German Feed Industry is Updated on U.S. Soy’s Nutrition, Sustainability

Sustainable soy remains key to the EU market. In Germany, USSEC continues to demonstrate its long-term commitment to the country’s feed and livestock industries, introducing the Dare to Compare campaign at a recent event, along with updated market and industry information.

130 participants from German feed industry and livestock producers took part in a USSEC event on November 27. Together with partner organizations DVT (Deutscher Verband Tiernahrung, the German Feed Association); OVID (Verband der Olsaatenverarbeitenden Industrie in Deutschland; the German Oilseeds Crushing Industry Association); and AMI (Agrarmarkt Informations-Gesellschaft), an agricultural market information company, USSEC sponsored the “Oil and Feed Millers Best 2020.” This was the partners’ fourth collaboration of an event targeted to the German feed industry and livestock producers.

The program started with a review of global market conditions and trends with presentations by Steffan Kemper of AMI who was joined by representatives from ADM and RaboBank. German feed and livestock producers, like their European counterparts, are facing numerous challenges with higher input prices, animal health issues, increasing environmental regulations, and changing consumer trends, all within the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. The panel expressed cautious optimism that from these challenges, a more efficient industry will emerge.

German experts on dairy nutrition, sustainable swine production, and alternative proteins gave presentations interspersed with a video on animal welfare and virtual visits to a dairy breeding facility and a poultry operation.

USSEC Regional Representative – Northern Europe Eugene Philhower joined the conference from Washington, D.C. and rolled out the “Dare to Compare” campaign, which focuses on the nutritional and sustainability advantages of U.S. Soy. Philhower highlighted the three major points of how U.S. Soy is different than its competitors: quality (“you can’t make great soybean meal from just good soybeans”); nutritional profile; and profitability. He presented the Nutrient Value Calculator (NVC), which demonstrates the price advantage and nutritional attributes of U.S. Soy, highlighting its true value. In the presentation, Philhower included short USSEC videos on the nutritional benefits of U.S. Soy and the U.S. Sustainable Soy Assurance Protocol (SSAP).

In closing, Hermann-Josef Baaken, director of DVT, emphasized a number of points to the industry. He said that farmers and the compound feed industry have an interest in finding a balance between profitability and environmental and social requirements, asserting that it is possible for the industry to optimize animal nutritional while meeting sustainability goals.

Baakan noted that an estimated 60% of the soy currently used in Germany is certified as sustainably produced and that this percent continues to increase. He said that the newly revised European Feed Industry Federation (FEFAC) soy sourcing guidelines will include requirements that soy be deforestation-free; that producers apply integrated pest management practices to reduce pesticide use; and that international labor standards be met.

The program demonstrates the positive cooperation between USSEC and its supply chain partners in Germany. Exports of U.S. soybeans to Germany reached 1.2 million tons in the marketing year that ended on September 30, 2020 down from the previous year, but soybean exports this marketing year have already reached 300,000 tons, 20% more than last year at this time.[1]