USSEC continues to leverage its virtual communications during the COVID-19 pandemic.
On April 9, USSEC’s China Aquaculture Program conducted its first webinar on the promotion of the U.S. Soy Sustainability Assurance Protocol (SSAP) and Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP). The team rented the platform from Fishfirst, one of the most influential aquaculture magazines in the country, to live-webcast this seminar. Statistics showed that the total page-viewer number reached over 45,000 while the number of participants to the webinar was over 1,000 (from Fishfirst). At the webinar, three speakers, including USSEC consultant David Li and the Global Aquaculture Aliance’s (GAA) Kevin Yuan and Jeff Yuan, gave presentations: introducing SSAP, the application procedures for BAP certification, and reviewing technical details on BAP requirements. Towards the end of the webinar, speakers answered participants’ questions and feedback from participants showed the satisfactory rate as very high. However, turn-in rate of surveys was lower than anticipated because previous Fishfirst customers had not asked the platform to provide this service, which resulted in poor webpage design for the survey. At the end of the webinar, only about 20 surveys were completed and turned in. USSEC talked to Fishfirst about this issue and Fishfirst promised to improve the survey capabilities for the next USSEC webinar.
Ever since the COVID-19 outbreak began, the Chinese aquaculture team has been confined to its home base for nearly three months with no capability of participating in meetings, conducting seminars, and visiting its target audience, which makes doing business virtually the only option. In the near future, this team plans to conduct two more webinars on the promotion of IPRS (In-Pond Raceway System). USSEC has been promoting IPRS in the country for more than seven years, winning the full recognition of both the industry and the Chinese government. The government announced early this month that IPRS will be one of the five top priority aquaculture technologies to be extended in the country in the future, and so the team anticipates the coming webinars will attract more participants. In the not-so-distant future, USSEC plans to do some webinars with pre-recordings from the consultants about the superior intrinsic value of U.S. Soy over soy from other origins for aquatic animals. The aquaculture team will share the data collected and analyzed from the past two years’ soy comparison lab study in China with the industry.