Russian Soy Processors Attend USSEC 5th Regional Soybean Processing and Refining Conference in UAE
At the end of September, a team of four Russian technical managers from different business units of the Sodrugestvo Group and JSC Center Soya traveled to USSEC’s 5th Regional Soybean Processing and Refining Conference in the United Arab Emirates. Sodrugestvo Group is the largest soybean crusher in Russia and the former Soviet Union and JSC Center Soya is a top manufacturer of soy by-pass protein. About 100 participants from major crushers and vegetable oil refineries in the Middle East, North Africa, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Russia attended the event held at the Grosvenor House Hotel in Dubai.
Lectures and presentations submitted at the conference by USSEC technical consultants, industry representatives, leading equipment vendors, and technical experts focused on the sustainability of U.S. Soy; modern techniques of processing soybeans and soybean oil; innovative processes and equipment; effective operation of crushing plants and refineries; the benefits of high oleic soybean oil; industrial safety issues; and other hot topics. Leading specialists from such companies as Crown Americas – Crown Iron Works; Desmet Ballestra; Blind Corner Solutions; Arisdyne Systems, Inc; Anderson International Corp; RAGASA; QUALISOY; Intl Agribusiness served as speakers. U.S. soy grower leaders Lewis Bainbridge, United Soybean Board (USB) director and past chairman; Stan Born, USSEC and American Soybean Association (ASA) director; Rob Schaffer, ASA director; and Keith Tapp, USB chairman, attended the event and told delegates about their farm experience and U.S. soybean planting achievements. Babb Brent, USSEC Regional Director – EU / Middle East North Africa (MENA) highlighted the importance and continuous growth of U.S. soybean product exports to the MENA region and other international markets and focused on the sustainability of U.S. Soy. Jim Sutter, USSEC CEO, welcomed conference participants and spoke about USSEC’s mission and the importance of the development of international soy trade and markets. Maintaining and increasing U.S. soybean product market share will continue to be a USSEC priority in the coming years.
The visit to the conference was of high interest and importance for the Russian customers, who were escorted by Maria Domoroshchenkova, USSEC Country Representative – Russia. All team members emphasized the high level of presentations and innovative technical ideas in processing of soybeans and soy oil demonstrated during the event. One-on-one meetings provided extra knowledge and a deeper understanding of the modern processes and equipment.
Vasily Varfolomeev, head of Sodrugestvo’s vegetable oil plant, was happy to continue technical discussions with Brent German from Blind Corner Solutions that started long before the event via personal email correspondence.
Russian delegates appreciated the meeting with Sadru Dada, International Agribusiness technical consultant from UAE, who shared with them his practical experience in the design and operation of soybean crushing plants in Middle East countries.
Although the current import of U.S. soybeans to Russia is suspended by temporary restrictions, Russian customers have had a positive experience purchasing and crushing U.S. soybeans in the past (the last delivery was in 2016), and they look forward to the restarting of supplies of U.S. Soy to Russia.
According to the Russian participants, the event allowed them to acquire more knowledge in advanced soy processing and refining as well as in new technologies. The Russian team members were extremely pleased with the visit and thankful to USSEC for the invitation to attend the conference. They look forward to joining similar events in the future.