U.S. Soybean Farmers Participate in 6th Bulk Forum in Colombia

USSEC participated in the FORO GRANELES (6th Bulk Forum) in Cali, Colombia on July 26 and 27. The forum is organized every two years by ANDI, the Colombian Feed Chamber; this year, the forum was preceded by a one-day visit to Buenaventura Port for soybean and corn growers to see firsthand all the logistics that their oilseeds and grains go through in Colombia.
American Soybean Association (ASA) directors Ed Erickson and Don Lutz and United Soybean Board (USB) directors Keith Tapp and Jim Willers traveled to Colombia to take part in this mission, which focused on working through regulatory and market issues in the Americas region.
At Buenaventura, the grower leaders witnessed the unloading of wheat by very modernized equipment.
At the forum, the farmers heard about how the human and animal utilization sectors are working together to provide a mix of animal and protein source in feeding programs. Infrastructure is Colombia’s biggest challenge. Storage is also an issue but has improved over the past few years, and the ports are working to improve conditions to accommodate trade.
Mr. Willers gave a presentation about the sustainable production of U.S. Soy and shared information on the U.S. Soy Sustainability Assurance Protocol (SSAP) and U.S. Soy Sustainability Certificates.
As the Columbia's economy increases, diet will improve to include more meat and utilize more soy. While imports of U.S. Soy products have scaled up since the free trade agreement between the U.S. and Colombia, U.S. grains face continued competition in the region.

USB & ASA grower leaders talk with customers on their way to the ports
Visiting the facilities and offices of COMPAS, in Buenaventura, Pacific Coast, Colombia
COMPAS operates 6 Port Terminals in Colombia and one in Houston. The one in Buenaventura specializes in the mobilization, storage and handling, and efficient dispatch of grains / oilseed meals, and sodium carbonate with the most efficient mechanic grain transfer system in Colombia, and a storage of 47 TMT of solid grains.
Visit to port facilities – COMPAS, Buenaventura
Grower leaders on board the 'Amis Champion’ (vessel with Panamanian flag) while visiting the ‘Sociedad Portuaria de Buenaventura’ (SPB); vessel was unloading 46 TMT of CRW3 Canadian wheat
At the same docks, the ‘SPAR INDUS was unloading 36 TMT of SBM from Bolivia, half going to one of the 3 largest feed processors in Colombia, showing the continued competition U.S. grains face in the region
Mr. Willers presented information on U.S. Soy sustainable production, sharing infomation on the SSAP and U.S. Soy Sustainability Certificates.
Three of the four attending grower leaders with Laura Pasculli, at that time newly appointed CEO of the Feed Industry Association in Colombia (ANDI – Feed); USSEC Consultant Gerardo Luna , far left