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News: North Asia

USSEC China Holds Annual Trade Policy Workshop

Monday, January 9, 2017
Category General News North Asia 
Zhang Xiaoping, USSEC China Country Director, hosts the trade policy workshop   USSEC China hosted its annual trade policy workshop in Beijing on December 15. Representatives…

Zhang Xiaoping, USSEC China Country Director, hosts the trade policy workshop

 

USSEC China hosted its annual trade policy workshop in Beijing on December 15. Representatives from USSEC’s valued partners, customers and supporters were invited to attend the event.

Fang Yan, a former official from China’s National Development and Research Commission, delivers a presentation to share insights on soybean-related government policies

 

More than 40 representatives from government agencies, industry associations, and member companies attended the trade policy workshop. Among them was Mr. Bian Zhenhu, president of China Chamber of Commerce of Native Foodstuffs and Produce; Mr. Bruce Zanin, minister counselor of Agricultural Affairs at U.S. Embassy in Beijing,; and Mr. Qie Jianwei, vice president of China National Association of Grain Sector. Most of the representatives have over the last few years not only met with U.S. soybean farmers who provide leadership to USSEC’s programs in China, but also worked closely with USSEC on many of these programs to help advance the interest of both US soybean farmers and Chinese buyers. They have offered USSEC unfailing support throughout the latter’s presence in the country, especially during times of uncertainty.

Qie Jianwei, Vice President of China National Association of Grain Sector, interacts with workshop speakers

 

PowerPoint presentations were delivered by three guests speakers including Ms. Fang Yan, former official from China’s National Development and Research Commission; Mr. Chen Beier, senior vice president of R. J. O’Brien’s Asia department; and Mr. Hanver Li, Chairman of Shanghai JC Intelligence. Their topics ranged from the overall situation of the Chinese economy, and the national policy of the “supply-side reform”, to the “Belt and Road Initiative”, and China’s foreign reserves. Their presentations received positive responses from the audience who interacted with the speakers on many of the issues covered. Roseanne Freese, U.S. Agricultural Consul based in northeastern China’s Shenyang, said that she felt heartened by the fact that USSEC was able to invite so many industry experts and government officials to come to the workshop and be actively involved in the discussions.

Roseanne Freese, U.S. Agricultural Consul based in Shenyang, interacts with speakers

 

To wrap up the workshop, Mr. Zhang Xiaoping, USSEC’s Country Director – China, said that USSEC and all its valued China partners would carry on moving forward with all of the work that they have been doing to serve the interest of China, the U.S. and the world.

It’s not a one-off. It’s a long-term mutually beneficial process. That’s what we call partnership.

– Zhang Xiaoping, USSEC Country Director – China

A New Year’s reception was hosted after the workshop, with 120 guests including the 40 workshop attendees and 80 representatives from customer companies invited in appreciation for their long-term support.

Whatever uncertainties we face now or in the future, the U.S. soybean farmers and the U.S. soybean industry will remain committed to our valued partners here in China.

-Paul Burke, USSEC Regional Director – North Asia

After the event, some guests congratulated USSEC on successfully hosting this annual activity, calling it “a great event.”

Paul Burke, USSEC Regional Director – North Asia, talks with Brian Cao, 2016 Chairman of CropLife China.

Mr. Burke gives a toast in appreciation for Chinese partners’ support in 2016

New Year Reception Dinner

Guests playing a game of soybeans during dinner

USSEC Organizes 1st U.S. Soy Ambassador Award Presentation Ceremony in Japan

Monday, December 19, 2016
Category General News North Asia Soy Foods 
Staff from FAS, Satonoyuki Shokuhin, Zentoren (National Tofu Federation), and USSEC   USSEC organized the 1st U.S. Soy Ambassador Award ceremony to present the…
Staff from FAS, Satonoyuki Shokuhin, Zentoren (National Tofu Federation), and USSEC

Staff from FAS, Satonoyuki Shokuhin, Zentoren (National Tofu Federation), and USSEC

 

USSEC organized the 1st U.S. Soy Ambassador Award ceremony to present the inaugural U.S. Soy Ambassador Award in Japan. The U.S. Soy Ambassador recognizes a tofu producer who won the national tofu competition using 100 percent U.S. soybeans. The first recipient of this award in Japan was Shigeru Ueda, CEO of Satonoyuki Shokuhin.

Allison Thomas, Acting Associate Administrator and General Sales Manager, FAS, and Shigeru Ueda, President of Satonoyuki

Allison Thomas, Acting Associate Administrator and General Sales Manager, FAS, and Shigeru Ueda, President of Satonoyuki

 

Satonoyuki Shokuhin was founded by Mr. Ueda’s father in 1961 and now consists of six separate companies that focus on not only food production and distribution but also machine manufacturing and high-tech packing development.

Mr. Ueda traveled to Tokyo with his wife and met with U.S. Embassy officials, representing U.S. Ambassador Caroline Kennedy, to deliver samples of his award winning tofu, Kokutoro. After presenting his tofu and participating in a press conference for the Japan food trade media, Mr. Ueda was honored in an award reception and dinner hosted by USSEC. During the award ceremony, Mr. Ueda expressed his appreciation for the high quality soybeans he receives from the U.S. and how his close relationship with U.S. suppliers and growers assures a consistent supply of premium soybeans that are best suited for his company. Mr. Ueda also stated that USSEC has been leading the world in promoting sustainable soybeans, which he said is a remarkable step towards achieving sustainability in our society and environment. “With the shared vision for a sustainable world, we are ready to make every endeavor to support the expansion of U.S. soybeans,” he said.

Paul Burke, USSEC Regional Director – North Asia and Mr. Ueda are both wearing caps of their respective universities, the University of Michigan and Michigan State University. Satonoyuki Shokuhin produces tofu that originates from soybeans in the “thumb” region of MIchigan

Paul Burke, USSEC Regional Director – North Asia and Mr. Ueda are both wearing caps of their respective universities, the University of Michigan and Michigan State University. Satonoyuki Shokuhin produces tofu that originates from soybeans in the “thumb” region of Michigan.

 

At the end of the ceremony, participants tasted three tofu dishes made with the rich and creamy winning tofu, Kokutoro. The recipes developed by a restaurant chef include vegan tofu tartare, avocado and tofu moose cocktail, and tofu pudding Hong Kong style.

Japan, the largest consumer of tofu products made with U.S. Soy, used nearly 477,000 metric tons (MT) of non-GMO identity preserved (IP) soybeans in 2015. USSEC Japan will continue to support Japan’s tofu industry in coordinated with the Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) Tokyo and Agricultural Trade Office (ATO) by establishing a U.S. Soy Sustainability Ambassador Award in the 3rd National Tofu Competition, which will be held at the Tofu Summit in Tokyo in December 2017. The award ceremony will be combined with the U.S. Soy Sustainability Ambassador Award winner in the 22nd National Natto Competition.

2.Tasting time: the tofu dishes made with the winning tofu, Kokutoro, are sampled. The first dish is vegan tofu tartare

Tasting time: the tofu dishes made with the winning tofu, Kokutoro, are sampled. The first dish is vegan tofu tartare.

 

USSEC Co-Organizes 2016 U.S. – China Swine Industry Development Symposium with Chinese Partners

Monday, December 19, 2016
Category Animal Utilization General News North Asia 
USSEC China co-organized the 2016 U.S. Swine Industry Development Symposium in Beijing with U.S. Grains Council (USGC), U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF), China…
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USSEC China co-organized the 2016 U.S. Swine Industry Development Symposium in Beijing with U.S. Grains Council (USGC), U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF), China Chamber of Commerce of Foodstuffs and Native Produce (CFNA), China Animal Agricultural Association (CAAA), and the China Meat Association (CMA) on November 18. 160 entrepreneurs, general managers, government specialists, and technical directors from swine farms, feed mills, government offices, and national research agencies attended the event. The topics included improving environmental stewardship at large swine operations; changing regional distribution in the swine industry; improving linkages between producers and processors; and the role of global markets in meat and feed industries.

USB director Bob Metz, delivers opening remarks

USB director Bob Metz, delivers opening remarks

Xiaoping Zhang, USSEC Country Director - China, moderates session on “Improving Linkages Between Producers and Processors”

Xiaoping Zhang, USSEC Country Director – China, moderates session on “Improving Linkages Between Producers and Processors”

Bob Metz, United Soybean Board (USB) director, spoke on behalf of the U.S. soybean industry at the opening and closing ceremonies. He introduced USSEC’s activities in China and the advantages of U.S. soybean products.

“We [U.S. and China] are the greatest counties in the world and we face the same issues on the environment,” said Mr. Metz. “We should concentrate on what we do well and continue the cooperation.”

Xiaoping Zhang, USSEC Country Director – China, was one of four moderators of the symposium and hosted a session on improving linkages between producers and processors. Symposium guests told USSEC that the event allowed them to reflect on what has been achieved and to explore future opportunities that lie ahead of the industry, saying that if they don’t increase investment in improving the environment, they may go out of business in the next five years.

Mr. Metz also visited USSEC’s top-ten buyer Shangdong Bohi Industry Co., Ltd., preferred customers Shanghai Bright Liangyou group, and Shanghai Yuanyao Investment Co., Ltd. before the swine summit. He was escorted by USSEC Animal Utilization (AU) Technical Director Richard Han, USSEC Marketing Manager Claudia Chong and USSEC AU consultant Sam Shi and was informed of China’s market information and customers’ requirement and needs.

USB director Bob Metz visits the dock of the Liangyou Group in Shanghai

USB director Bob Metz visits the dock of the Liangyou Group in Shanghai

USB director Bob Metz delivers closing remarks

USB director Bob Metz delivers closing remarks

 

USSEC Holds U.S. Soy Buyers Market Outlook Conference in China

Monday, December 12, 2016
Category General News North Asia 
ASA director Monte Peterson shared his farm practices and risk management strategies with Chinese customers   U.S. grower leaders including American Soybean…
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ASA director Monte Peterson shared his farm practices and risk management strategies with Chinese customers

 

U.S. grower leaders including American Soybean Association (ASA) director Monte Peterson and United Soybean Board (USB) director Walter Godwin traveled to Shanghai in eastern China to visit local customers and speak at the 2016 U.S. Soy Buyers Market Outlook Conference Nov. 12 – 15.

On November 14, more than 110 participants attended the 2016 US Soy Buyers Market Outlook Conference, representing Chinese industry leaders from key importers, crushers and feed integrators. The conference was aimed at promoting U.S. soybeans by providing the latest information on U.S. soy crop size, quality, and U.S. farmers’ perspectives on the global supply and demand situation, and to share their sustainable production practices with Chinese customers to enable them to make earlier and better decisions on purchasing new crop from the U.S.

Xia Zhengkun, purchasing manager of Shanghai Xinnong feed integrator, told U.S. Soy grower leaders and the USSEC consultant that his company preferred to buy the U.S. containerized beans for producing high quality baby pig feed, which added value to their product. Mr. Xia said they would love to capture the value of the U.S. Soy advantage in amino acid to further differentiate their product from the rest of the market.

Xia Zhengkun, purchasing manager of Shanghai Xinnong feed integrator, told U.S. Soy grower leaders and the USSEC consultant that his company preferred to buy the U.S. containerized beans for producing high quality baby pig feed, which added value to their product. Mr. Xia said they would love to capture the value of the U.S. Soy advantage in amino acid to further differentiate their product from the rest of the market.

Perry Ostmo, North Dakota soybean grower, and Seth Naeve, USSEC consultant and professor at the University of Minnesota, also spoke during the conference. Grower leaders and speakers answered questions and made comments during the Q&A session.

Toward the end of the main session, USSEC Country Director – China Zhang Xiaoping presented an overview of U.S. Soy exports to China in the 2015/16 marketing year. Based on the information, USSEC identified China’s top ten largest and most loyal buyers of U.S. soybeans. The grower leaders awarded the winners prizes which symbolized their commitment to the “tailored market and technical services” from the U.S. Soy industry.

On the same afternoon, a closed-door panel discussion was arranged for the top ten largest and most loyal buyers, in collaboration with USSEC member companies, to promote trade relations between U.S. Soy exporters and importers. These top buyers represent approximately 80 percent of the total volume of China’s imported soy from the U.S., and strengthened business relations with them will help maintain and expand demand. About 40 attendees joined the panel discussion, including Yihai Kerry, Jiusan, Bohi, COFCO, Xiangchi, Sanwei, Sunrise, Hope Full, China Sea, Bunge China, Cargill China, and USSEC member companies including ADM, Bunge, Cargill, CHS, CME, Lansing and Scoular.

During the panel discussion, USSEC member exporters and buyers had open exchanges on their concerns and perspectives of the soy market, covering topics including the U.S. Soy advantage in amino acid profile, sustainability, quality concerns on the current U.S. crop in terms of protein, oil, biotech approval delays, and its potential threat to soybean trade.

2016 marks the eighteenth anniversary of this event hosted by the U.S. Soy in China. The event has been regarded as a branding program of U.S. Soy, and Chinese customers highly value this opportunity to network and interact with U.S. grower leaders and market specialists to acquire information on the U.S. Soy crop quality, market situation, and price trends. Some buyers inquired about this event six months in advance, and all the top buyers have shown a high level of sensitivity to their yearly ranking. According to the post-conference evaluation, 100 percent of the participants agree that the U.S. Soy Sustainability Assurance Protocol (SSAP) will meet the needs of their company or partners in achieving future sustainability goals.

On November 13, the grower leaders and the USSEC consultant paid a visit to a key feed and integrator located near Shanghai city, which produces 200,000 metric tons of feed and 400,000 heads of hogs a year, and they target to produce one million heads of hogs by the year 2019.

Agricultural Trade Office (ATO) Shanghai Director Valerie Brown made the opening remarks at USSEC’s 2016 U.S. Soy Buyers Market Outlook Conference

Agricultural Trade Office (ATO) Shanghai Director Valerie Brown made the opening remarks at USSEC’s 2016 U.S. Soy Buyers Market Outlook Conference

U.S. Soy Grower Leaders Attend China’s Top-Level Agricultural Summit

Sunday, December 4, 2016
Category Biotechnology General News North Asia 
USB Director Bill Beam, ASA President Richard Wilkins, and USSEC Chairman Jim Miller participate in the FSFSS Summit   Leaders from the U.S. Soy industry travelled…
USB Director Bill Beam, ASA President Richard Wilkins, and USSEC Chairman Jim Miller participate in the FSFSS Summit

USB Director Bill Beam, ASA President Richard Wilkins, and USSEC Chairman Jim Miller participate in the FSFSS Summit

 

Leaders from the U.S. Soy industry travelled to China to attend the 4th China Food Security & Food Safety Strategy (FSFSS) Summit and exchange views with the country’s policy advisors in Beijing on November 12 and 13.

The FSFSS Summit, organized by China’s top policy advisory body Development Research Center of the State Council, was held at the Diaoyutai National Guesthouse, a garden-style complex where Chinese leaders meet and house foreign heads of state.

USSEC Chairman Jim Miller delivers a presentation on “Need for A More Science-Based Food Safety Regulatory System” to China’s agricultural policy advisors, influencers, and industry leaders

USSEC Chairman Jim Miller delivers a presentation on “Need for A More Science-Based Food Safety Regulatory System” to China’s agricultural policy advisors, influencers, and industry leaders

The U.S. delegation, including USSEC Chairman and American Soybean Association (ASA) Director Jim Miller, ASA President Richard Wilkins, United Soybean Board (USB) Director Bill Beam, and USSEC CEO Jim Sutter, expressed concerns during the summit over the delays in China’s approval procedures for biotech soybean events. Mr. Miller, in his presentation on “Science-Based Food Safety Regulatory System,” made the case that the GMO food issue should not be muddled up with the food safety issue, as the seeds have been tested for safety and approved well ahead of being processed into food. Mr. Wilkins warned Chinese policy advisors that biotech approval delays would not only hurt growers and seed developers, but the environment and consumers as well. Mr. Beam argued that advanced technology, including biotechnology, enhances sustainability, and helps with global food security and food safety.

The U.S. Soy grower leaders also held a sideline meeting with Mr. Han Jun, Vice Minister of China’s Office of the Central Rural Work Leading Group (CRWLG) to communicate the U.S. Soy industry’s efforts in consumer education on biotech, express the industry’s concerns over approval delays, and elaborate on the possible negative impact on China’s food security and food safety.

U.S. delegation and USSEC Beijing staff in a meeting with Mr. Han Jun, Deputy Director of the Office of the Central Rural Work Leading Group

U.S. delegation and USSEC Beijing staff in a meeting with Mr. Han Jun, Deputy Director of the Office of the Central Rural Work Leading Group

 

Mr. Wilkins also had an informal discussion during the summit with Chen Xiwen, CRWSLG’s former Deputy Director. Mr. Chen, currently serving as President of Tsinghua University’s China Institute for Rural Studies, shared his views on the country’s ongoing structural reform of agricultural supply and expounded the multiple causes behind the fluctuations in China’s domestic agricultural prices in recent years.

USSEC Chairman Jim Miller exchanges business cards with Han Jun before the meeting

USSEC Chairman Jim Miller exchanges business cards with Han Jun before the meeting

 

The U.S. delegation also networked with industry leaders in animal feed and biotechnology. They showed particular interest in China’s use of agricultural drones and talked with Justin Gong, co-founder and CMO of south China’s agricultural drone manufacturer XAIRCRAFT, on business opportunities opened up by this technology, which is relatively new to China.

ASA President Richard Wilkins shakes hands with Chen Xiwen, former Deputy Director of the Central Rural Work Leading Group

ASA President Richard Wilkins shakes hands with Chen Xiwen, former Deputy Director of the Central Rural Work Leading Group

 

Also speaking at the summit were Iowa Governor Terry Branstad; Luke Hartsuyker, Assistant Minister to the Deputy Prime Minister of Australia; and Martyn Dunne, Director General of the Ministry for Primary Industries of New Zealand, among others.

ASA President Richard Wilkins delivers a presentation on “Trade Friendly Policy-Assurance for China's Food Security and Food Safety” to China’s agricultural policy advisors, influencers, and industry leaders

ASA President Richard Wilkins delivers a presentation on “Trade Friendly Policy-Assurance for China’s Food Security and Food Safety” to China’s agricultural policy advisors, influencers, and industry leaders

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USB Director Bill Beam delivers a presentation on “Farming Technology – A Great Help to All Farmers in the World” to China’s top policy advisors, influencers, and industry leaders

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USSEC CEO Jim Sutter participates in the FSFSS Summit

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USB Director Bill Beam and USSEC Chairman Jim Miller participate in the FSFSS Summit

USSEC Participates in U.S.-China Agriculture and Food Seminar in Washington, D.C.

Monday, November 28, 2016
Category General News North Asia 
USSEC participated in the third annual U.S. – China agriculture and food seminar, held during the 27th session of the China-U.S. Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade…

USSEC participated in the third annual U.S. – China agriculture and food seminar, held during the 27th session of the China-U.S. Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade (JCCT). This year’s theme was “Advancing Mutual Goals in Food Safety,” taking place on November 22 in Washington, D.C.

USSEC Chairman Jim Miller and USSEC CEO Jim Sutter represented USSEC, and Mr. Miller provided closing remarks.

USSEC Chairman Jim Miller addresses attendees at the third annual U.S. – China agriculture and food seminar in Washington, D.C. on November 22

USSEC Chairman Jim Miller addresses attendees at the third annual U.S. – China agriculture and food seminar in Washington, D.C. on November 22

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman, Ambassador Darci Vetter, and Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang also spoke at the seminar.

Moderated panel sessions addressed key issues identified at the 2015 JCCT, featuring U.S. and Chinese company perspectives and those of the U.S. and Chinese governments. These discussions included strengthening consumer protection and enhancing public confidence in the supply chain; transparency and implementation of food safety regulations; and international best practices on preventing and responding to food safety incidents.

“The growth of food and agriculture trade between our nations is impressive,” said Mr. Froman. “From 2000 to 2015, U.S. agriculture exports to China increased eleven-fold, and China’s agriculture exports to the United States grew seven-fold,” he continued, adding “China has been one of our top export markets for our food and agriculture exports for some time.”

Ambassador Darci Vetter was introduced by fellow Nebraskan and USSEC CEO Jim Miller

Ambassador Darci Vetter was introduced by fellow Nebraskan and USSEC CEO Jim Miller

“The United States remains committed to partnering with China to achieve our mutual goals of protecting human health and food safety while facilitating and expanding trade,” stated Secretary Vilsack.

Mr. Miller spoke about the role of the Agriculture – Food Partnership (AFP), which was created in 2014, and what the group is accomplishing within China to address food safety and security.

He discussed AFP’s role as a private-public coordinator in today’s political and business environment, saying that it “provides a unique platform to foster trust and partnership between Chinese and U.S. food and agriculture interests in both the public and private sectors; bring together the widest range of Chinese and U.S. organizations . . .to identify areas of common interest, opportunity, and collaboration in food security and food safety; and facilitate cooperation across the entire value chain of the agriculture and food industry in China.”

Additionally, Mr. Miller talked about AFP’s 2016 initiatives and outcomes and the organization’s future hopes.

China to Build Model of U.S. Farm

Monday, November 28, 2016
Category General News North Asia 
China is set to build a model of a U.S. farm in Hebei Province starting next year. The farm will be fashioned after Rick and Martha Kimberley’s farm in Maxwell, Iowa, which…

China is set to build a model of a U.S. farm in Hebei Province starting next year.

The farm will be fashioned after Rick and Martha Kimberley’s farm in Maxwell, Iowa, which was visited by Chinese president Xi Jinping in 2012. Then China’s vice president, he met with friends he made in Iowa in 1985 while he was a Hebei Province party official and director of the Feed Association of Shijiazhuang Prefecture.

A memorandum describing the farm was signed during Iowa governor Terry Branstad’s mission to China.  Governor Branstad’s eight-day trip to China and Japan will wrap up on December 2 and is focused on increasing agricultural exports to the two countries. The group also included representatives of Iowa’s Sister States program, which has longstanding ties to Hebei Province.

The Kimberley family operates a typical Midwestern farm with a house, grain bins, and machine sheds, said Grant Kimberley, the couple’s son, who is director of market development for the Iowa Soybean Association and also executive director of the Iowa Biodiesel Board.

“When the Chinese president came to visit, he said that using technology – everything from grid sampling your soils to using GPS, and biotechnology seeds – will be important for China’s future. He wants to help Chinese farms modernize, in their own way, by using our farm as an example,” Mr. Kimberley explained.

Initial discussions with Chinese officials have included the concept of making the demonstration farm in Hebei Province virtually identical to the Kimberley farmstead, but many details still need to be worked out.

Hebei Province is located in northern China, and the Great Wall of China passes through it.

The Kimberley farm in Iowa is about 4,000 acres, included rented land. The working demonstration farm in China will be smaller, about 300 to 500 acres, and may also have some hogs, cattle, and chickens, along with corn, soybeans, wheat and oil seed crops, and garden vegetables.

Grant Kimberley, a sixth-generation family farmer, helps his parents operate their Iowa farm, and is a member of the Iowa Sister States Board. He has visited China about 10 times to advocate trade between the U.S. and China. Soybeans are China’s top import crop and the country imports about a third of the world’s soybeans.

China faces a challenge feeding its people because although it boasts 21 percent of the world’s population, it only contains 9 percent of the world’s farmland, according to the Ministry of Agriculture of the People’s Republic of China. Currently, China says it ranks first in the world in production of cereals, cotton, fruit, vegetables, meat, poultry, eggs and fishery products. The ministry says the country has dramatically reduced its population of rural poor since 1978 by reforming policies and opening its agriculture to the outside world, including agricultural exchanges and cooperation with more than 140 countries.

USSEC Hosts Annual U.S. Soy Advantage Buyers Outlook Conference in South Korea

Monday, November 21, 2016
Category General News North Asia 
  USSEC hosted the annual U.S. Soy Advantage Buyers Outlook Conference in Seoul, South Korea on November 11. 62 members of the purchasing and technical staffs from…

 

Grower leaders, exporters, Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) Seoul staff, USSEC staff and consultant pose after the 2016 U.S. Soy Advantage Buyers Outlook Conference in Seoul, South Korea

USSEC hosted the annual U.S. Soy Advantage Buyers Outlook Conference in Seoul, South Korea on November 11. 62 members of the purchasing and technical staffs from Korea’s crushing, feed, and soyfood industries attended the conference. Two USSEC member exporters, SunOpta and Scoular, and nine Korean representatives of U.S. Soy exporters, including ADM and DeLong, were also in attendance.

Grower leaders, exporters, Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) Seoul staff, USSEC staff and consultant pose after the 2016 U.S. Soy Advantage Buyers Outlook Conference in Seoul, South Korea

Grower leaders, exporters, Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) Seoul staff, USSEC staff and consultant pose after the 2016 U.S. Soy Advantage Buyers Outlook Conference in Seoul, South Korea

 

The conference’s objective was to update the target industries with the U.S. new crop quality and supply situation, and to help Korean customers and U.S. Soy delegates understand each side’s needs better. During the conference, SunOpta and Scoular interacted with food-soybean customers and shared new crop information with them, displaying samples.

USSEC and ASA director Monte Peterson answers a question during the Q&A session

USSEC and ASA director Monte Peterson answers a question during the Q&A session

 

United Soybean Board (USB) director Walter Godwin, USSEC and American Soybean Association (ASA) director Monte Peterson, and North Dakota Soybean Council director Perry Ostmo traveled to Korea and participated in the conference. They presented information about this year’s record crop yield, 2016 soybean production and farmers’ risk management. Other conference topics included 2016/17 crop quality, the application of the U.S. Soy Sustainability Assurance Protocol (SSAP), global supply and demand, and market outlook. Attendees gave feedback that two major reasons that they think U.S. Soy is more valuable than that of other origins are the reliability and sustainability of U.S. Soy.

USB director Walter Godwin discusses 2016 farming conditions and production with the audience

USB director Walter Godwin discusses 2016 farming conditions and production with the audience

 

In addition to the conference, the grower leaders visited a tofu plant and feed mill and met with top executives of Sajo Haepyo Corp. to share information on this year’s crop and receive an update on Korea’s crushing market.

North Dakota Soybean Council director Perry Ostmo gives welcome remarks at the conference

North Dakota Soybean Council director Perry Ostmo gives welcome remarks at the conference

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Grower leaders, Jeil Feed staff and USSEC staff pose while visiting Jeil Feed Co., Ltd.

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Grower leaders listen to Ourhome’s tofu plant manager

USSEC Japan Participates in Tofu Competition, Selects Winner of U.S. Soy Ambassador Award

Monday, November 7, 2016
Category General News North Asia Soy Foods 
Makoto Murao, executive director of Satonoyuki, winner of the 2016 U.S. Soy Ambassador Award, given in the 2nd Tofu Competition in the 6th Tofu Summit organized by Zentoren…
Makoto Murao, executive director of Satonoyuki, winner of the 2016 U.S. Soy Ambassador Award, given in the 2nd Tofu Competition in the 6th Tofu Summit organized by Zentoren in Kumamoto City. USSEC Human Utilization Director Masi Tateishi participated as a judge in the tofu competition, tasting 107 tofu products.

Makoto Murao, executive director of Satonoyuki, winner of the 2016 U.S. Soy Ambassador Award, given in the 2nd Tofu Competition in the 6th Tofu Summit organized by Zentoren in Kumamoto City. USSEC Human Utilization Director Masi Tateishi participated as a judge in the tofu competition, tasting 107 tofu products.

USSEC recently participated in the 2nd Tofu Competition and the 6th Japan Tofu Shop Summit in Kumamoto City, Kumamto Prefecture, Japan. A record 270 participants, including tofu companies, soy wholesalers, and government leaders from throughout Japan attended the event. The event was organized by Zentoren and the General Incorporated Foundation National Federation of Tofu, and was sponsored by USSEC; the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries; and Zen-noh. National and local TV stations, including NHK, also participated.

USSEC Country Director – Japan Mitsuyuki Nishimura and Human Utilization Director Masi Tateishi represented USSEC.

This event offered younger leaders in Japan’s tofu industry the opportunity to interact with each other and learn about products and marketing to educate the next generation of leaders to be successful and sustainable. In 1960, the number of tofu shops in Japan was 51,596, but was down to 8,017 in 2014. This reduction demonstrates that tofu is the most fragmented and artisanal business with the highest numbers of players in the Japanese food industry. Thus, product innovation and sustainability is the key for survival in next generation. The discussion for the 2016 Tofu Summit also included upcoming new fair competition rules, a case study of image branding, and “Tofu Meister” progress.

Mr. Nishimura gave a guest speech followed by special guest Yoshimasa Hayashi, the former Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, emphasizing the U.S. Soy advantage with impending record high production. Ms. Tateishi participated as a judge at the tofu competition and tasted 107 different tofus. The total numbers of entries this year was 668, 5 times larger than last year, when preliminary contests conducted in 7 regions across Japan throughout the year had selected the 107 finalists.

The top three prizes were given. First place was presented to the Japan Nutrition School Lunch Association, Tochigi Prefecture; second place went to Tofu Kobo Ajika, Gunma Prefecture; and Tominari Goro Shoten, Nagano Prefecture was awarded third place.

Zentoren announced that the 7th Tofu Summit to be held in Tokyo in December 2017.

USSEC, in coordination with Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) Tokyo and Agricultural Trade Office (ATO), recognized the best tofu using 100 percent imported U.S. Soy, beginning in 2016. The inaugural award was given to Satonoyuki Shokuhin/ Shikoku Kakoki of Tokushima Prefecture.

“I am very honored to be selected [to receive] the first commemorative U.S. Soy Ambassador Award,” stated Makoto Murao, executive director of Satonoyuki. “Our company has been using U.S. Soy for many years and thus we have been closely communicating with U.S. Soy farmers in various regions of the U.S. . .we learned U.S. Soy growers produce safe and reliable, high protein, high yield and highly suitable soy for tofu making.”

“I view [the U.S. Soy Ambassador Award] as giving us precious opportunities to convey those excellent messages about U.S. Soy farmers to our Japanese consumers as well,” he continued. “Currently, our company contracts with excellent soybean farmers in Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota and Ohio. Recent U.S. soybean quality has improved greatly and because of it, we are able to manufacturer higher quality tofu. We believe long-term communication with those U.S. soybean farmers and our mutual understanding led to winning this award, and we are very appreciative. We look forward to sharing this happiness with those U.S. farmers.”

USSEC is currently preparing an event for the winners in coordination with FAS and ATO Tokyo. Japan, a large consumer of tofu products, used nearly 477,000 metric tons (MT) of non-GMO identity preserved (IP) soybeans in 2015. Over 42 percent of the soybeans used for tofu are from the U.S. whose market share increased 7 percent from 2012 to 2017. USSEC Japan will continue to work with and support Japan’s tofu industry by establishing a U.S. Soy Ambassador Sustainability Award in the near future to optimize the use and value of sustainable U.S. Soy.

To watch a video of this event, please click here.

The winning product, “KOKUTORO”

The winning product, “KOKUTORO”

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USSEC Country Director – Japan Mitsuyuki Nishimura presented the winner with a certificate

 

USSEC Organizes China Feed Processing Training Course to the U.S.

Monday, October 17, 2016
Category Animal Utilization General News North Asia 
USSEC China organized the 2016 Feed Processing Training Course to Kansas State University From September 18 – 25. Course topics included using soybean products efficiently,…

USSEC China organized the 2016 Feed Processing Training Course to Kansas State University From September 18 – 25. Course topics included using soybean products efficiently, feed processing, and feed mill management, among others. The team also visited a dairy farm, Countryside Feed LLC, and the Kansas Soybean Association.

15 team members from China livestock integrators, top ten feed mills, and a feed additive company attended this activity. Participants not only learned advanced feed processing technology, but also viewed the processing of U.S. soybeans and soybean products. The delegation witnessed the sustainability of U.S. soybean production, quality and reliable supply firsthand.

The team visits Gary Robbin’s soybean farm

The team visits Gary Robbin’s soybean farm

Dr. Eric Michael, from KSU’s IGP program demonstrates how to produce extruded soybean product

Dr. Eric Michael, from KSU’s IGP program demonstrates how to produce extruded soybean product

Dr. Richard Han shows team members that U.S. soybean ingredients have a balanced amino acid profile

Dr. Richard Han shows team members that U.S. soybean ingredients have a balanced amino acid profile

The China feed team visits KSU’s O.H. Kruse Feed Technology Center

The China feed team visits KSU’s O.H. Kruse Feed Technology Center

USSEC Participates in GOAL Conference in China

Monday, September 26, 2016
Category Aquaculture North Asia 
Representatives from the Global Soy in Aquaculture Program attended Global Aquaculture Alliance’s GOAL 2016 conference in Guangzhou, China, September 20 – 22.…

Representatives from the Global Soy in Aquaculture Program attended Global Aquaculture Alliance’s GOAL 2016 conference in Guangzhou, China, September 20 – 22.

USSEC Marketing Director – Aquaculture Colby Sutter and USSEC China Aquaculture Program Manager Jim Zhang and USSEC China Freshwater Aquaculture Technical Manager Zhou Enhua were joined by United Soybean Board (USB) director Dan Farney and American Soybean Association (ASA) director Dan Roe to participate in the program focused on “Healthy Fish, Healthy People and Healthy Planet.”

Mr. Zhang’s presentation on “Trends in Intensive Pond Aquaculture,” detailing the many benefits of the Intensive Pond Aquaculture (IPA) technology introduced to China by USSEC’s aquaculture program, received immediate interest in the technology from Chinese producers as well as the many other international representatives attending the conference.

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USSEC Japan Promotes U.S. Soy at FAS Tokyo Seminar

Monday, September 26, 2016
Category General News North Asia Soy Foods 
USSEC Japan collaborated on an event organized by the Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) in Tokyo on June 14. The “U.S. Food Ingredients Nutrition Seminar for the Care…

USSEC Japan collaborated on an event organized by the Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) in Tokyo on June 14. The “U.S. Food Ingredients Nutrition Seminar for the Care Food Industry” reached out to those providing food for aging populations.

The conference’s goal was to introduce delicious, nutritious, and easy to cook recipes as well as information about the nutrition, safety, and versatility of stable-supply ingredients for the care food industry, which is expected to further expand in the future due to Japan’s aging society.

ATO director Rachel Nelson provides opening remarks to an audience of about 80 care food providers

ATO director Rachel Nelson provides opening remarks to an audience of about 80 care food providers

During her opening address, Agricultural Trade Office (ATO) Director, Rachel Nelson said, “People over the age of 65 make up a quarter of the Japanese population. Japan is a very important market for the U.S., as Japan imports about $13 billion (USD) of agriculture and food ingredients annually.”

The seminar’s audience included food manufacturers and caterers providing food for aging clients as well as nutritionists at care facilities. In addition to USSEC, U.S. cooperators included the U.S. Meat Export Federation, the U.S. Poultry & Egg Export Council, and the Alaskan Seafood Marketing Council, among others.

Two technical speakers discussed the benefits of nuts, fruits, seafood, meat, and soy for the aging population and how to incorporate these foods into healthy diets. They also highlighted the nutritional components Omega 3, polyphenols, high quality protein, and fiber.

USSEC North Asia Regional Human Utilization (HU) Manager & Japan HU Director Masi Tateishi promoted U.S. Soy’s superior advantage by discussing its sustainability and stable supply using a display of soy ingredients and marketing materials.

USSEC believes demographic trends in Japan appear favorable for the care food industry as well as for the soy industry due to soy’s high nutritional value. It is vital to continue to communicate such value provides beyond basic nutrition to both the Japanese industry and society.

Care food recipe: Blanc-manger with blueberry sauce thickened with soy flour

Care food recipe: Blanc-manger with blueberry sauce thickened with soy flour

USSEC was displayed next to the California Raisin Board at the U.S. cooperators’ display

USSEC was displayed next to the California Raisin Board at the U.S. cooperators’ display

USSEC Hosts Chinese Crop Tour Team

Monday, September 19, 2016
Category General News North Asia 
USSEC hosted a crop tour team comprised of 20 Chinese guests, representing some of the largest buyers of U.S. Soy. This annual trip aims to help these key buyers and decision…

USSEC hosted a crop tour team comprised of 20 Chinese guests, representing some of the largest buyers of U.S. Soy.

This annual trip aims to help these key buyers and decision makers for very large importers and crushers of U.S. Soy to understand the U.S. logistics system. Additionally, one of the team’s principal goals is to gather firsthand information on the current year soy production situation in terms of crop size and quality to get an advanced view of U.S. crop conditions ahead of the harvest. Gathering these facts helps these important guests to further strengthen their confidence in U.S. Soy and to make better purchasing decisions. These missions are increasingly important as consumers demand additional, varying, high quality products.

The entire group visited the New Orleans area on September 6, stopping at Zen-noh Grain in Convent, Louisiana and Blue Water Shipping in Metairie, Louisiana. They arrived in St. Louis on September 7, and split into two groups traveling to different parts of the U.S. to maximize their industry interaction/farm visits.

On September 8, Group A visited Bruns Farms in Corso, Missouri and the Bay Research Farm, where they viewed the lab and learned about its research capacity, discussing technology and breeding, before visiting the Missouri Soybean Merchandising Council. They finished the day at Nathan Alpers’ farm and grain handling facilities in Prairie Home, Missouri.

Visitors to the Bruns Farm get a closer look at a soybean plant

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The wet weather did not hamper the group’s spirits at the Bruns Farm

That same day, Group B visited Illinois Soybean Association director Tim Seifert’s farm in Auburn, Illinois, and Doug Harford’s farm in Mazon, Illinois.

Group A next headed to Fordyce Farms in Bethany, Missouri on September 9. Richard Fordyce is the director of the Missouri Department of Agriculture and his wife, Renee, is the District One director for the Missouri Soybean Association. They then traveled to Tarkio, MO to meet with Brooks Hurst, current American Soybean Association director and Vice President of the Missouri Soybean Association board.

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Director of the Missouri Department of Agriculture Richard Fordyce talks to Chinese trade team visitors at his farm

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At the Fordyce farm

Group B visited the Illinois Soybean Association that day before traveling to Doug Schroeder Farms, Illinois Soybean Association District 11 director, in Bellflower, Illinois.

On September 10, Group A experienced the downtown farmers market in Des Moines, Iowa, before visiting Iowa Soybean Association director Tim Bardole’s farm in Rippey, Iowa.

Meanwhile, Group B met with the Indiana Soybean Alliance.

Group A next journeyed to United Soybean Board (USB) and Iowa Soybean Association director April Hemmes’ farms, Hampton, Iowa on September 11, following that visit with one to the farm of the Ziegler family farm, where they also enjoyed dinner at the host’s lake house.

USB director and Meal Target Area Coordinator Mike Beard of Frankfort, Indiana hosted Group B at his farm, before they traveled to Indiana Corn Growers Association director Herb Ringel’s farm in Wabash, Indiana and Indiana Soybean Alliance director Tom Griffith’s farm in Kendallville, Indiana, also on September 11.

On September 12, Group A had the opportunity to visit Minnesota Soybean Growers Association director Ray Hewitt’s farm in Le Sueur, Minnesota; the Central Farm Service in Delavan, Minnesota; and the Fairmont, Minnesota farm of American Soybean Association (ASA) director Lawrence Sukalski.

Mission participants enjoyed their time at John Motter's farm

Mission participants enjoyed their time at John Motter’s farm in Jenera, Ohio

That same day Group B visited Ohio’s Legacy Farmers Co-op before heading to USB Vice Chairman John Motter’s farm in Jenera, Ohio and ASA director Bret Davis’ place in Delaware, Ohio. At both farms, the group enjoyed presentations from DuPont Pioneer, Cargill, Interstate Commodities as well as local co-ops and farmer groups.

ASA director Bret Davis hosts a trade team at his farm in Delaware, Ohio (Photo courtesy of the Ohio Soybean Council)

ASA director Bret Davis hosts the trade team at his farm in Delaware, Ohio (Photo courtesy of the Ohio Soybean Council)

September 13 was a travel day, with both groups joining back together, before holding market outlook meetings on the 14th. The team headed to Kalama Export Terminal in Kalama, Washington on September 15, in a tour arranged by USSEC member Gavilon.

USSEC Stakeholder Relations Coordinator Eric Gibson escorted the group on several legs of the mission and remarked on their enthusiasm.

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“This was one of the most enthusiastic trade groups I’ve had the privilege of working with. Back home, in China, many of these folks work for competing companies, but I witnessed them working together in the fields and corresponding with one another over the U.S. Soy crop,” he said. “The rain, mud and muck didn’t keep our guests from getting out into the fields and interacting closely with our farmers who were gracious enough to volunteer their time during such a busy time of the year.”

USSEC Stakeholder Relations Manager Will McNair described the group’s enthusiasm in the field and their questioning of local farmers: “They really wanted to know how U.S. farmers were making their planting decisions and what current prices mean to their profitability and long-term farm sustainability.” He added, “They were really interested in the level of sophistication of the U.S. farmers. Although these were savvy buyers with a broad understanding of the U.S. ag sector, they were surprised to find that the U.S. farmers were equally savvy and knowledgeable about the trade and where their beans go.”

USSEC Response to China Announcement

Monday, September 19, 2016
Category General News North Asia 
On September 13, U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Michael Froman informed China that the U.S. has launched a formal complaint at the World Trade Organization (WTO) over…

On September 13, U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Michael Froman informed China that the U.S. has launched a formal complaint at the World Trade Organization (WTO) over China’s price supports for corn, wheat and rice, saying they distort world markets and are costing U.S. farmers hundreds of millions of dollars.

If you receive questions about this news, USSEC is providing guidance to help frame discussions:

  • China is a very important market for U.S. Soy and soy products. USSEC has 35 years of experience working in cooperation with Chinese organizations to develop a mutually beneficial trade relationship. Last year, nearly 25 percent of the U.S. Soy crop was exported to China, and China accounted for about 46 percent of total exports of U.S. Soy.
  • USSEC remains a committed partner in sustainably and safely producing soybeans for China’s oilseed security. USSEC recently welcomed members of the Chinese soybean industry to the U.S. Soy Global Trade Exchange in Indianapolis. Additionally, two Chinese trade teams recently traveled in the Midwest to view the U.S. Soy crop.

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out to USSEC Communications Manager Lisa Humphreys, USSEC Marketing Director – Market Access / Freedom to Operate Roz Leeck, or USSEC CEO Jim Sutter.

USSEC is Attending USDA’s Women in Agriculture Trade Mission

Monday, September 12, 2016
Category General News North Asia 
USSEC is among the 23 U.S. agribusinesses and organizations that are accompanying U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Deputy Undersecretary for Farm and Foreign…

USSEC is among the 23 U.S. agribusinesses and organizations that are accompanying U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Deputy Undersecretary for Farm and Foreign Agriculture Services Alexis Taylor, along with the leaders from seven state departments of agriculture, on a trade mission to Hong Kong and Shanghai September 7 – 15 to extend USDA’s Women in Agriculture initiative abroad and expand export opportunities for U.S. food and agricultural products.

“USDA is committed to building opportunities for women to grow, learn from one another and lead within their industries,” said Taylor. “Women in agriculture have a powerful story to tell – one of leadership, stewardship and resilience – from the combine, to the classroom, to the boardroom. This trade mission provides us an opportunity to discuss the impacts women in the United States and China are having on agriculture and to share our visions for the next generation. In addition, I look forward to joining U.S. agricultural leaders as we seek to enhance our trading opportunities in this region.”

The USSEC delegation consists of Heather Feuerstein, Michigan Soybean Association director; Pam Helmsing, USSEC Marketing Director – Animal Nutrition/Meal; Roz Leeck, USSEC Marketing Director – Market Access; and Hanna Abou-El-Seoud, AgSource, Inc.

Mission participants hail from across the U.S. and represent a range of agricultural products and commodities. They will meet with potential customers and host government representatives, forging relationships and learning about the market conditions and business environment.

 

Chinese Buyers Commit to Purchase $1.78 Billion of U.S. Soy at Indianapolis Signing Ceremony

Monday, September 5, 2016
Category General News North Asia 
Chinese importers signed letters of intent to purchase 3.9 million metric tons of new crop U.S. Soy, valued at $1.78 billion, at a signing ceremony held in Indianapolis,…

Chinese Signing Ceremony 5Chinese importers signed letters of intent to purchase 3.9 million metric tons of new crop U.S. Soy, valued at $1.78 billion, at a signing ceremony held in Indianapolis, Indiana on August 30.

USSEC CEO Jim Sutter welcomed Chinese importers and U.S. exporters to the ceremony.

USSEC Chairman Jim Miller said that China, as the world’s number one soybean consumer, and the U.S., as the number one soybean producer, play critical roles in world soybean trade. “It is our hope that a mutually beneficial and strengthened trade relationship between the industries of both countries will make an even greater contribution to global food security, food safety and a sustainable soy supply.”

After the ceremony, USSEC Vice Chairman Derek Haigwood expressed his congratulations on the business conducted. “Such a partnership has benefited food security, food safety and the sustainable supply of soy in China, and also benefited all stakeholders in the U.S. soybean value chain.

Mr. Sutter proposed a toast at the end of the ceremony to representatives of the whole soy value chain present. “May you all work together for the success of the soy industry and the Chinese industry.”

Chinese Signing Ceremony CEO Jim Sutter proposes a toast at Chinese Signing Ceremony USSEC Vice Chairman Derek Haigwood at Chinese Signing Ceremony USSEC Chairman Jim MIller at Chinese Signing Ceremony Chinese Signing Ceremony4