Collaboration and Trust Emerge as Key Themes at the Asia Soy Excellence and Food Summit 2024

Soy plays an integral role in Asia's rich cultural and culinary tapestry, as emphasized at the recent Asia Soy Excellence and Food Summit 2024, organized by the U.S. Soybean Export Council (USSEC). Themed "Eating Tomorrow – Future of Food Redefined with Soy," the summit took place in Bangkok, Thailand from March 20 - 22, 2024, drawing over 150 participants from 12 countries, including the U.S., Southeast Asia, China, Taiwan, Japan, and Korea.

The summit highlighted soy's role in future foods and its contribution to a circular economy. Serving as a pivotal platform for advancing soy industries across the region, the event fostered collaboration among industry stakeholders, thought leaders, researchers, U.S. soy farmers, and suppliers. Experts and collaborators such as the Specialty Soya and Grains Alliance, the Food Science and Technology Association of Thailand, and SNI Global shared valuable insights into soy's market outlook, the latest research findings in soy nutrition, and innovations driving soy's potential in food and agriculture.

With Southeast Asia's appetite for diverse and nutritious dietary options continuing to grow, the spotlight was on emerging trends such as the demand for plant-based protein alternatives and the utilization of soy by-products like okara to combat food waste. These trends underscored the innovation and vibrant opportunities for soy food and beverage industries in the region.

Fostering Collaboration and Building Trust in the Soy Industry

A core theme of the summit was the pivotal role of collaboration and trust-building in the industry, reaffirming the market potential for U.S. Soy in the region. Throughout the discussions, U.S. Soy's commitment to innovation, sustainability, and fostering trust remained evident.

The event facilitated engagement across the soy supply chain, from U.S. soy farmers to exporters and allied industry members, ensuring the provision of high-quality, sustainable U.S. Soy to meet the region's dietary and nutritional needs.

"Our focus remains on fostering collaboration and strengthening trust within our industry, which is essential for facilitating free trade. It’s crucial that we advocate for free trade, especially amidst discussions of self-sufficiency and trade hurdles. The region's status as an economic hub highlights the critical role of free trade and collaboration in advancing sustainable food security, ultimately benefiting both the region and the broader global community,” said Jim Sutter, CEO, USSEC.

Culinary Demonstrations and Interactive Dialogues

Beyond discussions, the summit featured culinary demonstrations showcasing soy's versatility in Southeast Asian cuisine. Meanwhile, meetings between buyers and suppliers fostered new connections and business opportunities, contributing to the industry's growth.

USSEC is especially thrilled to host this event in Thailand, where U.S. Soy is celebrating 30 years of collaboration. “This milestone marks three decades of sharing knowledge, as well as providing U.S. Soy’s services and tools to support Thailand's sustainability goals and the growth of its agriculture industry,” said Timothy Loh, Regional Director, Southeast Asia and Oceania, USSEC.

In summary, the Asia Soy Excellence & Food Summit 2024 highlighted the transformative potential of soy in shaping the future of food, improving consumer health, fostering collaboration and driving sustainable growth across the industry.

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This story was partially funded by U.S. Soy farmers, their checkoff and the soy value chain.

Participants at the Asia Soy Excellence and Food Summit 2024.

Jim Sutter, USSEC CEO, delivering the opening remarks at the summit.

Chef Nguyen from Vietnam during the culinary demonstration.