USSEC organized a country meeting in Segovia, Spain, on April 5. The focus of the meeting was on U.S. soybean meal’s quality, sustainability and markets. This year, USSEC is giving greater emphasis to the importance of quality control in the raw materials used in feed industry.
Segovia is situated in central Spain; the area ranks second in the country for pork production and is also a beef and dairy producing hub. The meeting involved businesses from the autonomous region of Castilla Leon, which represents 17 percent of the total industrial feed production in Spain, about 5 million tons, plus feed on farm. Total industrial feed production in Spain is 21 million tons and including feed on farm, comes to 30 million.
This area is the main grain producer in the country, producing corn, wheat, and barley. Because it produces virtually no oilseed, it must import all protein needed for the feed industry, mainly soybean meal.
The area’s soybean meal supply comes from the northern ports of Santader, Bilbao, and Galicia and usually hails from Argentina, Brazil, and the U.S. Soybeans from Brazil and the U.S. then go to Bunge’s crushing plant in Bilbao. The main players in the region’s soybean meal import business are Bunge and Cargill. Total soybean meal consumption in the area is about 1.2 millions tons.
The meeting was held at the Segovia Chamber of Commerce. ASFACYL, Castilla León’s feed association, collaborated with USSEC to organize the meeting.
The region’s main feed industries, meat producers, importers, and crushers participated in the meeting, with participants totalling near 50.
The conference began with a presentation related to the U.S. Soy Sustainability Assurance Protocol (SSAP), highlighting U.S. Soy’s quality and sustainability. USSEC consultants Dr. Gonzalo G. Mateos and Jan Van Eys talked about soy quality, emphasizing U.S. soybean meal’s quality advantage against that of other origins and other proteins. Discussion of quality control in raw material occupied an important portion of the presentation. Jaime Nolan-Miralles, of FCStone; Pedro Palomo, president and owner of O PALOMO, S.A., a large grain and protein distributor in the region; and USSEC consultant Lola Herrera spoke about international and local markets.
The customers appreciated both the meeting and USSEC’s effort in organizing these types of events, considering them to be good opportunities. They receive relevant information and are able to compare different points of view to improve their business.