USSEC held a food bean workshop in Nanjing, Jiangsu Province, China on May 27 and 28 in an effort to maintain relationships with key opinion leaders. This activity sought to build connections with more food experts and discuss further cooperation with the School of Food Science and Technology at Jiangnan University. USSEC seeks to maintain cooperation with China’s industry association and rely on them to improve soy food quality standards in the country, focus on specific bean varieties and the IP system, continue to participate in industry conferences, and keep in contact with industry and key customers.
There is a good opportunity for soy foods in China as more soy food processors begin to have greater awareness of the importance of using special variety soybeans, especially in the preparation of yuba and sprouts. Additionally, as incomes have risen, Chinese consumers have started to eat healthier and better quality foods.
However, in addition to trade tensions, there are still some obstacles for U.S. Soy. Most Chinese soy food processors, especially those who process fresh soy foods such as tofu, soy milk, and dried tofu, are not yet aware the importance of soybean consistency and are currently using mixed varieties to produce these soyfoods. China’s zero‐tolerance policy on non‐GM soybeans continues to be an obstacle for traders to import U.S. food grade soybeans. Meanwhile, soybean processing companies export more than half of their products to the EU, Japan, and even the U.S. market, and must produce according to the strictest regulations, 99.99% non‐GM purity. Finally, with China supply structure reform since 2016, China’s domestic soybean output has increased, which leads to fierce price competition.
A group of customers and USSEC staff toured Nanjing Guoguo Food Company, a top 50 Chinese soy food processor, on May 27. Its main products include tofu and dried tofu. Guoguo technical, purchasing, and sales departments provided presentations and a Q & A session followed.
The following day, USSEC’s workshop focused on the importance of soy characteristics to soy foods. The workshop highlighted the advantages of U.S. food beans’ consistent quality, transparent trading system, and financial leverage. USSEC also offered assistance with food bean sourcing and built connections with potential customers.
USSEC Regional Director – Greater China Xiaoping Zhang, provided opening remarks and Northern Crop Institute’s (NCI) Dr. Zhisheng Liu, spoke about the effects of soybean variety on product quality, and Professor Yeming Chen of Jiangnan University discussed the effects of soybean characteristics on yuba and soymilk. Attendees watched a video of Ohio Soybean Council director Bill Bayliss’s farm, and then had the opportunity to speak with and ask questions of the grower leader via teleconnection.
Jennifer Li of Scoular, spoke about her company; Zhiqiang Zhu, general manager of Shanghai Xingken Trading Company discussed 2019 China domestic soybean planting and trade; Hongbo Zhang, GM of Ponente Importing & Exporting Company provided an introduction to U.S. food bean trading; and Yulong Si, CEO of Yulong Investment Company, gave an Introduction to the agricultural products’ trade.
On May 29, USSEC Marketing Specialist –Value Enhanced Soybean Jinrong Qian, Ms. Li, and Dr. Liu visited Yihai Kerry in Shanghai.