USSEC Conducts 8th SE Asia Soy Foods Seminar and Trade Show in Bali
- General News
USSEC conducted the 8th Southeast Asia Soy Foods Seminar and Trade Show at the Westin Resort Nusa Dua in Bali, Indonesia on May 22-23. Soy food and beverage producers, U.S. food grade soybean and soy ingredient suppliers, regional soy food bean buyers and traders, soy related associations and representatives of academic and government institutions representing various soy food related interests and technologies all gathered in Bali to attend and participate in this event.
Host country Indonesia’s traditional tempe took the spotlight. Tempe is a locally-produced, fermented soy food consumed by millions of Indonesians. The two-day event was officially opened by the Vice Governor of Bali, with the keynote address delivered by the Indonesian Vice Minister of Cooperatives and Small and Medium Enterprises. The conference offered presentations and panel discussions by a wealth of speakers from around the world to talk about the global soy market, trends in consumer demand, challenges and opportunities facing the soy food industry, as well as recent studies on soy nutrition and health.
The program was supported with a series of smaller workshops and oral presentations of papers related to consumer perception of soy and marketing approaches, understanding risk management strategies to purchase food grade soybeans, recent research in soy and efforts on upgrading production in the traditional manufacturing of Indonesian tempe. Tempe cooking demonstrations were provided during lunch breaks and short listed contestants competed in a Java-wide tempe cooking contest.
The trade show was organized and conducted by USSEC Southeast Asia. The Indiana Soybean Alliance provided primary funding for the program, with additional sponsors and cooperating collaborators including the Minnesota Soybean Research and Promotion Council; the North Dakota Soybean Council; the North Dakota Trade Office; the Kentucky Soybean Board; the National Soybean Research Laboratories; SunOpta; TetraPak; Indofood / Frito-Lay; the Soy Nutrition Institute; the Indonesian Tempe forum; the Indonesian Food and Beverage Association; and Udayana University in Bali.
The Southeast Asian soy food industry consumes around 3.5 million metric tons (MT) of raw soybeans, mostly in the form of traditional soy foods such as tempe, tofu, soy beverages, and soy sauce. Approximately 80% of these traditional soy foods are consumed in Indonesia. Thailand is the second largest per capita consumer of soy beverages behind China, with Malaysia ranked fifth and Vietnam in the eighth spot. Soybean production in the region has been declining as farmers move to more profitable cash crops, which has led to an increased demand for imported soybeans. The U.S. has become a major supplier to fill this vacuum.