USSEC is partnering with several aquafeed manufacturers in Vietnam to create a demand for U.S. Soy in aquafeed there.
USSEC began its cooperation with market leader Proconco in 2013. As a market leader in the Pangasius (Vietnamese catfish) feed industry, Proconco had enjoyed its market leadership for a decade. Starting in 2008, however, Pangasius exports began facing trade barriers, with increases in feed costs and low growout survival rates. Proconco and many other feed companies started to consider marine fish feed as a potential niche market. Producing marine fish feed with high protein and fat content is not as simple as the relatively low protein and fat feeds used for Pangasius. Extruded marine pellet feeds needed a minimum starch level to float, which was now more difficult if protein and fat had to be increased as well. Furthermore, because the nutritional requirements for marine fish species are totally different from freshwater fish, a good experience with production and use of Pangasius feed didn’t necessarily mean success with marine fish feeds.
USSEC’s partnership with Proconco started with a feeding demonstration project using Asian sea bass. Through cooperation on this and the demonstrations that followed, USSEC was able to guide Proconco on the correct use of extrusion technology to produce marine fish floating feed with USSEC soy-optimized formulations. U.S. Soy products such as soy protein concentrate, soybean meal, and, in particular, soy lecithin, were applied to the diets. Additionally, Proconco now can use the USSEC-led Asian Aquaculture Feed Formulation Database (AAFFD) to formulate feed for other marine fish species as well. With the experience from the collaborative demonstrations, and having moved to practical commercial products, Proconco has started to sell 10 metric tons (MT) of marine fish feed per month as a first successful step into this new market.
A similar cooperation effort in Northern Vietnam between USSEC and Kinh Bac Feedmill, working with Asian sea bass demonstrations and marine soy-optimized feeds, has helped farmers in the Thai Binh province to switch from using so-called “trash fish” (ground-up bycatch) to formulated floating feed. Farmers learned that complete feed with U.S. Soy products helps them to maintain pond water quality with low mortality and less labor required for feed management.
USSEC projects funded by U.S. Soy growers have significantly promoted sustainable aquaculture in Vietnam. Fewer “trash fish” are being used and more U.S. Soy products were applied. Feedmills are recognizing U.S. Soy as a sustainable and responsible choice for feed applications.
Having achieved U.S. soybean farmer strategic goals for market growth, the American Soybean Association’s (ASA) World Initiative for Soy in Human Health (WISHH) transitioned its Bangladesh country programs to USSEC.
“Demand for U.S. soy protein has taken off in this South Asian country that is the eighth most populous country in the world,” said WISHH Program Committee Chairman Lucas Heinen, a Kansas soybean grower. “Soybean growers planned for such success when they created WISHH as a trailblazer for trade through long-term demand building in developing countries.”
“We are excited by Bangladesh’s potential. There is real opportunity in this market for U.S. Soy, as poultry and fish consumption continue to rise,” stated USSEC Chairman Laura Foell.
Bangladesh is home to more than 168 million people and has a rapidly growing middle-class economy. The country has purchased more than $500 million of U.S. Soy in the last five years with purchases accelerating in the last couple of years.
The U.S. Soy Family has been conducting programs in Bangladesh since 1999 with WISHH taking the lead since 2010. Through their checkoff programs, state soybean organizations supported WISHH’s work in Bangladesh, which has included a variety of educational programs with food companies and their trade associations. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) programs also played a key role in introducing the benefits of soy protein to the South Asian market. USDA funding aided WISHH in forging key relationships with organizations such as the Bangladesh Auto Biscuit and Bread Manufacturer’s Association that signed a February 2015 agreement to conduct soy flour baking trials under a USDA Quality Samples Program. USSEC will now build on WISHH’s work in Bangladesh, and will work in both the feed and food sectors.
Pakistan, the sixth most populous country in the world, is the next market that WISHH will transition to USSEC. Planning and coordination discussions have begun for a 2017 transfer.
USSEC’s Moms to China program is making its third trip to that country this week.
The Moms Advocating for GM Technology In China (MAGIC) III meetings are taking place from December 14-18.
In September 2014, USSEC sent four female agriculture representatives to China to forge connections with Chinese moms about the safety of GMO soybeans. The second USSEC delegation visited China from February 2-5, 2015 to participate in another series of meetings with their Chinese counterparts.
This time, the team of International Soy Growers Alliance (ISGA) members representing farm women and moms includes United Soybean Board (USB) director Nancy Kavazanjian, CommonGround volunteer Dawn Scheier, and Pilu Giraudo of Argentina. The women are in China to meet with Chinese social media key opinion leaders (KOLs) to discuss the safety of biotechnology; organize a town hall meeting with a science-based online platform to discuss the safety of biotechnology; and create video footage from the town hall meeting that will be used on the Chinese language ISGA website.
This visit is expected to help generate hundreds of thousands of website views sending a positive message of the safety of biotechnology with the ability to leverage those views and demonstrate to Chinese government officials the commitment of the ISGA soybean growers to support their efforts to communicate the safety of biotechnology to the Chinese public.
USB director and Freedom to Operate (FTO) Action Team chair Bill Beam, American Soybean Association (ASA) treasurer Davie Stephens, and USSEC Marketing Director – Animal Nutrition/Meal Pam Helmsing traveled to China to participate in an FTO trade mission and attended the 2015 U.S.-China Poultry Industry Forum and American Chamber of Commerce (AMCHAM) Annual Seminar and Appreciation Dinner in Beijing from November 30 through December 5. The purpose of the mission was to engage Chinese policy influencers.
The team attended the U.S.-China Poultry Industry Forum, which was co-organized by USSEC. This year’s theme was Consumption & Promotion and Trade & Cooperation and the event provided in-depth discussion on the poultry production model, consumption promotion, latest advancements and other industry innovations to facilitate industry exchange and win-win cooperation between the two countries. USSEC Country Director – China Zhang Xiaoping and Mr. Stephens provided opening remarks and Mr. Beam gave a welcoming toast at dinner, in addition to providing closing remarks at the conference.
In his opening speech, Mr. Stephens described the U.S. Soy industry as a longtime partner to Chinese industries and talked about its commitment to China’s sustainable food security and food safety. Mr. Beam noted the importance of biotech approvals in a timely and transparent manner.
The USSEC team also visited customers, Sanhe Hopeful Grain & Oil Group and the Yangxiang Group before returning home.
The formation of the Indonesia Tempe Forum (ITF) and the idea of a model Tempe Production Centre, proposed by USSEC SE Asia in 2007, sowed the seeds of success that are now reflected in the nationally recognized House of Tempe, also known as Rumah Tempe, in Bogor, Indonesia.
Coordinated by ITF with support from USSEC, the project came to fruition in 2010 through a coalition of partners including a local soy trading company (FKS), Bogor KOPTI, and an NGO (Mercy Corp.), among others. Further support from state soybean boards in Minnesota and North Dakota have enabled Rumah Tempe to become the first hazard analysis and critical control points (HACCP) certified tempe production center in the country in 2013. Rumah Tempe not only produces tempe, but also serves as a training and promotion center for other tempe producers in the country wishing to learn and upgrade their products. Through the many ITF programs increasing the awareness and promotion of the benefits of soy and tempe consumption to target audiences, tempe has recently gained the status of a Codex Standards and is in the process of application to be recognized as an intangible cultural heritage of Indonesia by UNESCO. There are now several similar centers on the island of Java modeled after Rumah Tempe that serve local tempe producers.
Tempe is a unique fermented soy product consumed throughout Indonesia, especially among the Javanese. Between 1.5 to 2 million metric tons (MMT) of U.S. soybeans are imported into Indonesia annually for tempe production and consumption, and the U.S. has over a 90 percent market share of total soybean import. A highly nutritional fermented soy product, tempe is the major protein source for a large portion of Indonesia’s 250 million people on a daily basis. USSEC will continue to service and grow this important global market to maintain its position as the number one importer of U.S. Soy for food uses.
The United Soybean Board (USB) held its winter meetings in St. Louis last week, electing Jared Hagert of Emerado, North Dakota to lead the national soy checkoff in 2017. Mr. Hagert will be the first chair to implement the board’s new Long-Range Strategic Plan, which emphasizes soybean innovation for farmer profit opportunities, including continued high oleic development, soybean-meal-quality improvements and technological advances to maximize on-farm profitability.
“The best use of checkoff funds is to invest in programs that provide value back to all U.S. soybean farmers,” Mr. Hagert stated. “To maximize profit opportunities for our farmers, we need to look beyond the bushel and focus on our end users. Meeting their needs will help to drive demand for our crop now and in the future.”
The following farmer-leaders will be joining Mr. Hagert on the executive committee to oversee USB’s profit-building projects:
- USB Vice Chair: John Motter, Jenera, Ohio
- USB Secretary and Oil Target Area Coordinator: Jimmy Sneed, Hernando, Mississippi
- USB Treasurer: Delbert Christensen, Audubon, Iowa
- USB Past Chair: Bob Haselwood, Berryton, Kansas
- USB Meal Target Area Coordinator: Mike Beard, Frankfort, Indiana
- USB Sustainability Target Area Coordinator: Nancy Kavazanjian, Beaver Dam, Wisconsin
- USB Supply Action Team Lead: Bill Beam, Elverson, Pennsylvania
- USB Marketplace Action Team Lead: John Dodson, Halls, Tennessee
- USB Demand Action Team Lead: Lewis Bainbridge, Ethan, South Dakota
- USB Audit & Evaluation Committee Chair: Keith Tapp, Sebree, Kentucky
Members of the Strategic Management Committee (SMC) will ensure that program goals align with the checkoff’s strategic objectives. Farmer-leaders who will serve on the SMC include:
- SMC Chair: Bob Haselwood, Berryton, Kansas
- Delbert Christensen, Audubon, Iowa
- Larry Marek, Riverside, Iowa
- John Motter, Jenera, Ohio
- Ron Ohlde, Palmer, Kansas
- Jacob Parker, Columbia, North Carolina
In addition to electing a new slate of officers, 17 checkoff farmer-leaders were sworn in. Five of these directors are new to the board, with 12 returning.
USSEC congratulates the new USB officers and looks forward to continuing its work with USB to support the mission of the U.S. Soy family.
USSEC would like to congratulate the newly elected American Soybean Association (ASA) officers.
ASA held its winter board meetings in St. Louis last week with the ASA Board of Directors confirming Richard Wilkins, from Greenwood, Delaware, as its newest President. Outgoing President Wade Cowan of Brownfield, Texas, moves to the position of Chairman. Board members also elected Ron Moore of Roseville, Illinois, to serve as First Vice President, which places him in line to be the association’s president in 2017.
“These are an extremely important next few years for our industry,” Mr. Moore stated. “The soybean industry and agriculture as a whole will need continuity and strength in its leadership, and I’m excited to continue that here at ASA.”
Also elected to form ASA’s nine-member governing committee were Secretary John Heisdorffer from Keota, Iowa; and At-Large Governing Board Members Bret Davis of Delaware, Ohio; Kevin Hoyer of West Salem, Wiscosin; Kevin Scott of Valley Springs, South Dakota; and Sam Butler of New Hope, Alabama. Current Treasurer Davie Stephens of Wingo, Kentucky was elected to serve a second term in the same position.
Outgoing chairman Ray Gaesser of Corning, Iowa will rotate off the ASA governing committee but will remain on the ASA board for the remainder of his term as director.
“Helping to guide this organization has been a real joy for me, and I am proud of how far we’ve come,” said Mr. Gaesser, whose ASA presidency was marked by the successful passage of the 2014 Farm Bill.
“Ray deserves a great deal of credit for the strong advocacy ASA has provided for soybean farmers over the last three years, and we’re a better organization for it,” said Mr. Wilkins.
ASA’s meeting also served as a venue to celebrate the retirements of former president Steve Wellman of Nebraska, former treasurer Bob Henry of Kansas, and directors Dennis Bogaards of Iowa, John Rivers of South Carolina and Walter Godwin of Georgia.
Assuming positions on the Board as new members at the meeting are Charles Atkinson of Kansas, Cliff Barron of South Carolina, Ken Boswell of Nebraska, and Dean Coleman of Iowa. The meeting also represents the first ASA meeting for directors Pam Snelson of Oklahoma, and Steve Yoder, Jr., of Florida.
USSEC welcomes the new ASA officers and looks forward to continuing its work with ASA to further the mission of the U.S. Soy family.
USSEC hosted the annual U.S. Soy Buyers Outlook Conference in Tokyo, Japan on November 19-20. A total of 350 crushers, feed millers, soyfood processors, traders and media attended the two-day event.
Topics presented at this year’s conference included new crop quality; farm updates; introductions to examples of sustainability initiatives by Japanese companies; oilseeds market outlook; feed formulations; the Chinese soy market; and the U.S. Soy Sustainability Assurance Protocol (SSAP).
Additionally, seven U.S. food bean exporters exhibited at tabletop displays to showcase their new crop during the conference for food industry, including Clarkson Grain, DeLong, SK Food International, Scoular, and Neco Seed.
United Soybean Board (USB) treasurer John Motter and American Soybean Association (ASA) director Lawrence Sukalski traveled to Tokyo to participate in the conference. Other USSEC team members included USSEC consultants Dr. Seth Naeve and Dr. Jannes Doppenburg, along with USSEC Regional Director – North Asia Paul Burke.
The 2015 U.S. Soy Buyers Outlook Conference in Japan was sponsored by the Ohio Soybean Council, which was represented by Gretchen Mossberger and Katie Bauer.
United Soybean Board (USB) directors Jim Carroll (USB) and Rob Hanks (USB) traveled to the 1st Gastronomic Soy Food Fair in Bogota, Colombia on November 22. The event marked Colombia’s first food festival dedicated entirely to the soybean.
30 reporters from 23 media sources were invited to participate in the invitation-only event at the MNR Ediciones offices. The purpose of the fair was to educate and engage the media by hosting a cooking class where invitees could learn about the gastronomic qualities of soy in food preparation and the benefits of soy and soybean oil in human health.
USSEC Regional Representative – Americas Francisco de la Torre, who discussed the importance of the U.S. and Colombian soy industries with the press, attended the event. Renowned chef Catalina Velez also discussed the benefits of soy and soybean oil.
Coinciding with the introduction of a soy-based, multigrain dal maker in India’s third largest city, Chennai, USSEC conducted a promotional event on November 24 focused on increasing awareness and demonstrating multiple regional food product feasibility though a unique ‘do how’ program. About 150 participants representing the bulk-consuming segment including hotels, restaurants, catering and food service establishments, attended the event.
Dal is one of India’s most popular dishes. It is traditionally made of lentils, peas, or beans, which are split, dried and stripped of their hulls. It is often eaten with rice as a side dish or included in other dishes.
USSEC Director – India Soy Food Program Dr. M. M. Krishna addressed the participants and explained the important features of the soy-based multigrain dal maker in terms of its superior nutrition delivery and affordability besides its preeminent suitability for use as the base food in a variety of region specific food products such as sambar (dal soup with vegetables and spices) and dal with vegetables, in addition to other main dishes, starters and snack products. Mr. Awesh Jain, project head from Ruchi Soya Industries, communicated the unique manufacturing process as well as the rigid quality systems used in production. He also highlighted the market potential for the product, particularly as a source of affordable protein for the bottom of the pyramid population. The soy-based multigrain dal maker received the highest endorsement from a celebrity culinary expert and celebrated chef in Chennai. The head of Ruchi Soya’s sales-promoting company explained distribution arrangements to all the potential users.
The highlight of the event was a ‘do how’ show, given by the hotel’s executive chef and his team. They gave a step-by-step demonstration on preparing great tasting dishes based on soy-based multigrain dal maker. The products included regional specialties such as sambar, vegetable dal, dal vada (a deep fried starter snack made with dal maker), dal halwa (a sweet dessert prepared with dal maker, sugar, butter, oil, and dried fruits and nuts).
Nearly 110 people participated in the scoring of products and feedback. There was overwhelming acceptance of the products demonstrated during the event. The average score of excellent and good was 96 percent, with a range of 92 to 99 percent for different products.
Because the participants were mainly from the consuming industry (hotels, restaurants, food service, hospitality, etc.), the venue also served as an effective buyer – seller meet. Many of the participants have solicited commercial information and details of outlets for sourcing.
This unique event in a large metro city with a very high percentage of middle and bottom of the pyramid population with a high consumption of dal will catalyze market-building and growth in consumption of the dal analogue and help increase domestic consumption of soy in India.
Instead of communicating end-use application recipes for soy-based staples, USSEC has made a significant change to actually demonstrate the preparation of regional specific foods based on soy staples such as dal and food analogues. This shift from ‘know how’ to ‘do how’ has been found to be significantly impactful and more effective in capturing the consumer’s interest in the products.
USSEC also conducted an important ‘do how’ event for soy-based dal maker and food analogues in Visakhapatnam, the largest city in the state of Andhra Pradesh back on February 9, 2015. The city has the largest number of institutional catering and college/university hostels, etc. An initial study conducted by USSEC gave encouraging demand leads for the products. 110 senior operating and purchase functionaries from hospitality industry as well as by the food trade and academia participated in the event.
The demand-building event designed as a ‘do how’ demonstration event was aimed at actually demonstrating the preparation of great tasting region specific foods. The executive chef of Hotel Daspalla, Visakhapatnam, performed the ‘do how’ demonstration. In all, nine region-specific dal based traditional foods were demonstrated and all the participants sampled these products. The products received an overwhelming response from all the participants. More than 80 percent of the participants rated the products as great tasting and highly acceptable. Presentations made by Ruchi Soya and USSEC on dal and food analogues and the health and nutrition benefits of soy were well received and discussed by the participants.
The event has generated great interest among the participating food service and hospitality industry personnel as well as with the trade. One large distributor of commodities for the hotel industry instantly placed a trial order for soy-based dal analogue and he is hopeful of building demand significantly in the next few months.
USSEC and United Soybean Board (USB) director Derek Haigwood and his wife Shannon won the Arkansas Farm Bureau’s 2015 Young Farmers & Ranchers (YF&R) Achievement Award. Farm Bureau honored the couple at its 81st annual convention in Little Rock on December 3.
The Haigwoods are a fourth generation row-crop farm family and grow soybeans, rice, corn and cotton on 3,130 acres in Newport, Arkansas. They want to leave a sustainable farming legacy for their three-year-old son, Judah.
“I’m passionately involved with making sure my son has the tools necessary to farm. No one is going to take better care of the ground that I farm,” Mr. Haigwood stated. “It’s where I make my living, so who better to protect it than the farmers? Receiving this recognition is an incredible honor.”
USSEC organized the first USSEC Regional Aqua Investment Conference – MENA from November 20-23 at the Grosvenor House in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, for regional fish producers.
The activity started with one-on-one meetings in Egypt, followed by a two-day seminar in Dubai, followed by two days of one-on-one meetings in Turkey.
More than 80 participants from 10 different countries attended the conference. Participants hailed from major aquaculture producers and aquaculture feed millers in Turkey, Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco, Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Oman, UAE, Lebanon, and Jordan.
Speakers from different parts of the world included American Soybean Association (ASA) director Jeff Sollars; United Soybean Board (USB) director Robert Stobaugh; USSEC Regional Director – EU/MENA Brent Babb; Muntaser Dawwas, CEO, Invest Bank; USSEC Marketing Director – International Aquaculture / Customer Focus Colby Sutter; Mian Riaz, Director, Food Protein R&D Center, Texas A&M University; Michael Martin, Regional Sales Director, Insta-Pro International; Tim O’Keefe, President, Aqua-Food Technologies, Inc.; G. Ramesh, Technical Sales Advisor, Aqua Feed Division, Wenger Manufacturing Inc.; Djamal Djouhri, CEO, Al Ghurair Resources; and USSEC consultant Sirri Kayhan.
USSEC has a long-time relationship with Texas A&M University and sends participants from all over the world to attend aqua feed extrusion short courses offered by the Food Protein Research and Development Center in College Station, Texas. USSEC also has long-term relationship with Insta-Pro International, Wenger Manufacturing Inc, and Aqua-Food Technologies, Inc., where all parties cooperate to develop the international markets of soybeans and soybean products.
Information provided by the speakers included: update of USSEC’s global aquaculture programs; starting aquafeed production with small-scale, scalable extrusion plant; overview of aqua feed production; cost effective feed formulations in challenging economic times; managing the feed business around formulation; new advances in aqua feed extrusion technologies; investment opportunities in MENA’s aquaculture industry; financing and funding options by banks and investment funds for aquaculture projects; finance opportunities for the aquaculture industry; aquaculture developments in Turkey, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Tunisia; and success stories.
Insta-Pro’s Michael Martin commented, “The high level of audience participation and networking was a measure of the success of the event, which comes at a time when countries throughout the region are expanding their seafood production in response to consumer demand and food security concerns. Representing Insta-Pro International, a member of USSEC, I appreciated the opportunity to present Insta-Pro’s aquafeed technology to this high-level audience. As often happens at this type of event, the networking opportunities were as valuable as the presentations themselves.”
He also congratulated the USSEC team’s efforts on a “first-class event that will assist aquaculture operators in Turkey, the Middle East and North Africa to plan for the future and expand their operations, which will inevitably raise demand for U.S. Soy.”
G. Ramesh of Wenger stated, “Wenger has been a proud member of USSEC since its inception and we continue to enjoy the partnership in promoting the use of soy via extrusion processing across several food and feed related industries.” He continued, “The recent 1st Regional Aqua Investment Conference organized by the USSEC MENA regional office in Dubai was the latest example of the opportunities provided through this cooperation. The aquaculture industry in this region has shown significant signs of growth, and this conference provided a forum to educate participants in the benefits of soy inclusion in these extruded feeds.”
USSEC China successfully conducted the annual U.S. Soy Market Outlook Conference in Shanghai, one of the major soy trading centers in China. More than 100 importers, traders, crushers, feed millers and animal integrators from all over the country participated in this conference on November 16, which was fully funded this year by the North Dakota Soybean Council.
2015 marks the seventeenth year the U.S. soybean industry has conducted such an event for Chinese customers, who value such an opportunity to interact with U.S. grower leaders and market specialists to learn more information on U.S. Soy’s crop quality, market situation and price trend.
“We trust U.S. soybean growers and the industry as they have been providing not only the latest information on U.S. soybean crops through such an event, but also objective and impartial market opinions,” said one participant to the U.S. grower leaders and USSEC staff.
American Soybean Association (ASA) director Dave Poppens, a soy farmer from South Dakota, made a presentation on this year’s crop situation in the U.S. and his strategies in managing the risks in his farm operation. United Soybean Board (USB) director Dan Farney, a soy farmer from Illinois, also gave a presentation on U.S. sustainability in soy production.
For the first time, USSEC staged a grower panel discussion during this conference and Mr. Poppens and Mr. Farney were joined by two North Dakota grower leaders, Vanessa Kummer, former USB chairman, and ASA director Monte Peterson, to interact with customers on numerous topics such as selling strategies given current lower prices, production cost, farm operations, and their planting perspectives for next year.
In addition to the grower panel, USSEC also provided a crop quality summary presented by USSEC Regional Director – North Asia Paul Burke, a China macro economic situation outlook, and a meal market outlook presented by two local consultants, which were all well received by the participants. USSEC member company CGB sent their containerized soybean merchandiser to the event to introduce the business and company as they are exploring the potential to grow their business in China.
USSEC Country Director – China Zhang Xiaoping wrapped up the conference by presenting a soy trade summary to the audience. Based on such information, USSEC identified China’s top ten buyers and top loyalty buyers of U.S. soybeans who received awards from the U.S. soybean grower leaders.
Before this annual event, Ms. Kummer and Mr. Peterson traveled to Guangzhou on Nov. 11 to attend the 10th China International Oils and Oilseeds Conference organized by Dalian Commodity Exchange (DCE), a long-time partner to the U.S. Soy industry, to promote U.S. Soy and soy products among soybean importers, traders and feed millers.
Ms. Kummer was invited to join a panel discussion to talk about U.S. Soy production and provide a grower’s perspective on the current market situation, and Mr. Peterson led a private meeting with DCE top management during the conference on strengthening the partnership with each other to further promote U.S. Soy.
Escorted by USSEC China staff, Ms. Kummer and Mr. Peterson also traveled to Beijing on Nov. 13 to attend the 3rd China Food Security and Safety Strategy Summit organized by a major think tank to China’s top leaders on agricultural policy, the Development Research Center of the State Council. Grower leaders interacted with the participants on policy issues, specifically, the recent biotech approval delays in China that are affecting the commercialization of new biotech events.
Grower leaders’ participation and involvement in these important events have demonstrated the long-time commitments the U.S. Soy industry has made to supplying China’s increasing demand for soy, and has strengthened the partnership with Chinese industries to help achieve China’s goal in food security, food safety and sustainable soybean supply.
USSEC Exporters Class Member Bunge issued the very first sustainability certificate for the Americas region on November 5. A volume of 18,506 metric tons (MT) of U.S. soybean meal was exported onboard the ship MV DK IONE on November 3, from Bunge’s facilities at Destrehan, Louisiana, heading to Puerto Quetzal in Guatemala. Central America is a region with a solid and very competitive market where imports in FY15 grew to 1,050 million metric tons (MMT) of soybean meal, and over 330 thousand metric tons (TMT) of soybeans.
Bunge Central America, LTD CEO Luis de la Cruz stated, “It has been a great pleasure working hand in hand with USSEC Americas in this process; we are definitely committed to continue sharing the U.S. soybean sustainability message so as to best service our mutual customer base in Guatemala – our headquarters for Central America – and further into the region, while supplying them with such a resource as the sustainability certificates.” He added, “The communication and exchange of information with USSEC’s team proved invaluable. . .we are glad to add value to our relevant chains, USSEC’s membership, and – most of all – to our customers.”
About 70 percent of the volume of U.S. soybean meal in the cargo goes to Grupo Importador de Guatemala, a purchasing pool made by four core customers in the country.
“We are very satisfied to receive the first U.S. soybean sustainability certificates ever in the region, which are of most interest and use for the end customers in Guatemala,” said Ronald Perez, the pool purchasing representative. The pool includes leader feed processors, and poultry and egg producers: COMAYMA, FRISA, Plantaciones del Sur and PROAVISA.
“This is a first and firm step into most actively communicating the sustainability message of U.S. soybeans and issuing the U.S. sustainability certificates in the Americas region,” remarked Pablo Viglierchio, Bunge’s Execution and Operation Manager for the region. He shared that Bunge expects to issue other certificates for the region “in the very near future per our line-up of U.S. soybean product exports to El Salvador and Panama in Central America and Colombia in South America, with other countries to soon follow.”
USSEC participated in the Feeds.Pro conference in St. Petersburg, Russia from November 4-6. This conference, organized by the Sfera Company, was a follow-up to the June 2015 World Soy Feeds Congress. At that time, USSEC received several inquiries from its Russian industry colleagues to discuss two hot topics, alternative feed ingredients and fish feed formulations.
USSEC consultant Dr. Iani Chihaia presented two papers to about 150 industry delegates. His presentations generated a vivid dialogue about the role and quality of soy in achieving high performance and how soy products should be used in animal feeding, especially in fish feeds.
“Russia aims to become self-sufficient in foodstuff supplies and to increase animal protein production,” stated Olga Palenova, conference chairman and organizer. “The interest in high efficacy feed ingredients and their feeding application is growing. This year, we’ve received a number of inquiries from industry colleagues interested in fish feed production as a result of the emerging development of aquaculture in Russia. Our feed technologists are highly interested in fish feed ingredients usage and in feed extrusion technology. Thanks to USSEC’s efforts and participations, our conference brought many answers in this regard,” Mrs. Palenova said.
During the two-day event, USSEC consultants Dr. Chihaia and Dr. Maria Domoroshchenkova gave three technical presentations, proving the commitment of U.S. Soy farmers to Russian soy customers and end users. The event was an excellent opportunity to interact with industry professionals from commercial feed, poultry and swine integrations, fish farms and trading companies.
“After interacting with our Russian colleagues, I believe that the use of alternative feed ingredients seems to be in many cases more challenging than a promising, realistic possibility, since high quality and high digestible amino acids profile from soy is not easy to replace in animal diets without sacrificing performance. However, the Russian feed industry should consider any possibility, with pros and cons,” Dr. Chihaia remarked.
“Meanwhile, we have to stay close and follow the Russian fish industry’s forecasted growth for the next year. Development of fish farms in Russia is part of the country’s goal to increase self-reliance and boost growth. Soybean meal, soy oil and soy protein concentrates are key raw materials for fish feed production and this will potentially generate U.S. Soy exports,” Dr. Chihaia concluded.
USSEC hosted the annual U.S. Soy Buyers Outlook Conference in Seoul, South Korea on November 13th.
The conference was attended by 61 members of the purchasing and technical staffs from Korea’s crushing, feed, and soy food industries; three USSEC member exporters, SunOpta, Scoular and CGB; and nine Korean representatives of U.S. soy exporters, including Cargill and Bunge. The conference’s objective was to update the target industries with U.S. new crop information and to assist them to interact with grower leaders and exporters for more business opportunities.
Two grower leaders, American Soybean Association (ASA) director Dave Poppens of South Dakota and United Soybean Board (USB) director Daniel Farney of Illinois, traveled to Korea and participated in the conference. Mr. Poppens shared information on this year’s farming progress and conditions, while Mr. Farney discussed sustainability in U.S. soybean production from the farmer’s perspective. Other conference topics included the 2015/16 crop quality, global supply and demand, and market outlook. Feedback from conference participants indicated that useful information was provided at the right time for their purchases of soy and soy products.
In addition to the conference, the grower leaders visited local crushing and soymilk plants that use U.S. Soy and met with the top executives of Korea Feed Association to provide them with updates on this year’s crop and benefits of the U.S. Soy Sustainability Assurance Protocol (SSAP).