During the last week of March, USSEC held a feed additives training course in Madrid, Spain for Central and Eastern European, Russian, and Turkish customers. The classes were designed to develop skills and upgrade knowledge of young industry professionals from six different countries, all growing in the feed and livestock sectors and in the consumption of soybean meal.
The three-day program, coordinated by USSEC consultant Dr. Gonzalo Mateos of the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, focused on feed additives as related to the efficient production of improved animal products, animal health, and a better environment. Participants learned the latest in research findings for energy and protein ingredients, the proper use of feed additives, and how to stay at the forefront of new nutritional developments for the feed and livestock industries.
The evaluation of crystalline amino acids in animal feeding was another important topic for the participants, learning about their nutritive value, quality control methods, and future perspectives regarding commercial availability of amino acids for the feed industry. Dr. Mateos discussed the advantages of feeding animals with vegetable protein sources, which are cheaper and safer than animal protein diets and how to use feed additives to get better animal performances.
Besides learning about the latest advances in feed additives, participants had the opportunity to understand the Spanish experience in the field of feed safety under EU laws and regulations.
The training classes continued with a one-day visit to the largest animal trade show, which takes place every two years in the Aragon province. On March 30, the entire USSEC training delegation visited the 13th FIGAN 2017 animal production tradeshow in Zaragoza, Spain. The fair has more than 70,000 visitors, an increase of 10 percent compared to 2015 with 40 nationalities present at the event.
Dr. Mateos and Dr. Juan Acedo escorted the USSEC delegation, which had the chance to learn the latest about various feed manufacturing, additives, and animal farming technologies. The course director and USSEC consultants escorting the group facilitated individual contacts and discussions between members of the USSEC delegation and feed additives and feed manufacturing technology suppliers.
The training achieved its goals to educate customers in recent advances in feed additives. All the participants had a clear understanding about how more can be squeezed out from soybean meal and grains by the proper use of feed additives for improving the nutritive utilization by non-ruminant animals.
USSEC recently launched a post-harvest and fish hygiene study in Egypt. The study, which is being carried out by Megapesce, aims to improve the market opportunities for Egyptian aquaculture products. Currently, Egypt ranks eighth globally in terms of aquaculture production. However, the post-harvest, cold chain, and processing infrastructure are minimal to non-existent, putting downward price pressure on Egyptian aquaculture products that have to sold in the spot market that operates entirely as fresh produce with no opportunities for freezing and processing, which typically allows the excess product to maintain value. Consequently, Egypt suffers from seasonality of supply.
This study will identify opportunities to increase the value for Egyptian aquaculture products by creating the means for extending the shelf life of fish and a sustainable price.
A fruitful meeting between USSEC and the U. S. Grains Council (USGC) was held in March 2017 at USGC’s regional office in Tunis, on invitation of Ramy Haj Taieb. Mr. Taieb was appointed as USGC’s new regional director for Africa and the Middle East in January 2017.
Mr. Taieb served as the trade manager of Poulina Group Holding, the largest ingredient and feed company in Tunisia, for about twenty years. In addition to being an important USSEC customer, he participated with USSEC, the American Soybean Association (ASA), and American Soybean Association – International Marketing (ASA-IM) in many events and trips to the United States. USSEC Consultant – Tunisia Dr. Riadh Karma, represented USSEC at this meeting. Mohamed Ali Hsayri, an experienced USGC consultant and assistant of the regional director, also attended the meeting.
The meeting provided an opportunity to share information on the Tunisian ingredient feed and animal production market, as well as current and future approaches for USGC and USSEC activities in Tunisia and in Maghreb. There was a detailed exchange on future events and activities in order to coordinate and improve the respective calendars for both cooperators’ activities, as well as customer choices for each event.
USSEC, together with the U.S. Grains Council (USGC), and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS), organized the 2017 Asia Grain Transportation Conference (GTC) in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
Mary Tarnowka, U.S. Consul General, U.S. Embassy, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, officially opened this year’s GTC at the Sheraton Saigon. The event received its highest turnout to date: over 230 participants from across the region and beyond, with 12 nationalities representing around 100 companies. A large delegation of U.S. Soy family members and stakeholders attended, comprised of soy grower leaders, U.S. exporters, speakers, and guests.
The North and South Dakota Qualified State Soybean Boards (QSSB) were the main sponsors of this year’s conference, represented by Mike Appert, vice chairman of the North Dakota Soybean Council, and Joshua Kayser, South Dakota Soybean Association director.
Mr. Kayser gave a presentation on “U.S. Growers Perspectives: U.S. Soybean Crop Production Outlook,” while Mr. Appert assisted in co-chairing the “U.S. Soy Supply – Ensuring Quality & Sustainability through the Value Chain” session during the Southeast Asia Soy Symposium, another USSEC major regional event that is strategically held back to back with the GTC (see following story).
A reception was held for sixteen U.S. grower leaders from eight states and other U.S. Soy Family representatives, which provided a positive message to the participants and also helped to draw the connection between U.S. growers with their destination markets even closer.
As a result of the collective efforts of the organizers, sponsors, supporters, U.S. Soy Industry representatives, and presenters that provided their expertise and insights, 92 percent of 132 respondents polled indicated that this year’s conference experience was between “high value” and “very high value.” The majority of participants rated the speakers highly with over 93 percent indicating their experience from “good” to “very good.” The presentations were broad ranging, yet in-depth with relevant discussions about key Asian markets, the global outlook for grain and soy, trends in ocean freight, and supply chains for food and agri-products. This year, the organizers introduced two special forum sessions, the “U.S. Ag Producers Forum” and “U.S. Ag Exporters Forum,” which were also very well received and attracted strong participation and responses from the participants. Since introducing the e-platform, Pigeonhole, five years ago to manage the questions and answer sessions for these events, the quality of participation and interaction has been outstanding.
Finally, as with every Grain Transportation Conference, the organizers put together a major success criterion, which is marked by the amount of U.S. agricultural products that this important U.S. ag marketing platform has been able to generate for U.S. Soy stakeholders. Based on written evaluations submitted, over 1.1 million metric tons (MMT) of U.S. agricultural products were traded or negotiated at this year’s event. About 600,000 metric tons (MT) of U.S. soybeans and soybean meal were reportedly transacted or equivalent to about 25 million bushels of soybeans. In addition, over half a million metric ton (MMT) of U.S. corn, distiller’s dried grains with solubles (DDGS), and wheat were also transacted at the conference.
Vietnam is one of the world’s fastest growing markets for soy because of rapid economic growth and rising population. I gave a presentation this morning on the global soy supply and demand situation. This afternoon I moderated a panel discussion of U.S. farmers attending the meeting. I am very impressed with those attending and with the positives happening in this country. Vietnam ostensibly remains a communist country, but you would not realize it because of all of the capitalism happening here. Great, growing market for U.S. Soy.
-USSEC consultant John Baize
The organizers sincerely thank the North Dakota Soybean Council, South Dakota Soybean Research and Promotion Council, Minnesota Soybean Research and Promotion Council, Kentucky Soybean Association, corporate sponsors, and industry supporters for making the Asia Grain Tranportation Conference a resounding success.
The 12th Southeast Asia Soy Sympoisum (SFS), organized by USSEC Southeast Asia (SEA), was held on March 23 and 24 in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. The 12th Symposium was attended by 115 participants from SEA, the U.S., and Japan, comprising key soy food and beverage industry personnel, soybean traders, and related stakeholders. The one-day symposium was preceded by a half-day invitation-only workshop on Enhancing Soy Products Innovations to Meet Health and Market Trends, for a select group of soy food and beverage producers from the region.
As with previous series of this annual 1.5 day regional soy food event, the back-to-back strategic arrangement with the SEA Grains Transportation Conference (GTC), enabled the cross participation of attendees, and the benefits of the high level presence of U.S. Soy grower leaders as well as the support of several qualified state soybean boards (QSSBs) and food grade soybean suppliers, who took the opportunity to meet and network with regional customers and producers, and to establish trade deals as well as gain updates on the markets development in the region.
Collectively accounting for 25 percent of the world’s total soyfood consumption, ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations, the group of 10 SEA countries) is also one of the largest importer of U.S. soybeans for food uses, with an estimated 2.5 million metric tons (MMT) out of the 3.6 MMT per year imported into the region designated for soy food and beverage utilization. Of this amount, Indonesia alone accounted for close to 2 MMT of the regional import, almost all targeted for the domestic production and consumption of tempe and tofu.
Additionally, SEA is a developing market for U.S. food grade identity preserved (IP) soybeans, with about 40,000 – 50,000 MT being imported annually in recent years, to meet the growing demand of quality soyfood for the modern trade food and beverage industry. The joint GTC and SFS events were important platform for U.S. suppliers to build business networks and negotiate trade deals, as gleaned from the pooled survey on transaction negotiated reported in the GTC story.
Gerald Smith, Senior Agriculture Attache at the U.S. Consulate General, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, delivered the opening speech and welcomed the delegates to the 2017 Soy Symposium with the theme of “Soy Insight – Sustainability, Nutrition and Innovation.” The symposium aimed to provide the status and latest updates on U.S. food use and specialty soybeans suppliers, sustainable farm practices and technological solutions, in addition to information on soy health benefits, products trends and innovations that spur soybean consumption and market growth in this important regional market for U.S. Soy.
The first session on “U.S. Soy Supply – Ensuring Quality and Sustainability Through the Value Chain” was co-chaired by Mike Appert, vice chairman of the North Dakota Soybean Council and Timothy Loh, USSEC Regional Director – SEA. The three speakers from the U.S. included Will McNair, USSEC Stakeholder Relations Manager, who presented on the outlook of U.S. food soybean supplies and shared how through the dependable production of U.S. food soybean and the U.S. Soy Sustainability Assurance Protocol (SSAP), importers of U.S. soybeans and foods are able to create more value for themselves by continuing to differentiate from their competitors. USSEC director Aaron Skyberg of SK Food International and member of the Northern Food Grade Soybean Association (NFGSA), shared the quality traits and Identify Preserved (IP) soybean supply system that catered to the needs and target soybean characteristics sought by soy food and beverage producers through a stringent on farm practices, supply and transportation through the container trade that ensure the identity and quality preservation in delivery to the customers through the containers trade, as reinforced in the presentation by Lucas Blaustein of Consolidated Grains and Barge.
Dr. Anne Bridges of the American Association of Cereal Chemists (AACC) International and Professor Paul Teng of the Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, during their presentations at the second session of the symposium, emphasized that a sustainable food supply is critical to feed the growing global population and at the same time respond to demands for healthy and nutritious food. Plant breeders work with multiple technologies to provide new advanced crop options for increased yields, excellent environmental management, adaptations to climate change, as well as improved use of insecticides and herbicides and attention to quality attributes. Knowledge and adoption of these technologies, once approved, would help ensure a sufficient, safe, and sustainable agricultural global supply chain.
The session ended with an update on the status of food use soybean markets in SEA, presented by USSEC Human Utilization Manager, Dr. Dady Maskar from Indonesia, on behalf of Boon Yee Yeong, Senior Technical Consultant, Human Utilization, USSEC SEA. The presentation shared data from the region, which points to continuing growth in demand for soy for food uses. U.S. Soy has been recognized to play an important role and contribution to the nutritional well being of large population sectors who consume soyfood and beverage on daily basis. With soybean production of less than a million metric tons in key SEA countries, sustainable food security in the near future in ASEAN will continue to depend on managing the balance in food supply between self-production and imports from outside the region.
The third and fourth sessions of the symposium comprised the remaining 8 of the total 14 papers in this symposium. The sessions’ topics ranged from current soyfood trends, scientific updates and consumer perceptions on soy, and how these factors confluence to influence purchase. Presenters shared experience on how the soy industry responds to their specific market requirements through innovative approaches and product innovation. Examples from two successful market leaders in Singapore and Vietnam, as well as a sharing of market status and development in two countries outside of SEA, Japan and India namely, were among the very interesting and valuable stories of experience sharing.
The focus program with the diverse topics that covered the pertinent interests of the target audience earned a high appreciation and positive evaluation from the survey conducted among the attendees. Of the 71 returned survey questionnairs, more than 90 percent rated the program to be of high value and relevant to their work, and 85 percent were in positive agreement to the overall statements on both the instrinsic characteristics and extrinsic characteristics of U.S. Soy and soy protein. For those producers or traders not currently purchasing U.S. Soy, the knowledge gap on the U.S. Soy Advantage was shown to be narrowed after the participants attended the Symposium. 24 of the regional respondents in the trade indicated they are currently buyers or users of U.S. Soy with another 10 indicating that they plan to purchase U.S. Soy within the next 6 months.
Besides the full day symposium held on March 24, several of the U.S. Soy grower leaders and food soybean suppliers were invited to visit the newly opened state-of-the art soymilk plant of Vinasoy near Ho Chi Minh City. Vinasoy is the largest soymilk producer in Vietnam. While local soybeans have been their main source of supply, they have started exploring importing food soybeans from the U.S. and Canada.
The half day workshop, “Enhancing Soy Products Innovation to Meet Current Nutrition and Market Trends,” was held on the afternoon of March 23 for a select group of soy food and beverage producers, facilitated by experts in the field of nutrition, product development, and marketing. At the end of the workshop, three innovative product concepts were developed and proposed by the participants which showcased the versatility of soy in meeting target health requirements and consumer interest in innovative soy products.
Last week, USSEC organized an innovative protein purchasing seminar in Madrid, Spain. Major southern European soy importers, traders, and end users met with the objective of talking about issues related to the soy market and other protein markets. Seminar subjects included: production, logistics, markets, trade, industry, flows, price building, sustainability, GMOs, customer preferences, quality differentiation in relation with production origins, and risk management, among others.
This meeting was organized for the Spanish and Portuguese industry. USSEC will hold similar seminars in other parts of Europe, building on the success in the Southern Europe market.
The session took place over a day and a half. Course attendees included feed industry representatives, soy crushers, and importers. In total, 80 people representing nearly 100 percent of the industry participated, including representatives from the main feed and meat industry such as Vall Company, Nutreco, Coren, Coorporación Agropecuaria, the Guissona, and many more. Soy crushers such as Bunge and Cargill, Sovena and all importers, Cofco, Gavilon, Nidera, Dreyfus also attended. The Spanish soy crush industry is one of the three biggest in the European Union.
USSEC consultants Dr. Gonzalo G. Mateos, Dr. Jan Van Eys, and Lola Herrera spoke about the quality and sustainability of U.S. Soy, U.S. Soy farming, and soy value by production origin. Rory Deverell and Thomas Deevy from FCStone talked about the markets and risk management, while Bunge’s Javier Masso spoke about the import and soy crush industry in Europe, including Spain and Portugal. Vasco Tamagnini from Sovena gave a presentation about the crush of other proteins, and Pedro Ruiz from Altura discussed the exchange rate between the U.S. dollar and the euro.
Rounding out the discussion on proteins, several EU soy end users of soybean meal including the purchasing manager of Vall Companys, the main pork producer in Europe, Sebastia Arnau and a representative of French soy buyers Antoine Rebouding from Feed Alliance participated. Also staff form Bunge and Cargill in Geneva presented their Risk Management tools.
During this course, USSEC demonstrated the importance of quality, quality by origin, and the U.S. Soy Advantage to the Spanish and Portuguese industry. Attendees were also introduced to the sustainability of U.S. Soy, which is critical as the importance of sustainability in Southern Europe continues to grow.
USSEC participated in the 2017 Seafood Expo North America/Seafood Processing North America in Boston, Massachusetts from March 17 -21.
On March 17, USSEC held its Aquaculture Advisory Council Meeting. Attendees heard a summary of USSEC’s aquaculture program, key issues, and council strategy recommendations. The first council meeting was reviewed, along with USSEC’s implementation of recommended strategies, followed by a discussion of strategy implementation.
Sector updates were provided for many topics, including: shrimp; marine fish; freshwater fish; aquafeed; sustainability certification; basic research; and applied research. A discussion about industry challenges and opportunities, “What Can the Soy Industry Do to Best Move the Needle Forward?” followed.
American Soybean Association (ASA) director Jeff Sollars and United Soybean Board (USB) director Robert White traveled to Boston to participate in the Seafood Expo North America from March 19-21.
According to its website, Seafood Expo North America/Seafood Processing North America is North America’s largest seafood exposition. Thousands of buyers and suppliers from around the world attend the annual, three-day exposition to meet, network and do business. Attending buyers represent importers, exporters, wholesalers, restaurants, supermarkets, hotels, and other retail and foodservice companies. Exhibiting suppliers offer the newest seafood products, processing and packaging equipment, and services available in the seafood market.
The USSEC booth promoted the inclusion of U.S. Soy products in aquafeed.
USSEC held the Japan Swine Nutrition Course at the IGP Institute at Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kansas from March 6-9. Japan is one of the top pork importers in the world, and participants attended specialized training in swine nutrition and feed manufacturing programs.
During the course, participants learned about numerous nutrition components and requirements, as well as feed manufacturing through workshops, lectures, and field trips. Participants were invited and sponsored by USSEC to gain their knowledge of both subjects of feed manufacturing and swine nutrition.
“This course has been organized by USSEC, but was funded by the Kansas Soybean Commission, where this year they have helped us bring in eight Japanese participants,” explained Carlos Campabadal, course coordinator and IGP’s feed manufacturing and grain management curriculum manager.
“I really enjoyed learning about new areas in swine nutrition in this course, and I can take back to my job all of the concepts of nutrition, which is a new idea I can share with my company,” said course participant, Mayumi Fukushima, farm manager at Japan Farm in Japan. Ms. Fukushima explains that she is also very satisfied with the course material that she learned and then traveling to the commercial swine farm and applying the information to a visual perspective of learning.
“It is a very good course for participants to learn about feed manufacturing techniques for swine one day, basic swine nutrition another day, and then taking a trip to visit commercial feed mills and a grain and soybean export facility, seeing how soybeans are exported in truck containers,” stated Mr. Campabadal.
By Jim Sutter, USSEC CEO
At USSEC, one of our key functions is to differentiate and build preference for U.S. Soy with buyers around the world. U.S. Soy enjoys several intrinsic and extrinsic advantages, but there is always a need for continuous improvement. That is where the High Yield PLUS Quality (HY+Q) program comes in. HY+Q gets both growers and seed companies to think more about selecting and producing varieties of soybeans that will deliver high yields and high quality together, keeping U.S. Soy moving along the path of continuous improvement.
What exactly is meant by “high quality?” At a high level, soybeans are generally grown to supply meal and oil, so we are talking about high quality meal and oil attributes.
Soybean meal buyers have historically looked at protein content as an overall view of the nutritional value of the product and look for as high a protein content as possible. As nutritionists do their formulations, they look deeper into the content of the various amino acids in the meal, so eventually these characteristics are a key consideration to livestock producers. Meal also contains constituents such as sucrose that supply energy to the animal – this also has value. As HY+Q does their analysis to determine “high quality” beans, all of these factors will need to be considered as various varieties are evaluated.
The United Soybean Board (USB) has started using the term “nutritional bundle,” which encompasses all the things that soybean meal users actually value: protein, amino acids, and energy content. USSEC’s goal is to have U.S. Soy known to contain the highest quality meal, as this helps us to differentiate and build preference.
Soybean oil buyers generally look for a product that will allow them to refine it with minimal losses and costs. Factors such as free fatty acid value, peroxide value, and color are key considerations. Another key consideration with regard to oil is the actual oil content in the bean; oil is almost always valued higher than meal, making crushers interested in a bean with a high oil content. As in the case of meal, USSEC’s goal is to have U.S. soybeans known as containing the optimal quantity and quality oil.
Determining “high quality” isn’t necessarily a simple process, but the HY+Q team is putting good parameters together and raising awareness of the need to produce a soybean that has not only a high quantity yield, but also a high quality yield. Additionally, there are differences due to regional and climatic variation – this adds to the complexity, but also provides a reason to keep it simple.
Getting everyone in the U.S. Soy industry to work together with a goal of growing the best quality beans possible is the purpose of HY+Q. Those beans will be different in different locales, but the goal is to have everyone working to hit the highest quality possible for his or her farm. Doing this should ensure that buyers from around the world seek out U.S. Soy as their preferred option when it comes to soybean supply – this will add value to the overall crop and to each grower’s bottom line.
Did you know that U.S. Soy has a dedicated You Tube channel?
USSOY.org’s You Tube channel features videos dedicated to building a preference for U.S. Soy. Playlist topics include Sustainability; U.S. Soy Farming; Sustainable U.S. Soy; From the Field: Exploring the World of U.S. Soy; U.S. Soy Customers; Subject Matter Experts; USSEC Market Perspectives; and Aquaculture. These topics are presented by a variety of experts from grower leaders to U.S. Soy Global Trade Exchange speakers.
To visit, click here.
A diversified team of Moroccan delegates representing the feed, poultry, dairy, and oil industries attended the 5th U.S. Soy Regional Trade Exchange –European Union (EU) / Middle East – North African (MENA) held in Lisbon, Portugal from February 8 -10.
Representatives from the leading poultry integrators, the largest feed mill, a dairy cooperative, and a vegetable oil refiner had the opportunity to meet other professional buyers from the greater region, along with traders and U.S. suppliers. This year’s edition of the trade exchange welcomed a number of attendees from several markets with great success, partially attributed to the high level and quality of all participants including customers, experts, USSEC and grower leaders’ representatives, that help to protect U.S. Soy’s market share in Morocco.
The Moroccan team’s participation in USSEC events reflects the importance of the U.S. as a major supplier of high quality soybeans and soy products. USSEC teams, consultants, and staff assisted professionals to learn more about the organization, the U.S. Soy value chain, and its world position.
The main factors impacting demand for U.S. Soy as a key ingredient in animal feed were among the issues discussed during interactions between suppliers and buyers.
Morocco has been able to maintain its place in the top ten U.S. Soy export markets for soybean meal and soy oil and remains the leading consumer of U.S. Soy products in the MENA region with a soybean meal market estimated at over 600,000 tons. Its imports include U.S. soybean meal, hulls, oil, and beans adding up to a total bean equivalent of nearly 600,000 tons per year.
Poultry remains the main market driver with about 19 kilograms (kg) of poultry meat consumed per capita and an average annual growth of 5 to 7 percent through modern structured emerging integrations.
USSEC continues to support animal industries in Morocco through targeted programs strengthening the U.S. as a major supplier of high-quality soybeans and products, highlighting the strength and intrinsic advantages of the whole soybean value chain. All team members had a higher understanding of soybean meal differentiation based on origin.
In Sri Lanka, USSEC has had two significant landmarks that helped obtain market access for U.S. Soy: the acceptance of genetically modified (GM) soybean meal for use in animal feeds and a zero customs tariff for imports.
In 2008, Dr. Athula Mahamage was appointed as USSEC’s Sri Lanka country representative and his concerted efforts with local influencers and policy makers helped lead to these accomplishments. As a result of this and the continued tech and trade efforts by Dr. Athula, the U.S. Soy industry has enjoyed a steady increase in the soybean meal market share in Sri Lanka. The country imported about 220,000 metric tons (MT) of soy meal in 2015/16, of which 70 percent is U.S. soybean meal.
However, markets change, policies get altered, and government rules are amended. Caught in one such transformation was the reversal of customs duty on soybean meal that was notified by the Sri Lankan Government in November 2016. The duty, which was set at 15 percent, put Dr. Athula and his team (members of the animal husbandry, finance ministry, and trade associations in the livestock and poultry industry) on alert. They worked strategically to bring the duty down to 5 percent in December 2016. As a next step, the team convinced the authorities at the finance ministry on the importance of soybean meal, which supports a growing poultry/animal feed industry in the country and has successfully gotten soybean meal listed in the Gazette Notification as an “exempted item” for customs duty. Competitiveness for U.S. soybean meal entering Sri Lanka was hampered slightly but has been successfully restored back to its original state.
Market access is a priority area for USSEC’s global market reach. Constraints of different natures exist in different countries and some issues may even crop up from nowhere like the one cited here. Continued efforts in this area ensure markets for U.S. Soy.
USSEC, in collaboration with Assalzoo (Italian Feed Association) and FCStone, recently held a risk management course in Verona, Italy.
25 people representing the Italian feed industry and soy crushers and importers attended the course, representing more than 70 percent of the industry. Participants from the main feed and meat production industry included the Veronesi Group and the Amadori and Martini Group. Italy’s feed industry produces nearly 13 millions tons annually, plus feed on farm, importing 2.2 million tons of soybean meal; the crush industry represents 2 million tons.
The objective of the course was to improve knowledge of risk management in the feed industry related to raw material used. Jaime Nolan Miralles and Rory Deverell, from FCStone Ireland, gave several presentations and provided tools for participants to apply in their businesses to better control their risk.
For these types of events, USSEC stresses the quality and sustainability of U.S. Soy. Brent Babb, USSEC Regional Director – European Union (EU) / Middle East – North Africa (MENA) discussed “The Sustainability of U.S. Soy” and Lola Herrera, USSEC South Europe consultant, presented “USSEC’s Compromise with the Italian Market” that explained USSEC’s projects in Italy and “Soybean Meal Replacement from Different Origins, Taking Quality into Account,” to highlight the added value of U.S. Soy.
USSEC hosted the Advanced Poultry Nutrition & Feed Manufacturing Seminar in Warsaw, Poland on March 20 and 21 for top Polish professionals involved in commercial poultry feed manufacturing. The majority of the audience represented major feed compounders operating in Poland, including Cargill, DeHeus, Wipasz, Golpasz, Piast, Ekoplon, and Tasomix, along with some smaller, but quality-oriented companies such as Neorol, Nutripol, Lira, ETOS, and Pasze BIOS.
Because the event was jointly organized by USSEC with the Polish Grain & Feed Chamber, Jerzy W. Kosieradzki, USSEC Technical Director – Northeast Europe, and Anna Zymerman, the Chamber’s Secretary General, welcomed the audience. Mr. Kosieradzki also introduced the participants to USSEC, its goals, and its activities.
A trio of renowned scientists and commercial specialists from Spain and Norway shared their knowledge: Dr. Gonzalo Mateos, professor of animal science at the University of Madrid; Dr. Birger Svihus, University of Life Sciences in Oslo, Norway; and Mr. Juan Acedo-Rico, Acedo & Associates, Spain.
Dr. Mateos spoke about the relationship between soybean meal’s physical properties, anti-nutritional factors, and their effects on birds’ performance. He later explained the factors affecting egg production in layers and how to influence broiler production with nutritional changes.
Dr. Svihus presented ways to optimize crop and gizzard functions through structural components and feeding management, later moving to influencing feed efficiency, litter quality, and gut health to eventually focus on how to adjust feed processing for maximum pellet durability.
Mr. Acedo-Rico added the engineering side of the picture by explaining efficient poultry feed manufacturing and the importance of diet meal conditioning for hygienic feed production, as well as grinding strategies at the feed mill for achieving adequate particle size.
After two days of lectures and discussions, the Polish audience was highly appreciative of the professional merit of the event and cutting edge know-how support provided to them by U.S. Soy.
USSEC attended the National Conference of the Romanian Feed Manufacturers Association, hosted by Smithfield, on March 16 and 17 in Timisoara City, Romania. Over 80 industry delegates and 10 foreign speakers from European and U.S. organizations participated in this event.
The USSEC delegation included American Soybean Association (ASA) vice president Bret Davis and United Soybean Board (USB) director David Iverson, and USSEC Regional Director – European Union (EU) / Middle East – North Africa (MENA) Brent Babb who traveled to Romania with the goal to increase awareness of U.S. Soy and promote sustainable U.S. Soy among members of the Romanian Feed Manufacturer Association.
After a brief introduction of USSEC provided by Mr. Babb, Mr. Davis spoke on “U.S. Soybeans’ Sustainability and Biotechnology” and Mr. Iverson discussed “U.S. Soy Outlook for 2017.” Both presentations were well-received by the audience and fit the conference agenda entitled “Security, Safety, and Sustainability for Increasing Competitiveness of the Feed Industry.”
In addition to the sustainability presentations made by the keynote speakers from USSEC, DSM, and Smithfield Romania, the audience was exposed to presentations approaching new sustainable feed products including extruded linseed or feed additives such as soy chelates. The event also provided the delegates with insight on the latest trends in raw materials, feed additives, and feed manufacturing, besides creating ample opportunities for feed companies and suppliers to interact and network.
USSEC Animal Utilization Consultant – Romania Dr. Iani Chihaia, acting as a facilitator for this event stated, “The solid presence and support of USSEC confirms our belief that the local feed and livestock industries will expand in the near future. We hope that the Feed Association will continue to serve as a platform for the industry players that allows our members to grow and implement the latest standards in safe and sustainable production.”
During the second day of the event, participants were invited to tour Smithfield’s Ferme Feed Mill, located in Vinga, Arad County. Over 60 people had the chance to take a tour to the largest and uniquely American-designed and -engineered feed mill in the country. The plant is an example of a feed manufacturer being able to produce different feeds under the latest safe and sustainable feed industry standards.
According to an ANFNC press release about the event, the conference in Timisoara was by far the best meeting of the feed association since its inception. Romanian representatives who attended and listened to the presentations were truly impressed with Smithfield’s overall organization, the quality of speakers and presentations, and the networking opportunities.
As for the foreign speakers and sponsors of the conference, the event allowed them to get a better understanding of the Romanian feed and livestock actual reality and potential for progress and expansion. It clearly showed the opportunities and potential that exists in this particular market for growth in livestock production and, consequently, the use of sustainable feed additives and manufacturing technologies, with U.S. Soy being one of the key products in this regard. Even though Romania is not one of the largest soy markets in Europe, its livestock and feed industries are growing and set a good example for other Eastern European countries to develop their industries.
Having USSEC delegates participating and giving speeches at the conference and offering support over the past several years for the development of ANFNC, as a strong professional organization and professional forum, is probably one of the most important success stories on how U.S. Soy farmers are committed to building relationships with European industry professionals and end users. USSEC will continue its promotional efforts to accompany the growth of this market and to position U.S. products in this market.
American Soybean Association (ASA) vice president Bret Davis and United Soybean Board (USB) director David Iverson traveled to Romania during the third week of March to visit with key soy importers and end users, including Bunge Romania, Banvit Romania, Combial – Bona Avis, Fatrom Swine Integration, and Smithfield Ferme. The delegation also visited the Animal Nutrition Research Institute (IBNA) to meet with shareholders, executives, and technical staff from customer companies. USSEC Regional Director European Union (EU) / Middle East-North Africa (MENA) Brent Babb joined the delegation and USSEC Animal Utilization Consultant – Romania Dr. Iani Chihaia escorted the group for the field visits.
The main goal of the grower leaders’ mission was to convey a strong message on the U.S. Soy Advantage and demonstrate the commitment of U.S. Soy farmers to the growing feed and livestock industries in Romania.
The week began with an informative meeting with Monica Dobrescu, Ag Specialist at Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) – Bucharest. Currently, Romania is the second largest EU 27 producer of maize and the top producers of sunflower seeds. With fertile soils and access to technologies, the country is producing annually over 20,000 metric tons (MT) of these products, but still exporting over 60 percent of the cereals and importing about half of the pork meat. The pork meat deficit and growing demand for animal products from the domestic and export markets has attracted several local and foreign investments (U.S., China, Denmark Holland, Turkey, Greece, and Switzerland) in the swine, poultry, and beef industries.
The delegation of U.S. Soy farmers had a tight and intensive program of visits, which gave them the chance to discover and understand Romania, one of the most important agriculture producing countries in Europe. Field visits were informative and allowed them to get a better understanding of the local farming sector, the reality of the feed and livestock industries, and the potential for progress and expansion. This helped the grower leaders to understand the opportunities and potential that exists in the Romanian market for growth in animal production and consequently, in the use of U.S. Soy products.
Continuing to support U.S. Soy customers will assist the development of this market and better position U.S. Soy products, especially because the companies and people visited during the week were very positive toward USSEC and U.S. Soy, standing to reason that the extra effort in supporting the current developments will deliver major returns in the near future.
USSEC hosted a one-day seminar in Bucharest during the first week of March for Romanian and Bulgarian nutritionists and feed mill managers with the goal to emphasize the efficient use and processing of U.S. Soy quality.
Through the papers presented at the seminar, consultants delivered a strong and clear take-home message: U.S. soybean amino acids’ digestibility and energy higher values advantages can better solve challenges of balancing feeds, high animal performances, and profitability. In addition, U.S. Soy farmers, as trusted suppliers, are able to supply the needs of today’s European feed industry for sustainably sourced ingredients.
“The audience enjoyed the information about relationship between soybean meal physical properties, anti-nutritional factors, and effects on animal performances,” stated USSEC consultant Dr. Gonzalo Mateos, professor of animal science at the University of Madrid, Spain. “There were very good interactions with participants regarding soybean meal attributes: particle size and particle size distribution, bulk density, color, trypsin inhibitors, urease and solubility indexes and how these properties impacts poultry and pigs performances. Several studies have been demonstrated that U.S. soybean meal is by far a superior ingredient compared to other origins soybean meals.”
Prior to and after the event, USSEC consultants Dr. Mateos, Dr. Birger Svihus, and Dr. Juan Acedo were escorted by USSEC Animal Utilization Consultant – Romania Dr. Iani Chihaia on field visits, with the goal of meeting soy end users and looking at the challenges that they are facing and how USSEC can provide solutions and maximize demand for U.S. Soy.
By the end of the activity, technical people from companies visited and seminar participants gained more knowledge about U.S. Soy’s positive attributes and, in this way, preference for U.S. Soy continues to be built.
The 5th regional Europe Union / Middle East – North Africa (EU/MENA) Soy Trade Exchange was held in Lisbon, Portugal, gathering almost 180 participants from roughly 40 countries.
The opening speeches and conference materials reminded the audience that soy products are the number one U.S. agricultural exports valued at over $20 billion with nearly 60 percent of total U.S. soybean production exported last year. Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa largely contributed to this export success. The U.S. Soy industry appreciates the partnership with the countries and companies represented in the audience.
The conference covered a number of topics that highlighted the developments and challenges central to the international and local soy markets and agricultural landscape. Major industry experts and senior trade representatives from Europe and MENA, including northeast Europe, attended the event and addressed many key topics. The participants showed real interest in learning about the latest developments in the soy markets, risk management, sustainability and quality.
In addition, the planned social and networking activities provided ample opportunities to develop and strengthen the relationships between the customers and key members of the U.S. soybean industry and explore real business opportunities.
Among the audience, USSEC had six customers representing leading commodity trading companies and feed compounders in the northeast European sub region who enjoyed the professional sessions and the whole conference.
Agnieszka Kotarska of Glencore-Poland said, “Thank you, USSEC, for having us at this highly professional and super interesting event. I am sure my Polish and Hungarian colleagues agree with me that the firsthand information gathered here and personal contact with many experts and industry members from the U.S., Europe, and other countries will be beneficial in our work in the months to come. We think it was a great event!”
These customers also valued the organizers providing all the presentations to them after the conference, calling it “unique” in the convention business.
USSEC staff and local regional consultants also held the event in high regard. USSEC Technical Director for Northeast Europe Jerzy Kosieradzki stated, “It was probably the best of all of the regional trade conference we had ever had in Europe/MENA Region. The presentations on soy markets and macroeconomic perspective were especially valuable and considered first class.”
The Lisbon Trade Exchange also confirmed that the earlier strategic decision made in the hosting region to reduce USSEC’s Europe/MENA customers presence at the U.S. Soy Global Trade Exchanges, while focusing instead on the regional buyers’ conferences every second year and clearly targeted team trips to the U.S., was a good decision.
USSEC’s aquaculture program in Southeast Asia is the centerpiece of SeafoodSource.com’s story, “Offshore Aquaculture Taking Off in Southeast Asia.” USSEC Aquaculture Program Lead Technical Consultant – SEA Lukas Manomaitis recently spoke to the publication about training and promotion programs to promote the use of U.S. Soy in aquaculture in key producing countries including Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.
Mr. Manomaitis discussed rising interest in offshore aquaculture, which species have the best potential for offshore aquaculture, and the growth in offshore cage aquaculture, among other topics.
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