USSEC Americas Provides Soy Advancement Opportunities at CrushCon 2023

Flagship Event Aims to Elevate U.S. Soy for Human Consumption across Latin America

By Moises Huerta, Americas Soy Excellence Center and Communications/Marketing Lead

Lima, Peru, - November 29-30, 2023, CrushCon Americas gathered approximately 120 industry leaders including soybean crushers, oil refiners, food service operators, food manufacturers and food and agricultural associations.

Hosted by the U.S. Soybean Export Council (USSEC) Americas team, the event showcased robust advancements in the soybean oil and soy protein sectors to attendees from 15 countries.

Leadership Engages with Peru Industry Key Players

A joint USSEC and U.S. Soy leadership team set the tone for CrushCon 2023 in a series of pre-event meetings with key Peruvian industry players.

Strategically planned meetings with local poultry and swine industry leaders showcased USSEC’s commitment to collaboration and strengthening ties in the region. Notably, the team met with USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) team in Lima, followed by meetings with executives from Redondos and Seaboard, two long-standing local partners in the poultry, swine and animal feed sectors.

In addition, USSEC met with the Poultry Producers Association (APA) and Swine Producers Association (ASOPORCI) to recognize their promotion of USSEC’s sustainability and technical assistance programs to their members. In 2023, both became key recruiting partners for the Americas Soy Excellence Center (SEC) workforce training program, securing participation from hundreds of young Peruvians.

Emphasizing USSEC's Commitment to Human Utilization

Following industry meetings, it was on to CrushCon, which has become the pre-eminent gathering for the Americas’ soybean oil and soy protein sectors.

Led by Carlos Salinas, USSEC Americas Regional Director, and Leonardo “Leo” Chapula, USSEC Americas Human Sector Marketing Specialist, the conference highlighted renowned speakers who emphasized U.S. soybean oil and soy protein’s exceptional advantages, including sustainability, quality and food industry applications. Attendees also gained insights from international experts on topics including current market conditions, forecasts, edible oils and more.

The event underscored USSEC and U.S. Soy’s commitment to fostering collaboration with the region’s food manufacturing and foodservice industries and to elevating U.S. Soy value for human utilization in the Americas. Amidst current global vegetable oil market dynamics, U.S. Soy stands as a symbol of quality and sustainability.

During the event, Jim Sutter, USSEC CEO, emphasized U.S. Soy’s pivotal role in addressing global nutrition and food security through human utilization.

“Despite market volatility influenced by factors such as energy policies, geopolitical conflicts and the COVID-19 pandemic, the vegetable oil market has shown robust growth,” Sutter stated. “The Hospitality, Restaurant, and Institutional (HRI) sector, Consumer-Packaged Goods (CPG) sector and increasing demand from biofuel and energy markets contribute to this upward trajectory.”

Sutter also shed light on the thriving plant-based protein sector, a historically rich aspect of global diets dominated by traditional sources like tofu, tempeh and lentils. While these remain primary choices in many regions, the market has also experienced a recent surge in meat alternatives, expanding globally and offering more affordable and diverse options.

A USSEC-commissioned study underscores the plant-based protein market’s sustained growth and status as a leading meat alternative. According to Sutter, this sector plays a crucial role in meeting escalating global demand for protein and showcases U.S. Soy’s significance in the evolving landscape of human consumption.

U.S. Soy Grower Leaders: Masterful Storytellers Engaging Customers and Partners

At CrushCon 2023, attendees immersed themselves in information from Grower Leaders Stan Born, USSEC Chair and Illinois farmer; Dennis Fujan, American Soybean Association Director and Nebraska farmer; Anne Meis, Nebraska Soybean Board Vice Chair and Nebraska farmer; and Robert Alpers, United Soybean Board Director and Missouri farmer.

Born delivered opening remarks, underscoring the significance of collaborative efforts within the Americas. His insights into U.S. Soy’s unparalleled advantages, particularly in terms of quality, value and sustainability, set a compelling tone for the forthcoming sessions.

Fujan and Alpers offered a deep dive into innovative and sustainable farming practices in the U.S. Their perspectives shed light on the reliability, consistency and sustainability of U.S. Soy, highlighting the crucial role family farms play.

Meis, a Soy Excellence Center (SEC) Steering Committee member, participated in a fireside chat to share insights into the SEC program's achievements and urge industry leaders to enroll employees in courses. The dialogue was a testament to the program’s real-world benefits and U.S. Soy’s commitment to investing in SEC trainees.

As Born said, “Events like this one are one of the best ways we can connect and collaborate with stakeholders, who, like us, have the vision to see the further potential of U.S. Soy in the Americas.”

This story was partially funded by U.S. Soy farmers, their checkoff and the soy value chain.