USSEC Boasts High Turnout, Quality Discussions at the 10th Southeast Asia Soy Symposium
USSEC held the 10th Southeast Asia Soy Symposium, held on March 25-26. The event attracted over 140 participants, well above the anticipated number of 80 to 100.
The event kicked off with a workshop for 40 invited participants. USSEC consultant Sam Waterfall from the Healthy Marketing Team conducted a Soy Marketing and Branding Masterclass, which focused on new product launches and branding. Also included in this year’s workshop were two soy case studies presented by USSEC Marketing Director – Human Nutrition/Oil Marypat Corbett and Peter Golbitz of Agromeris, covering soy oil and soy protein respectively.
The workshop was followed by the full day 10th S.E. Asia Soy Symposium on March 26. A total of 16 speakers from the U.S., Hong Kong, Japan, India, Indonesia, Thailand and Singapore shared their knowledge, expertise and insights covering topics from production, science and marketing and a panel discussion. Presentations included recent global and Asian market trends on soyfood, soy oil and ingredients as well as beverage consumption. The latest research and science on soy and health related to gout and infant nutrition were addressed, as were regulatory developments affecting soy labelling and promotion in various countries.
The topic of sustainability of soy in production and nutrition security were highlighted through the sharing of the U.S. Soybean Sustainability Assurance Protocol (SSAP) adopted by U.S. soy farmers to address the growing global interest in sustainable agriculture in recent years.
Adding to the culinary interest during the Symposium period were special soy food menus created by the hotel chefs that were incorporated into tea breaks and lunch. Samples and tasting portions of local and regional soy products were also on display. These products were contributed by co-sponsors and participating companies who had contributed the food items, soyfood recipes and dishes.
Organized by USSEC and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS), this year’s Soy Symposium was held back-to-back with the 9th Asia Grain Transportation Conference in Singapore in order to tap the complementary interests in the entire soy value chain among delegates in the food sector and those from the food and trade and procurement fields.
“This event showed the importance of soy for human food consumption, and showcases the breadth of knowledge available and the versatility of soy in modern food chains that will continue to grow. It is pertinent that USSEC provides such platforms that bring together all stakeholders with an interest in soy to exchange information and learn from each other,” said USSEC Southeast Asia Technical Director, Human NutritionYeong Boon Yee.
Besides USSEC CEO Jim Sutter, the four-day event was also attended by USSEC Chief Program Officer Ed Beaman; USSEC Chief Administrative Officer Rich Green; and USSEC Project Manager – Aquaculture/Customer Focus Dena Hensel. Grower leaders who participated at both events were American Soybean Association (ASA) director Kevin Hoyer and David Williams, United Soybean Board (USB) Director and president of the Michigan Soybean Association. Key food soybeans growers and exporters from the U.S. included North Dakota’s Robert Sinner of SB&B, Curt Petriech of SunOpta, as well as Brushvale Seeds, SK Food, JB Global & Richland Foods who are key members of the Northern Food Grade Soy Association (NFGSA), along with exporters from Ohio and Missouri.
The North Dakota Trade Office and NFGSA held a separate event on March 27, attended by soyfood producers who came for the 10th SFS. USSEC’s Singapore office assisted with local logistics and one-on-one meetings between suppliers and producers to establish needs and effect potential business transaction. The U.S. export companies were Brushvale Seeds, Richland IFC, SB&B, SK Food, Soyko and SunOpta.