USSEC recently organized a soy buyers’ seminar in Tarragona, Spain. Just south of Barcelona, Tarragona has one of the country’s largest agriculture ports. Spanish consumers need to import practically all their protein needs. Spain produces thirty millions tons of feed, including both industrial and feed on farm, and 40 percent is produced near the port of Tarragona.
Representatives from the Spanish feed/food industry and soy crushing industry participated in this meeting, as did several Portuguese customers. This seminar was organized with the collaboration of FCStone, CESFAC, and ASFAC, the main feed association in Spain.
50 people, representing 60 percent of the feed and food industry, attended this event. The three largest companies, Nutreco, Vall Company and Corporation Agroperuaria de Guissona, took part. Customers from the crushing industry, Bunge and Cargill, attended the meeting, representing four customers crushing three millions tons of soybeans annually.
The objective of the meeting was to bring the industry together to talk about the main subjects important to soybean meal consumers and suppliers such as quality, sustainability, markets, risk management, and the supply chain. They also reviewed the current situation regarding the uncertainty that political factors are adding to the market.
USSEC and FCStone led the meeting’s program. The USSEC team highlighted the role of U.S. farmers in feeding the world, also comparing and demonstrating the advantages of U.S. soybean meal versus other origins. Sustainability is an important issue at this time and the U.S. Soy Sustainability Assurance Protocol (SSAP) is well known to all the participants. Currently, consumers and final end users are not asking for sustainably certification, but it is likely that in the near future it will be a “must” in the customer requirements.