Conversations around the U.S. Soy advantage fostered through USSEC’s participation in the virtual Seafood Expo North America Reconnect.
Though in-person events have come to a halt, connectivity in the seafood industry has continued. The Seafood Expo North America Reconnect was hosted virtually March 15-19, 2021 as the industry’s digital solution for building the relationships needed to do business in North America. Sponsored by the National Fisheries Institute, the event allowed participating stakeholders to access the content, resources and connections necessary to move business forward. The U.S. Soybean Export Council (USSEC) continued its historic involvement in the expo.
“USSEC was a participant and an exhibitor for this virtual event,” said Courtney Knupp, USSEC’s focus area director for animal and aquaculture nutrition meal. “This enabled the organization to attend information seminars pertaining to industry current topics and host a virtual booth.”
Those attending dived deeper into the value of utilizing soy in aquaculture diets, the sustainability of U.S. Soy and the differentiation of U.S. Soy versus that of other origins upon “arrival” to USSEC’s booth. This involvement in the expo also marked an important step in prioritizing innovation in aquaculture.
“Innovation is critical in aquaculture,” said Karey Claghorn, USSEC’s senior director of market development. “Aquaculture is a dynamic industry with growing demand. Just like any other sector of agriculture is met with many pressures, both environmentally and to meet that growing demand, aquaculture continues to adopt innovation and look for new opportunities to improve on production and feeding systems.”
USSEC seeks out opportunities to bring innovation to the forefront of discussion, like sponsoring the Aquaculture Innovation Challenge. The Seafood Expo North America Reconnect and similar events further that innovative conversation industry wide.
“The networking piece is really important,” Claghorn said. “Many of our boots on the ground attend these events and listen to speakers from around the globe talking about challenges or opportunities in their part of the aquaculture sector. The virtual platform allows for even more of our team members to attend. These types of learning opportunities are critical as we think about the next opportunities that may be presented for USSEC to talk about sustainability of U.S. Soy and the U.S. Soy advantage.”
“USSEC engages in meetings like this because it lends the opportunity to interact with key influencers in aquaculture feeds and the value chain,” Knupp added. “In doing so, USSEC can continue to educate and provide resources on why U.S. Soy-optimized diets provide the sustainable, efficient and nutritious pathway to optimize aquaculture production efficiencies.”
While USSEC’s participation in this virtual event accomplished its goal of creating conversations around U.S. Soy, an in-person opportunity is on the horizon.
“Seafood Expo North America provides USSEC access to over 22,000 seafood professionals who typically attend their in-person events,” Knupp said. “The next Seafood Expo North America meeting is scheduled for July and is currently planned to be in person. USSEC will again be a participant and exhibitor.”
Those interested can still register and attend expo sessions on demand to receive the latest updates in the aquaculture industry.