soybean field

USSEC, ISA Discuss Sustainability in Mexico

USSEC, together with directors and staff from the Illinois Soybean Association (ISA), traveled to Mexico from June 18-20 to shed light on U.S. soybean sustainability and to maintain market access.  The delegation attended a three-day series of meetings in Mexico City and Guadalajara to meet with customers, nonprofit organizations and government bodies to share sustainability knowledge and to discuss the opportunities available for companies that prioritize a sustainable supply chain.  . USSEC Regional Director – Americas Francisco de la Torre met the team in Mexico City.
“We are working to promote best practices in the soybean market and around the world,” says John Longley, ISA director and soybean farmer from Aledo, Illinois, who participated in this trip.  USSEC board member and Kinmundy, Illinois farmer Dwain Ford adds, “U.S. soybean farmers are stewards of the land and we are proud to show the rest of the world and our customers what we are doing to preserve our environment for generations to come.  We know our customers demand sustainably-sourced products and we strive to be global leaders in sustainability.”
On June 18, the group met with CONAGO (National Council of Grains and Oilseeds Buyers) president, Felipe de Javier Pena, over breakfast.  CONAGO is a non‐profit organization grouping major grains and oilseeds buyers / importers represented via their corresponding industry associations.  Their membership includes ANIAME (oilseeds crushers); CONAFAB (feed manufacturers); and CANIMOLT (wheat millers), among others.  CONAGO provides representation before government offices and bodies regarding international and domestic trade regulation and policies; phitosanitary and technical rules and control; tax and fiscal regulations and policy, etc. and private domestic and international organizations.
The delegation next met with representatives from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Foreign Agriculture Service (FAS).  Following that series of meetings, the U.S. soy team gave a presentation on sustainability and protocol to APPAMEX (Mexican Association of Suppliers of Agricultural Commodities) members.  APPAMEX is a non‐profit association grouping international trading firms represented in Mexico, accounting for over 90 percent of import volume.  Membership also includes major trade related service companies such as port terminals; transportation ‐ maritime shippers and railroad companies; storage; and surveyors.  APPAMEX was founded in 1992, in view of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which entered into force in 1994.  The organization aims to promote and facilitate the flow and free trade of import / export agricultural commodities in Mexico.
On June 19, the U.S. soy delegation gave a presentation on sustainability and protocol to the CNA (National Agricultural and Livestock Council) monthly assembly.  The CNA is the umbrella and lead organization for agricultural and livestock producers, buyers and processors (associations and individual firms) in Mexico.  Founded in 1984, the CNA aims to represent, defend and develop the agricultural and livestock activity in the country.  An audience of approximately 60-70, representing top agricultural and livestock producers and processors, listened to both USSEC and ISA representatives discuss the sustainability of U.S. soy.  After this assembly, the group traveled to Guadalajara for a dinner meeting with a group of agricultural industry and services regional and local representatives from the state of Jalisco.  The group included AGYDSA (leading oilseed crusher); Empresas Guadalupe (leading egg producer); Alamacenadora Jaliciense (grain storage); the KCSM and Ferromex (railroad companies); and Warner International Seeds (seed company).
The final day of meetings, June 20, included a visit to Industrial de Oleaginosas, a leading oilseed crusher and processor, with a broad range of end products, including margarines, soy foods, cooking oils, and soaps, et al.  The team was escorted by USSEC Regional Office Manager –Americas Nayeli Vilanova.  The delegation once again presented a lecture on sustainability and protocol, titled “International Seminar on Best Practices and New Opportunities in Animal Feed Production” to ANFACA and AMEPA.  These two feed producer organizations co‐hosted this seminar to service their members.  The audience numbered about 100 and included several CEOs, along with production and nutrition related staff.  ANFACA is based in the state of Jalisco and one of Mexico’s leading feed industry associations with solid regional influence.  Its membership of 44 companies includes commercial feed producers, integrated operations, and dual purpose producers  Their annual feed output adds up to 2.15 million metric tons (MMT) meaning inputs of over 190 thousand metric tons (TMT) of soybean meal and 1.8 MMT of corn.  Jalisco’s feed industry represents about 18% of Mexico’s total production.  AMEPA, another major feed industry association, is based in Mexico City, and has broad representation and solid influence at a national level.  Its membership of over 50 companies includes leading poultry and livestock companies, as well as a number of commercial feed and other producer integrated operations, distributed around the country.  Their annual feed output adds up to 8.8 MMT, with an average yearly consumption of 1.6 MMT of soybean meal, and 5.5 MMT of corn.  While AMEPA particularly represents the majority of poultry feed related producers, its membership includes the largest representation of the pet food manufacturers sector.  This association represents over a third of Mexico’s total domestic feed output.  The afternoon program, “Potential of the Aquaculture Industry in Mexico,” was conducted by Dr. Salvador Meza and was co‐sponsored by USSEC.
According to the USDA, in the 2012/13 marketing year, Mexico imported over 4 MMT of U.S. soy.  This included 2.68 MMT of soybeans, 1.294 MMT of soybean meal and 0.187 MMT of soybean oil.  Mexico has already imported 7.496 MMT of U.S. soy, consisting of 3.2 MMT of soybeans, 3.937 MMT of soybean meal and 0.358 MMT of soybean oil in the 2013/14 marketing year.