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.