, Latin America, and Colombia, and their opportunities to diversify with new species. Additionally, he talked about statistics and trial results with U.S. soybean meal, soy protein concentrate, and isolate protein in the diets of some aqua species.
The team visited six tilapia farms to determine the quality of the tilapia strains and give them the best recommendations about genetics improvement to increase production and help resistant strains that cause challenges to production. The consultants also met with the Colombian Federation of Fish Farmers (FEDEACUA) and with the government agencies in charge of aquaculture in Colombia to talk about sanitary issues at fish farms.
USSEC participated in the International Soy Growers Alliance (ISGA) meetings in Montevideo, Uruguay from August 13-16.
American Soybean Association (ASA) first vice president Richard Wilkins and United Soybean Board (USB) treasurer John Motter participated in these meetings together with USSEC Marketing Director Market Access/FTO Roz Leeck. The agenda included listening to perspectives from the South American region and the world, along with an ISGA group discussion, moderated by Ms. Leeck. The ISGA’s next steps were discussed, including an April 2016 mission to China and a potential EU mission this fall. The group had the opportunity to visit the Uruguayan Chamber of Commerce and took an all-day tour of a local farm.
While the countries that make up ISGA typically are competitors in the world soybean market, the mission of the group is to collaborate in the development of select soybean markets and to speak with a unified voice opposing market restrictions, scientifically unsound non-tariff barriers to trade relating to health, environmental, chemical residues and biotechnology approvals. ISGA contributors work together to maintain the solid market position of soy against other competitor oilseeds and to communicate the social, economic, and environmental sustainability of the soybean chain.
USSEC recently conducted the Regional Animal Production Course (RAPCO) for swine production at the University of Illinois. 26 swine producers and technicians from top Latin American swine operations in 10 countries attended the course.
The course program, conducted by USSEC consultant Julio Chaves, emphasized swine nutrition and management, covering topics such as amino acid requirements of pigs; amino acid digestibility; carbohydrates in feed ingredients; global soybean production and utilization; and feed technology. The program highlighted the importance of U.S. Soy’s high quality and its advantages over other soybeans in the market. Special attention was given to protein quality during all talks about soybeans. Lectures were also presented about the use of growth promoters (Rapctopamine) and its effect on pork quality, as well as the use of inmunocastration. Mr. Chaves presented a conference focusing on the evaluation of pork quality.
Participant discussions during this course were very interactive, which resulted in an excellent opportunity to share experiences and increase attendees’ knowledge. RAPCO courses are designed to create loyalty toward U.S. soybeans. USSEC provides superior technical and market support for swine producers, covering a vast amount of information in a short, intensive course where high quality speakers cover many aspects of production, nutrition, and pork quality.
USSEC organized and conducted a public cooking class using soybean ingredients to promote the use and health benefits of U.S. Soy products for gastronomic institutes and the general public. The event took place on July 25 in downtown Guadalajara, Mexico with about 180 participants. An expert chef was hired to develop and prepare soy dishes for the event, which included one recipe of chicken-flavored tabouli salad and another of soybean spaghetti Bolognese.
Three soybean oil refineries and six soyfoods and soy beverages partners/producers participated as event sponsors. These companies provided the ingredients used in the cooking class and also provided samples of their products to be included in giveaway bags given to each attendee of the cooking class. Brochures and promotional articles produced by USSEC were included in the promotional bags. Additionally, there was an exhibition of soybean products where participating companies promoted their products and gave information and samples of soybean beverages to participants.
In order to promote this event, as well as the health benefits of consuming U.S. soybean products, mentions were done prior to the event on four radio broadcasts and advertisements were inserted in newspapers and banners on the internet and social media. During the event, the USSEC Regional Marketing Director – Americas Nayeli Vilanova gave four interviews to media present at the cooking class to speak about USSEC´s mission, marketing activities, and U.S. soybean products and their health benefits. These interviews were broadcast on radio and published in newspapers and magazines. The public cooking class and media promotion about the health benefits of soybean products was deemed a success because 98 percent of attendees were convinced to use soybean products as a source of healthy foods. The outreach of USSEC´s message spread by the various media used was estimated at 8,421,390 people.
USSEC conducted a course on sales strategies for the sales forces of a soybean oil refinery in Mexico on July 30 and 31.
Two specialists gave the course with the main objective of providing the necessary skills to increase sales representatives’ self-confidence and sales strategies. They taught theory and dynamic practices to strengthen knowledge and made the course fun for participants. Attendees were attentive and participatory, discovering strategies to achieve better sales. The participants learned that relationships are an important aspect of doing business and heard about strategies to achieve empathy with customers and finish a successful sale.
USSEC consultants Pedro Gonzalez and Jorge Martinez also presented topics related to soybean oil in order to provide additional sales tools to event participants. Mr. Gonzalez spoke about market opportunities for soybean oil in the different market segments and Mr. Martinez talked about the characteristics and health benefits of soybean oil.
The National Feed Producers Association (ANFACA), which represents a third of the feed produced in Mexico, recently formed a group with the assistance of USSEC. This alliance is aimed at young people in order to involve the next generation that will be in in charge of the member firms. The group is named “Jovenes ANFACA” and it recently organized the Young ANFACA Entrepreneurs Group Global Seminar on Price Management held in Guadalajara, Mexico.
This event was celebrated in the Pan-American Institute of Business Management (IPADE) and over 130 participants attended, representing 8 countries. Most of the delegates were from the feed and livestock sectors, with others coming from related industries such as corn/starch, oilseed crushers, trading firms, seed companies, and financial institutions, including government agencies. Commodity Ingredient & Hedging (CIH) executed the core of hedge-related training and IPADE had two professors address the group on related topics.
The event had several sponsors, including USSEC, CME Group, ANFACA itself, the Jalisco State Agricultural Council (CAJ), Cargill and Hayex Americas, among others.
USSEC Regional Director – Americas Francisco de la Torre and USSEC consultant Gerardo Luna participated in the seminar. During the price management program, Mr. Luna moderated two panel discussions, one of which featured Mr. de la Torre. The panel discussions covered a lot of information and both Mr. de la Torre and Mr. Luna shared their experiences in the private and public sectors and current business occupations. USSEC was repeatedly acknowledged for its continued collaboration with the Jovenes ANFACA project, from inception to its actual execution.
USSEC recently provided technical service to dairy producers in Guatemala. Consultants Carlos Campabadal and Carlos Espinosa traveled to Guatemala July 14-19 to participate in the Guatemalan Dairy Cattle Association’s field days and to provide technical service to dairy producers in order to promote the use of U.S. soybean meal.
During this trip, the consultants participated in four dairy field days in different regions of Guatemala. The regions were chosen to represent the different types of climates and types of animals (pure breeds and crossbred cows). The field days were conducted at four farms and the presentations consisted of conferences, machinery, feeds and veterinary medicines exposition, and a visit to see farm facilities and animals, as well as a question and answer session with the USSEC consultants. Approximately 500 dairy producers and technicians attended the four field days.
Mr. Campabadal gave a lecture, “Why Cows Do Not Produce Efficiently in the Tropics,” where he covered factors that reduce milk production in tropical climates. Mr. Espinosa presented talks related to dairy replacement feeding and management programs. Other speakers, technicians from Guatemala and Spain, talked about topics such as forage production and the use of biogas.
USSEC recently participated in the business meeting and trade show, GH-100.
USSEC consultant Jorge Martínez escorted a team of sales managers of soybean oil refineries and soyfoods manufacturers to promote their U.S. soybean products at the event in Merida, Mexico. GH-100 provides suppliers with the opportunity to meet with purchasing managers and executives from the hotels, restaurants and institutions (HRI) segment who are invited by GH-100 to participate in business meetings.
Two sales managers from two Mexican soybean oil refineries and two soyfoods manufacturers participated in this event working at the USSEC booth and presenting their products in four group meetings and in one-on-one meetings with purchasing managers of HRI companies. The U.S. Soy products promoted were four brands of soybean oils for use for frying in restaurants; one brand of soybean oil fortified with docosahexaenoic acid (DHA); soy beverages; and texturized soybean protein foods. The managers had business meetings with purchasing managers of participating companies such as restaurants and hotels chains in Mexico and Central America.
USSEC and the managers who participated in this event contacted more than 50 purchasing managers and executives of the HRI. As a result of these business meetings, the participating soybean oil refineries will increase their sales an additional 16,000 liters of soybean oil per month and the soyfoods manufacturers are making negotiations to introduce their products to several hotel and restaurant chains in Mexico.
The U.S. Soybean Export Council (USSEC) sponsored and participated in the 9th International Aquaculture Forum 2014 (FIACUI 2014), held November 5-7 in Guadalajara, Mexico. USSEC’s Americas office, which is funded by FMD and MAP, facilitated this forum. USSEC also invested $5000 of checkoff funds in this event. USSEC’s participation helped establish and increase relationships with aquaculture industry representatives, promoted the use of U.S. soybean products in aquaculture, and established key contacts for trade and technical servicing with this industry. The event drew representatives from the business sector, research centers, universities and the Mexican state of Jalisco’s Ministry of Rural Development. An international conferences program was included to provide producers with information to help them optimize their processes, packaging and marketing of seafood products. FIACUI 2014 also co-hosted the Latin American and Caribbean Aquaculture meeting (LACQUA 2014), a scientific conference organized by the World Aquaculture Society (WAS). Business meetings took place between aquaculturists, fishermen and potential buyers, with the aim of expanding their marketing channels. In the upcoming year, the Mexican aquaculture industry will produce nearly 120,000 metric tons (MT) of seafood and will use more than 70,000 MT of soybean meal from the U.S. This market has good potential for continued growth in the next several years, mainly with tilapia.
The U.S. Soybean Export Council (USSEC) visited one of Mexico’s biggest soybean importers, a Merida-based crusher and refinery company, and met with its commercial director to discuss plans to promote its 2015 soybean oil brands and ways that USSEC could provide assistance. USSEC’s support over the past two years to promote and impel two brands of 100 percent soybean oil has already resulted in sales increases. The production and R&D managers were invited to attend the next American Oil Chemists Society (AOCS) Meeting in Orlando, FL, which is intended to update their knowledge of soybean crushing and production of soybean oil and edible fats with low trans fats content. USSEC also planned the organization of two seminars for the company’s key soybean meal customers with the objective to communicate the high quality of U.S. soybeans and soybean meal, along with relevant information on market trends.
The U.S. Soybean Export Council (USSEC) organized and conducted a public cooking class using soybean ingredients to promote the use and health benefits of soy products on November 29, 2014 in a Mexico City public park with more than 200 participants. USSEC brochures and promotional articles, along with product samples, were included in giveaway bags for participants. Event promotions included eight radio plugs, newspaper advertisements and banners for internet and social media. USSEC gave four interviews to media to discuss its mission and marketing activities, along with providing information about soybean products and their health benefits. These interviews were published in radio, newspapers and magazines. The public cooking class and the media promotion regarding the health benefits of soybean products proved to be very successful with 97 percent of the attendees convinced to use soybean products as a source of healthy foods. USSEC´s message spread by various media outlets was estimated to reach 9,306,212 people and the media coverage of the event was equivalent to over $86,000 USD.
The U.S. Soybean Export Council (USSEC) implemented a strategy, “Soy is Health,” to encourage greater consumption of U.S. soybean oil in the larger soybean oil-consuming countries in the Americas region where competing oils from other origins have affected imports from the U.S. In Costa Rica, USSEC conducted a generic campaign along with major soybean oil refiners touting activities that included educating consumers about the benefits of soy through community events, in-store promotions and an outdoor signage campaign. In Guatemala, USSEC worked with soybean oil refiners on similar educational activities and assisted “pull-through” at point of purchase in key retail stores in and around Guatemala City. USSEC invested $34,000 in Costa Rica and $10,524 in Guatemala, both under U14CXAM023-02 (Americas-Development of Media Campaigns & End User – Soybean Oil promotional campaigns). In both countries, the promotional campaign took place in August and September 2014. Costa Rica’s results showed a 10 percent increase in U.S. soybean oil consumption vs. the same period last year. Costa Rica imported 95,200 metric tons (MT) of U.S. soybeans for crush in FY14. Just two months into the current fiscal year, the major importer INOLASA was already ahead of that amount of U.S. soybeans with current and future sales of 112,500 MT. Results in Guatemala boasted an increase of 18 percent in soybean oil consumption vs. the same time last year with an increase of 25 percent for the brand promoted by the Guatemala refiner. In FY14, Guatemala increased its imports of U.S. soybean oil 292 percent (31,900 MT) vs. the previous year FY13 (10,900 MT). These results have raised Guatemala to the 7th largest importer of U.S. soybean oil in the world, up from 16th the previous year.
The U.S. Soybean Export Council (USSEC) followed up on feeding demonstrations with two cooperators in Mexico, the Autonomous University of Baja California (UABC) in Ensenada and the Feed and Research Center (CIAD) in Mazatlan. The demonstrations involved the evaluation of the inclusion of soy protein concentrate (SPC) from U.S. manufacturer Prairie Aquatech in a feed produced by a Guadalajara feed manufacturer. USSEC provided technical support by conducting one-on-one meetings with UABC and CIAD to discuss feeding protocols; checking which fish were used; inspecting feeds manufactured for the demonstrations; meeting with the managers of the feeding demonstrations; visiting the respective hatcheries; and discussing the current protocol, chiefly covering feeding practices and times for sampling. At CIAD, the feeding demonstration is being carried out with Lutjanus guttatus (spotted rose snapper) specie, while Totoaba macdonaldi (totoaba) specie is being used at the UABC. In the Mexican markets, working with red snapper and common snook offers a good opportunity to include SPC into the diets of these fish. These feeding demonstrations illustrate the benefits of using U.S. soy products in aqua feeds and provide an opportunity to boost the consumption of U.S. soy products in the Mexican aqua feed industry. USSEC also discussed opportunities to work with these cooperators in new research with other species of marine fish in the next fiscal year, offering greater opportunity for the import of U.S. soy. U.S. company Techmix, who will be providing the SPC for FY15 aqua feeding demonstrations, has informed USSEC that production capacity and supply for this year will be close to 100 metric tons a month.
USSEC is working with the Dominican Association of Ranchers and Farmers (ADHA) to improve the quality of beef products and reduce production costs to achieve higher profits for producers. ADHA is holding a seminar focusing on the “productive chain of beef cattle from farm to table” on July 29 and 30, with the participation of the Dominican Republic’s Ministry of Agriculture and the Association of Zebu Cattle Breeders (ASOCEBU). USSEC will also participate in this conference.
According to a press release from ADHA, the seminar topics will include the reality of meat production in the Dominican Republic; requirements of national and international markets; export refrigeration conditions; and safety and traceability in Dominican livestock. Other topics to be addressed include fattening steers; animal welfare on the farm; transportation and confinement or management of feedlots; and artificial insemination.
USSEC co-sponsored the 5th Pet Food Forum recently celebrated in Guadalajara, Mexico. USSEC consultants Gerardo Luna, Gustavo Picolla and Ingomar Middelbos attended and participated in this event organized by the Balanced Feeds Manufacturers Association in Guadalajara. This forum had over 150 registered participants, most related to pet food companies, with a number coming from related services companies.
Dr. Middelbos gave a presentation titled “The Uses of Soybeans and Products in Pet Food Formulations,” where he shared the why’s and how’s of incorporating soybean meal, hulls, lecithin and soybean protein concentrate (SPC) in pet food. Mr. Picolla was the closing keynote speaker and talked about “The Importance of Strategic Planning in AgriBusiness,” where he shared the importance of strategic planning and leadership.
After the forum, Mr. Luna and Mr. Picolla continued their trip to Queretaro, Mexico and participated in the monthly board meeting of another feed association, which is the second largest in Mexico. Mr. Picolla gave a talk titled, “A Different View about the Strategic Planning in AgriBusiness,” and both consultants interacted with attendees. Finally, they visited the Swine Producers Association (APQ) where Mr. Luna provided a detailed introduction to USSEC, discussing its nature, structure, and objectives. He suggested later discussion on needs that could be supported and Mr. Picolla gave his lecture about strategic planning. The audience welcomed the presentation and discussion and was very participative.
USSEC organized and conducted a public cooking class using soybean ingredients to promote the use and health benefits of U.S. Soy products for gastronomic institutes and the general public. The class took place on June 27 in one of Mexico City’s public parks and more than 200 people participated. An expert chef was hired to develop and prepare soy dishes for the event, including chicken flavored tabouli salad and soybean spaghetti bolognese.
Three soybean oil refineries and four soyfoods and soy beverages partners/producers participated as event sponsors. These companies provided the ingredients used in the cooking class and also provided samples of their products to be included in giveaway bags given to each participant. Brochures and promotional articles produced by USSEC were included in the promotional bags. There was also a soybean product exhibition where participating companies promoted their products and gave samples, information and tasting of soybean beverages to attendees.
Radio spots were run prior to the event during two broadcasts, advertisements were inserted in newspapers, and banners were used on the internet and social media to promote the cooking class, as well as the health benefits of consuming U.S. soybean products. During the event, USSEC Regional Marketing Director – Americas Nayeli Vilanova gave three interviews to media present and spoke about USSEC´s mission and marketing activities and about U.S. soybean products and their health benefits. These interviews were run on radio and in newspapers and magazines. The public cooking class and media promotion about the health benefits of soybean products was a very successful activity as 97 percent of the attendees were convinced to use soybean products as a source of healthy food. The outreach of USSEC´s message spread by the various media used was estimated to reach 6,028,302 people.