June was a busy month in Southern Europe for USSEC. In addition to attending national and regional feed association assemblies usually held in June, USSEC organized a risk management course in Tarragona, Spain; a country meeting in Murcia, Spain; and a country meeting in Rennes, France.
The risk management course, coordinated with FCStone, boasted an attendance of 40 customers hailing from all regions of Spain. The course objective was to teach raw materials management and how to reduce purchasing risk in a volatile market, especially related to soybean meal. Participants had the opportunity over the two-day course to learn how markets work and studied several tools to manage risk in a constantly changing market. The training program also provided USSEC with an opportunity to present the U.S. soybean meal quality advantage and disseminate information about the U.S. Soybean Sustainability Assurance Protocol (SSAP) and U.S. Soy sustainability. The importance of sustainability in purchasing is increasing in Spain but is still below Northern European levels.
USSEC also held two country meetings in June. The first took place in Murcia, Spain with the feed association collaboration. Murcia is located in a major area of Spain’s pork production. 25 customers attended the meeting, and the agenda focused on quality, sustainability and soy markets. USSEC consultant Jan van Eys discussed quality, Jaime Nola Miralles of FCStone talked about general raw material markets and how to manage risk; and USSEC consultants Mercedes Ruiz and Lola Herrera spoke about cask markets in the Spanish ports. USSEC’s mission and its activities in Spain and Europe were presented during the introduction.
USSEC collaborated with the U.S. consulate in Bretagne, and the Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) in Paris to hold a similar program in Rennes. This country meeting also featured a presentation about soybean markets from Lucile Lefebvre, FAS – Paris, and a presentation about the French market was given by Christophe Callu Merite, Feed Alliance General Manager, Sanders purchasing part of the Avril Group. 28 key French feed compounders and soybean meal importers attended the meeting.