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News: Americas

USSEC Hosts Ecuadorian Agriculturalists on Tour of U.S. Ag Industry

Monday, May 9, 2016
Category Americas General News 
USSEC had the privilege of hosting a group consisting of nine Ecuadorian agriculturalists during a weeklong trip through Missouri and Iowa. From April 25-29, the group,…

USSEC had the privilege of hosting a group consisting of nine Ecuadorian agriculturalists during a weeklong trip through Missouri and Iowa. From April 25-29, the group, composed of Ecuadorian farmers and representatives from the Ecuador Minister of Agriculture’s office, learned the ins and outs of soybean and corn production through various meetings with businesses in the ag industry, academia and farmers.

Francisco de la Torre, USSEC Regional Representative for the Americas region, viewed the chance to host this team as an excellent opportunity to expand on the current relationship between the U.S. agricultural industry and Ecuadorian ag producers and consumers. Additionally, providing the group with a firsthand encounter of U.S. agriculture instilled a higher sense of confidence and trust in the crops produced by U.S. farmers.

“Providing the opportunity for importers of U.S. Soy and other commodities to see how the production process works is increasingly valuable,” said Mr. de la Torre. “People want to know where their food comes from and how it was produced. Ecuador is purchasing more and more U.S. Soy every year; we want them to know that no one can produce the same high quality products as efficiently as the U.S. farmer.”

The team had a series of meetings discussing current production and management practices at both the University of Missouri and Iowa State University. The group was especially interested in the topics of biotechnology, as Ecuadorian producers do not currently produce genetically modified crops; sustainability; and yields. Additionally, the team had the opportunity to visit both the Bay Research Farm, the Missouri Soybean Association’s farm and home to Missouri Soybean Merchandising Council (MSMC) research,  and Greenley Research Center in Missouri. Staff from the University of Missouri discussed the basics of planting, breeding, feed trail, and production management research taking places at the farms.

Additional visits to industry members allowed the team to learn more about the hands-on presence of U.S. agriculture. DuPont Pioneer hosted the team at their headquarters in Johnston, Iowa, allowing them the opportunity to learn more about one of the world’s largest seed companies. ADM introduced them to a soybean processing facility in Des Moines, Iowa, discussing the various soy products they produce and the importance of sustainability in the industry. The Iowa Corn Growers Association gave great insight on the functionality of farmer-supported organizations and how each contribution impacts the marketability of U.S. commodities. The MSMC and Iowa Soybean Association also had the opportunity to meet with the visiting agriculturalists, as well as assisting with the planning of visits during the trip.

The highlights of the trip for the Ecuadorian guests included trips to farms in Missouri and Iowa. Despite stormy conditions, Doug and Becky Thomas were able to discuss their operations and the importance of their family being involved in their northern Missouri operation. Additionally, the team was able to visit with Rolland Schnell, Iowa farmer and President Elect of the Iowa Soybean Association Board of Directors, on his farm in central Iowa. Rolland and wife Donna discussed their involvement with the Iowa Soybean Association and how the association positively impacts Iowa farming. The team was greatly interested in Mr. Schnell’s and the Thomas’ usage precision technology, selecting and using genetically modified hybrids, and investments in equipment and facilities.

 

At the Thomas farm, the group discussed grain storage

At the Thomas farm, the group discussed grain storage

 

Mr. Schnell took great pleasure in the opportunity to host this team.

“The thing that impressed me most about this team was their interest in the details and all the aspects of our operations. From how we select or seed and technologies to our equipment and management practices, they were completely interested in everything we shared. Hosting them was a wonderful opportunity,” said Mr. Schnell.

 

The group enjoyed its visit to the Schnell farm

The group enjoyed its visit to the Schnell farm

 

“Allowing trade teams and others with interest in U.S. Soy and American agriculture to participate in on-site interaction with farmers and others in the industry is very beneficial,” said Eric Gibson, Stakeholder Relations Coordinator at USSEC. “The groups who met with our guests are enthusiastic about sharing their experiences in the industry. Agriculture and food production has a great story to tell and many eager to do just that.”

USSEC hosts a number of trade teams from around the world each year. To find out about USSEC’s involvement with trade teams or if you have interest in hosting a team, please contact Eric Gibson, Stakeholder Relations Coordinator, at egibson@ussec.org.

 

At the University of Missouri, the group met with Dr. Nicolas Kalaitzandonakes

At the University of Missouri, the group met with Dr. Nicolas Kalaitzandonakes

 

At Iowa State, the team visited the ISU Seed Science Center and talked with three Ecuadorian grad students studying there

At Iowa State, the team visited the ISU Seed Science Center and talked with three Ecuadorian grad students studying there

USSEC Participates in Costa Rica Swine Congress

Monday, May 9, 2016
Category Americas Animal Utilization General News 
On March 15 and 16, the Costa Rican Swine Producers Association presented the Costa Rica Annual Swine Congress at Cariari Country Club in Heredia, Costa Rica. USSEC participated…
USSEC consultant Julio Chaves serves as master of ceremonies at Costa Rica’s swine congress

USSEC consultant Julio Chaves serves as master of ceremonies at Costa Rica’s swine congress

On March 15 and 16, the Costa Rican Swine Producers Association presented the Costa Rica Annual Swine Congress at Cariari Country Club in Heredia, Costa Rica.

USSEC participated as a co-sponsor and two technicians participated in key roles. USSEC consultant Julio Chaves was involved in the development of the program as the chairperson of the scientific committee and also served as master of ceremony for the entire event, and USSEC consultant Carlos Campabadal gave a talk about differences in soymeal quality based upon country of origin.

One hundred and six producers from different parts of Costa Rica attended this annual event. 15 presentations were given and 65 people from commercial firms interacted with the audience at stands and booths.

Costa Rica 4
Costa Rica2

Ivania Quesada of the Vice Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock inaugurated the event

USSEC Provides Technical Service to Shrimp Producers in Mexico

Monday, May 2, 2016
Category Americas Aquaculture General News 
USSEC recently provided technical service to Mexican shrimp producers. USSEC consultants Jairo Amezquita and Dr. Eduardo Reyes travelled to Ciudad Obregon, Los Mochis…

Mexico3USSEC recently provided technical service to Mexican shrimp producers.

USSEC consultants Jairo Amezquita and Dr. Eduardo Reyes travelled to Ciudad Obregon, Los Mochis and Mazatlan, Mexico to visit shrimp producers who are customers of Vimifos, an aqua feed mill co-operator of USSEC. They provided recommendations to overcome the challenge with growth rates of a new shrimp strain from Ecuador that has been used for the past two years to improve the survival and production per hectare.

The consultants visited three shrimp farms where they made inspections and met with technical staff, highlighting how the current management of this shrimp strain and corresponding aquaculture practices are not working and are reducing performance conditions. They also discussed opportunities and challenges to develop recirculating water systems, current farm situations, and guidelines to prevent or mitigate the possible entrance of pathogens that could affect not only the growth rates but also the survival of the shrimp.

Additionally, Mr. Amezquita and Dr. Reyes conducted seminars for shrimp producers in each of the three cities visited. More than 150 people attended these events and Dr. Reyes presented a lecture, “How to Manage the Ecuadorian Shrimp Strain Under Mexican Conditions.” He explained how to improve the water conditions for shrimp production, emphasizing best aquaculture practices.

Mr. Amezquita addressed “USSEC’s Role in the Development of Aquaculture in the World,” where he emphasized the current situation of the aquaculture industry in the world, Latin America and Mexico, and spoke about opportunities to prevent early mortality syndrome (EMS). He also presented statistics and trial results of the inclusion of soybean protein concentrate (SPC) and soybean protein isolate (IP) into the diets for aqua species.

Last year, Mexico produced more than 100,000 metric tons (MT) of shrimp, which represented more than 50,000 MT of U.S. Soy products, with an even higher forecast for FY16-17.

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USSEC Provides Trade And Technical Servicing To Fish Producers In Colombia

Monday, April 25, 2016
Category Americas Aquaculture General News 
USSEC recently provided trade and technical services to fish producers in Colombia. USSEC Technical Consultant – Aquaculture Gina Conroy provided technical…

Colombia3USSEC recently provided trade and technical services to fish producers in Colombia.

USSEC Technical Consultant – Aquaculture Gina Conroy provided technical servicing to address fish health management issues and help improve the survival rates, growth efficiency, and production of tilapia and trout in the Colombia market. Dr. Conroy visited fish producers who are customers of Solla, one of Colombia’s biggest aquafeed producers. The country’s current fish production is approximately 95,000 metric tons (MT) per year and about 4,000 MT of shrimp.

The tilapia production industry has been affected by low survival due to the possible presence of a virus killing fingerlings around the country. In general, the aquafeed mills have increased the uses of soy in aquafeed diets; this action is important because the farms that have been certified for BPA are required to decrease the use of fishmeal in the diets for fish and shrimp.

Dr. Conroy provided technical assistance about fish health programs, biosecurity, and aquaculture best practices that permit the improvement of tilapia production and increase the consumption of feeds containing U.S. Soy-based products. Seven one-on-one meetings occurred during the visit to tilapia and trout operations with recommendations given (increasing the temperature during sexual reversion; increasing the vitamin C in the feed; improving the water exchange, etc.). The fish producers need to check the chemical factors of the water regularly, and consider how to change the culture system when river water starts to decrease.Colombia1

Finally, the USSEC consultant recommended that the producers continue with technical support through talks, workshops, or diagnoses inside the farms. The farmers also need to continue improving their management of the culture systems and check the health status of the fish continuously.Colombia4Colombia2

Metz Represents USSEC on USDA Trade Mission to Peru and Chile

Monday, March 21, 2016
Category Americas General News 
USSEC and United Soybean Board (USB) director Bob Metz traveled to Peru and Chile from March 14 to March 18 as part of a trade mission led by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.…

USSEC and United Soybean Board (USB) director Bob Metz traveled to Peru and Chile from March 14 to March 18 as part of a trade mission led by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. The delegation’s goal was to help to expand export opportunities for U.S. agriculture.

Mr. Metz called the opportunity to be a part of the Secretary of Agriculture’s trade mission “very valuable” to U.S. soybean farmers.

In 2009, the U.S. entered into a trade agreement with Peru that slashed agricultural tariffs and improved market access for many U.S. products. As a result, U.S. farm and food exports to Peru have nearly tripled, reaching a record $1.25 billion in fiscal year 2015. In the Chilean market, all U.S. products enjoy duty-free access as of 2015, thanks to the free trade agreement enacted in 2004. Since 2004, U.S. exports to Chile have grown more than 500 percent, totaling $803 million in fiscal year 2015.

“South America has been one of the fastest-growing world regions for exports of U.S. farm and food products, and Chile and Peru have been among the most rapidly growing markets in the region,” stated Secretary Vilsack.

Chile and Peru offer enormous potential in particular for U.S. Soy imports. U.S. Soy imports to Peru accounted for just 17 percent of its soybean meal imports, 30 percent of its soybean oil imports and 34 percent of its soybean imports. Imports to Chile for soybean meal, soybean oil and soybeans offer great potential, as U.S. imports to the market have been extremely low. Both of these markets combined are forecasted to import 1.775 million metric tons (MMT) of soybean meal, 485 thousand metric tons (TMT) of soybean oil and 500 TMT of soybeans.

The U.S. Soy delegation also included Francisco de la Torre, USSEC Regional Representative – Americas and Belinda Pignotti, USSEC Representative – South America.

The U.S Soy team focused on international marketing and met daily with current and potential customers to share the opportunities and advantages of buying U.S. Soy. USSEC met with large swine and poultry integrators including the Redondos and San Fernando Groups, the Peruvian Swine and Poultry Producers Associations, and Agribrands Purina Peru, among others.

The quality of U.S. Soy was a key topic of conversation.

“Our customers in Peru felt the importance that the U.S. places on trade with Peru,” said Mr. Metz. “Our main poultry customers understand the value of U.S. soybean meal,” he added.

Sustainability was also an important subject to customers.

“In Chile, our contacts were very interested in our sustainability certificate,” continued Mr. Metz. “Pork producers sell into a very high end export market.”

The U.S. trade mission was composed of delegates from 34 U.S. agribusinesses and organizations.

Peru trade mis

Peru trade mission

USSEC holds a team meeting with the head of the Peruvian poultry association

The USSEC team holds a team meeting with the head of the Peruvian poultry association

Metz Chosen to Participate in USDA Secretary Vilsack’s Trade Mission to Chile and Peru

Monday, February 29, 2016
Category Americas General News 
USSEC and United Soybean Board (USB) director Bob Metz has been accepted to participate on a trade mission led by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to expand export opportunities…

USSEC and United Soybean Board (USB) director Bob Metz has been accepted to participate on a trade mission led by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to expand export opportunities for U.S. agriculture in Chile and Peru from March 14 to March 18.

“Thanks to existing free trade agreements, the United States enjoys strong trading relationships with both Chile and Peru,” said Secretary Vilsack. “In addition, both nations are part of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which if implemented will boost the Chilean and Peruvian economies and tighten integration with the U.S. economy, helping further expand demand for U.S. agricultural products.”Flag GIrl

In 2009, the U.S. entered into a trade agreement with Peru that slashed agricultural tariffs and improved market access for many U.S. products. As a result, U.S. farm and food exports to Peru have nearly tripled, reaching a record $1.25 billion in fiscal year 2015. In the Chilean market, all U.S. products enjoy duty-free access as of 2015, thanks to the free trade agreement enacted in 2004. Since 2004, U.S. exports to Chile have grown more than 500 percent, totaling $803 million in fiscal year 2015.

Chile and Peru offer enormous potential in particular for U.S. Soy imports. U.S. Soy imports to Peru accounted for only 17 percent of its soybean meal imports, 30 percent of its soybean oil imports and 34 percent of its soybean imports. Imports to Chile for soybean meal, soybean oil and soybeans offer great potential, as U.S. imports to the market have been extremely low. Both of these markets combined are forecasted to import 1.775 million metric tons (MMT) of soybean meal, 485 thousand metric tons (TMT) of soybean oil and 500 TMT of soybeans.

Mr. Metz said, “This is an exciting part of the world,” explaining that because of Chile and Peru’s large poultry and pork production, the two countries are looking for “good, high quality soybean meal.”

The U.S. Soy delegation, which will also include Francisco de la Torre, USSEC Regional Representative – Americas and Belinda Pignotti, USSEC Representative – South America, will focus on international marketing, setting aside time each day to meet with current and potential customers to share the opportunities and advantages of buying U.S. Soy. At this time, USSEC plans to meet with large swine and poultry integrators including the Redondos and San Fernando Groups, the Peruvian Swine and Poultry Producers Associations, and Agribrands Purina Peru, among others.

“Traveling with the Secretary of Agriculture puts an extra emphasis on what the U.S. Soy industry is doing,” said Mr. Metz. “These personal interactions with the Secretary and the people at USDA in addition to our interactions with other countries’ ag services put a good face to USSEC and U.S. Soy.”

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), such trade missions “open doors and deliver results for U.S. exporters, giving them the opportunity to forge relationships with potential customers and trading partners, interact with host government officials, and gather market intelligence that will help develop strategies to expand sales in key markets overseas.”

USSEC Participates in Pork Seminar in Jamaica

Monday, February 15, 2016
Category Americas Animal Utilization General News 
USSEC participated in the Know Your Pork seminar, hosted by Jamaica’s Copperwood Pork.  The conference, held in Kingston, discussed where and how pigs are raised and…

USSEC participated in the Know Your Pork seminar, hosted by Jamaica’s Copperwood Pork.

 The conference, held in Kingston, discussed where and how pigs are raised and processed, along with the importance of creating a sustainable local pork industry. USSEC consultant Julio Chaves talked about impact factors such as genetics, feed intake and quality, health, storage and preparation standards, as well as threats to pork’s integrity after purchase.Jamaica

The meeting segued to featured presentations and cooking demonstrations led by chef Angie Mar and butcher Jose Barrantes.

The aim of this Making the Cut seminar was to educate restaurateurs, chefs, caterers, wholesalers/retailers and pork-lovers about all aspects of the pork industry from proper processing techniques to maximizing yield during butchering to great pork recipes.

USSEC to Provide Training for Beef Producers in the Dominican Republic

Monday, February 15, 2016
Category Americas Animal Utilization General News 
USSEC will train beef producers in the Dominican Republic to promote the development and sustainability of the country’s beef cattle sector. On February 16 and 17, USSEC,…

USSEC will train beef producers in the Dominican Republic to promote the development and sustainability of the country’s beef cattle sector.

Dominican Republic

Photo Courtesy of Dominican Today

On February 16 and 17, USSEC, together with the Dominican Ranchers and Farmers Association (ADHA) and the country’s agriculture ministry, will present a seminar called “A Dominican Beef Cattle for the 21st Century” in Santo Domingo.

The training will include Dominican, Brazilian and Costa Rican experts on topics such as the efficient management of beef cattle farms; animal welfare in transport and slaughter; health and traceability of cattle breeding and fattening; pasture management; and the influence of genetics on quality. It will also discuss restrictions on the use of chicken manure and bovine meat and bone in animal feed for fattening and to fertilize pastures; grazing technology; management and reproductive innovation; trade statistics; climate change; and the Dominican Republic’s prospects for exports.

USSEC Hosts Indiana Soybean Alliance Team During Visit to Colombia

Monday, February 15, 2016
Category Americas Animal Utilization General News 
USSEC recently hosted a team of farmer directors from the Indiana Soybean Alliance (ISA) in Colombia. Representatives from Indiana’s state soybean board met with representatives…

USSEC recently hosted a team of farmer directors from the Indiana Soybean Alliance (ISA) in Colombia.ISA 1

Representatives from Indiana’s state soybean board met with representatives of Colombian agriculture during their visit, including USSEC, U.S. Grains Council, USA Poultry & Egg Export Council, and the Colombian Agriculture Attache. The ISA team also met with representatives from the Colombian palm oil industry, pork association, feed industry association, and poultry association, as well as representatives from U.S. businesses in Colombia.

USSEC Holds Final Regional Planning Meeting

Friday, December 18, 2015
Category Americas General News 
USSEC held the third and last of its series of regional meetings last week in St. Louis. Meeting participants included stakeholders, regional representatives, and USSEC…

USSEC held the third and last of its series of regional meetings last week in St. Louis. Meeting participants included stakeholders, regional representatives, and USSEC staff and contractors. This final series of meetings focused on the Americas region.

The first meetings, which took place in late October and early November, focused on North Asia, Southeast Asia, Europe, Middle East/North Africa (MENA) and the Asian Subcontinent (ASC).

The United Soybean Board’s (USB) new Long Range Strategic Plan went into effect on October 1 and USSEC’s regional meetings are designed to ensure that USSEC’s projects are aligned with the needs of its funding source.

International staff and consultants, industry reps and various U.S. soybean farmers discussed markets, various soy organizations’ strategic plans and soy export promotion ideas. Other members of the U.S. Soy family included the American Soybean Association (ASA), USB, Qualified State Soybean Board (QSSB) and ASA’s World Initiative for Soy in Human Health (WISHH) Program.

Topics covered included strategic landscapes such as a review of the global soy trade; funding; the outlook and strategic implications on various trade agreements; perspectives from the supply and demand side; a strategic review of how USSEC incorporates its founders and industry; how Global Utilization Plans (GUPs) are relevant to strategy in meal, oil, aquaculture and market access; and an assessment of regional markets. Discussions included how to best meet stakeholders’ needs; program building; project management discussions; and leadership topics.

USSEC staff will now prepare regional and utilization plan budgets and strategies for grower leader review in late January.

USSEC Holds 1st Gastronomic Soy Food Fair event in Colombia

Monday, December 7, 2015
Category Americas General News Soy Foods 
United Soybean Board (USB) directors Jim Carroll (USB) and Rob Hanks (USB) traveled to the 1st Gastronomic Soy Food Fair in Bogota, Colombia on November 22. The event marked…

United Soybean Board (USB) directors Jim Carroll (USB) and Rob Hanks (USB) traveled to the 1st Gastronomic Soy Food Fair in Bogota, Colombia on November 22. The event marked Colombia’s first food festival dedicated entirely to the soybean.

USSEC Regional Representative – Americas Francisco de la Torre and chef Catalina Velez (right) participated in the 1st Gastronomic Soy Food Fair in Bogota, Colombia on November 22

USSEC Regional Representative – Americas Francisco de la Torre and chef Catalina Velez (right) participated in the 1st Gastronomic Soy Food Fair in Bogota, Colombia on November 22

30 reporters from 23 media sources were invited to participate in the invitation-only event at the MNR Ediciones offices. The purpose of the fair was to educate and engage the media by hosting a cooking class where invitees could learn about the gastronomic qualities of soy in food preparation and the benefits of soy and soybean oil in human health.

USSEC Regional Representative – Americas Francisco de la Torre, who discussed the importance of the U.S. and Colombian soy industries with the press, attended the event. Renowned chef Catalina Velez also discussed the benefits of soy and soybean oil.

First U.S. Soybean Sustainability Certificates for Latin America Issued

Monday, November 30, 2015
Category Americas General News 
USSEC Exporters Class Member Bunge issued the very first sustainability certificate for the Americas region on November 5. A volume of 18,506 metric tons (MT) of U.S.…
Certificate of Sustainability issued to Bunge Central America, LTD

Certificate of Sustainability issued to Bunge Central America, LTD

USSEC Exporters Class Member Bunge issued the very first sustainability certificate for the Americas region on November 5. A volume of 18,506 metric tons (MT) of U.S. soybean meal was exported onboard the ship MV DK IONE on November 3, from Bunge’s facilities at Destrehan, Louisiana, heading to Puerto Quetzal in Guatemala. Central America is a region with a solid and very competitive market where imports in FY15 grew to 1,050 million metric tons (MMT) of soybean meal, and over 330 thousand metric tons (TMT) of soybeans.

Bunge Central America, LTD CEO Luis de la Cruz stated, “It has been a great pleasure working hand in hand with USSEC Americas in this process; we are definitely committed to continue sharing the U.S. soybean sustainability message so as to best service our mutual customer base in Guatemala – our headquarters for Central America – and further into the region, while supplying them with such a resource as the sustainability certificates.” He added, “The communication and exchange of information with USSEC’s team proved invaluable. . .we are glad to add value to our relevant chains, USSEC’s membership, and – most of all – to our customers.”

About 70 percent of the volume of U.S. soybean meal in the cargo goes to Grupo Importador de Guatemala, a purchasing pool made by four core customers in the country.

“We are very satisfied to receive the first U.S. soybean sustainability certificates ever in the region, which are of most interest and use for the end customers in Guatemala,” said Ronald Perez, the pool purchasing representative. The pool includes leader feed processors, and poultry and egg producers: COMAYMA, FRISA, Plantaciones del Sur and PROAVISA.

“This is a first and firm step into most actively communicating the sustainability message of U.S. soybeans and issuing the U.S. sustainability certificates in the Americas region,” remarked Pablo Viglierchio, Bunge’s Execution and Operation Manager for the region. He shared that Bunge expects to issue other certificates for the region “in the very near future per our line-up of U.S. soybean product exports to El Salvador and Panama in Central America and Colombia in South America, with other countries to soon follow.”

Luis de la Cruz (left) and Pablo Viglierchio (right) of Bunge

Luis de la Cruz (left) and Pablo Viglierchio (right) of Bunge

USSEC Leads Soybean Oil Marketing Mission to Mexico and Costa Rica

Monday, September 28, 2015
Category Americas Event followup Soy Foods 
USSEC led a soybean oil marketing mission from August 16-21 to Costa Rica and Mexico. The Americas region is U.S. soy oil’s largest exporting destination and these two…

USSEC led a soybean oil marketing mission from August 16-21 to Costa Rica and Mexico. The Americas region is U.S. soy oil’s largest exporting destination and these two countries are U.S. Soy’s biggest oil customers.

United Soybean Board (USB) directors Jim Domagalski of Michigan, Dallas Wright of Delaware, Jay Myers of North Dakota, and Belinda Burrier of Maryland, along with American Soybean Association (ASA) director Ron Moore of Illinois joined USSEC Marketing Director – Human Nutrition/Oil Marypat Corbett, Marketing Assistant – Human Nutrition/Oil Jelena Smojver, Regional Commercial, Technical & Marketing Director – MENA Mousa Wakileh, USSEC Regional Director – Americas Francisco de la Torre, USSEC Regional Marketing Director – Americas Nayeli Villanova, and USSEC consultants Pedro Gonzalez, and Mark Anderson on this trip.

The purpose of the mission was to examine future export opportunities and competitive global market factors impacting U.S. soybean oil that can help define and develop effective defensive/counter-offensive actions and market development activities to increase the value and volume of U.S. soy oil exports.

The trip included an orientation on the vegetable oil retail sector in both Costa Rica and in Mexico, which involved visits to several different types of grocery stores. The shops included all types from large warehouse-style stores to small, mom-and-pop corner stores known as “chicos.”

The grocery store visits provided the U.S. farmers with an opportunity to observe and investigate how oils are marketed and sold in this region. At each store, the grower leaders looked at the types of oil, the length of the vegetable oil aisle and the shape, size and labeling of the container.

The U.S. farmers marveled at the vastness of consumers’ oil choices. Mr. Domagalski said, “The aisles that contained soy oils and other frying oils were from one end to the other.”

Ms. Corbett explained, “The competition [between oils] is unbelievably huge in both countries. Some vegetable oil aisles were over 50 feet long and had shelves that were 6 feet high – full of vegetable oils. They contained soy and soy blends, solid palm oil and liquid blends, canola and blends, sunflower and blends, and olive oil. The containers ranged in size from 2 pints to 4 gallons.”

In the Americas region, the per capita purchase and consumption of vegetable oils is 4.5 gallons (17 liters) a year, because people often fry foods for all three daily meals.

Mr. Domagalski continued, “Here in the U.S., I took notice when I returned. The frying oils areas are much smaller. Even with the fact that here, there are also several oils to choose from, the volume didn’t compare to Costa Rica stores.”

Consumption of vegetable oil is even higher in the Middle East/North Africa (MENA) region – closer to 9 – 12 gallons per year. Oil is used for every meal and to preserve pickles, which are extremely popular and served at least twice per day. Mr. Wakileh pointed out that, many years ago, the crushing and refining industry throughout the MENA region established regulations that made it illegal to blend oils.

Labeling of soybean oil in the Americas region is very different from the United States with helpful health benefit label claims on the soy oil bottles such as “Omega 3 and 6” and “No Trans Fats.” Some products had healthy additives such as Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and flavors such as garlic. The companies capitalize on soy’s differences from the competing oils and use a “Soy is Healthy” platform. In addition, there are cardiac health and diabetes association labels endorsing the use of certain oils.

The next phase of the mission included interactions with the largest U.S. soy oil customers in the two countries. Both are crushing/refining companies and are interested in the promise of the U.S Soy Sustainability Assurance Protocol.

According to Mr. Moore, “These companies are some of U.S. soybean farmers’ best customers.”

With help from USSEC, both companies were responsible for introducing soybean oil into their markets over 10 years ago and making it the premium priced oil. Both have established their soy oil market and increased sales using a health platform, with one company relying upon Facebook as its most important form of communication. The other company has seen its marketing programs significantly increase its sales.

Both crusher/refiner companies gave several examples where they had recently been recently challenged to migrate away from soybean oil by very large customers. The solution for the refiner could be to add a small percentage of another oil to its current 100 percent soybean oil product to meet the demands of this large customer.

The two companies stressed how they value U.S. soybean growers and their long-term relationship with USSEC, mentioning specifically that no other commodity or company offers partnering knowledge of the market place like U.S. Soy growers. Both crusher/refiners mentioned that they see U.S. soybean farmers as a true industry partner. They said it would be extremely beneficial to them if the U.S. would start labeling the soybean oil sold in U.S. grocery stores as soybean oil and not vegetable oil.

These businesses import whole U.S. soybeans and are very much interested in soybeans that have a composition which would give them higher oil yields and make a soybean meal that is higher in protein – they want more than 37 percent protein. These companies are interested in high oleic soybean oil as they see it as a way to effectively compete against South American soybean oil, canola and sunflower high oleic oil.

Mr. Moore said, “They indicated that they preferred U.S. soybeans because of their higher quality. They also were excited about the new high oleic soybeans and wanted to purchase them as soon as they became available.”

The purpose of the roundtable meetings was for grower leaders to leave with an impression of what’s going on in the market and with a better understanding of what U.S. oil’s future so that USSEC can better strategize its projects in the coming years. Two important outcomes of the meeting were that USSEC confirmed and quantified competitors’ bench strength over the next one to three years and helped confirm regional priorities and prospective positioning focus for future U.S. soy oil program development.

Ms. Burrier said, “The roundtable discussions were very productive for all involved. The key piece I took away was the magnitude Facebook played in the popularity of soy oil and the promotion of soy oil as a heart healthy product with added Omega 3.”

USSEC’s next steps include working to get U.S. companies to relabel their vegetable oil as soybean oil; encouraging India to consume more palm oil, which threatens the consumption of U.S. soybean oil; concentrating on defending its U.S. export markets in the Americas and MENA; and expanding partnering efforts with customers because they positively impact exports of U.S. soybean oil.

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USSEC Organizes CBOT Visit, On-Farm U.S. Soy Sustainability Course for Northeast European Customers

Monday, September 21, 2015
Category Americas Event followup General News 
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…

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.

The Northeast European customers are happy after their CBOT/CME visit (from left): Michal Hadaski, ADM-Poland; Pawel Dulacz, CEFETRA-Poland; Krzysztof Ulas, AgriPlus/Smithfield-Poland, Marek Kumprecht, DeHeus-Czech Rep.; Jakub Agas, Bunge-Poland; and Jerry Kosieradzki, USSEC-NEE

The Northeast European customers are happy after their CBOT/CME visit (from left): Michal Hadaski, ADM-Poland; Pawel Dulacz, CEFETRA-Poland; Krzysztof Ulas, AgriPlus/Smithfield-Poland, Marek Kumprecht, DeHeus-Czech Rep.; Jakub Agas, Bunge-Poland; and Jerry Kosieradzki, USSEC-NEE

Learning about modern farming tools like special maps based on GPS in this picture was truly appreciated by the visitors

Learning about modern farming tools like special maps based on GPS in this picture was truly appreciated by the visitors

Touching U.S. soybean still in the pods and visiting with Minnesota farmers was a thrilling experience for every one of the professionals from Northeastern Europe.

Touching U.S. soybean still in the pods and visiting with Minnesota farmers was a thrilling experience for every one of the professionals from Northeastern Europe.

USSEC Conducts Baking Workshop with U.S. Soy Ingredients in Mexico

Monday, September 21, 2015
Category Americas Event followup Soy Foods 
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…

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 consultants Oliverio Cruz showing how to prepare dough with U.S. soybean ingredients at the baking workshop in Morelia, Mexico

USSEC consultants Oliverio Cruz showing how to prepare dough with U.S. soybean ingredients at the baking workshop in Morelia, Mexico

Donuts prepared using U.S. Soy ingredients and fried with soybean oil

Donuts prepared using U.S. Soy ingredients and fried with soybean oil

USSEC Promotes U.S. Soybean Products at Trade Show in Mexico City

Monday, September 21, 2015
Category Americas Event followup 
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…

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.

Chef Giuseppe de Pascuale explains the uses of soybean oil preparing foods at the Abastur Trade Show in Mexico City

Chef Giuseppe de Pascuale explains the uses of soybean oil preparing foods at the Abastur Trade Show in Mexico City

USSEC Provides Technical Service to Fish Producers in Colombia

Monday, August 31, 2015
Category Americas General News 
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…

USSEC recently provided technical service and held a seminar for Colombian fish producers.

AM Region 08242015Consultants 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 Participates in ISGA Meetings in Uruguay

Monday, August 17, 2015
Category Americas General News Greater Europe North Asia 
USSEC participated in the International Soy Growers Alliance (ISGA) meetings in Montevideo, Uruguay from August 13-16. American Soybean Association (ASA) first vice…

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.

The ISGA group visits the port of Montevideo, Uruguay

The ISGA group visits the port of Montevideo, Uruguay