On May 12, USSEC joined with the Royal Dutch Grain and Feed Trade Association (Het Comite) and the Dutch Feed Industry Association (NEVEDI) in organizing a networking event focused on the “Challenges in Global Raw Material Supply” near the port city of Rotterdam. Over 120 industry representatives participated in the daylong conference, which covered a range of issues currently facing the feed industry in the Netherlands. Former Dutch Minister of the Environment Jacqueline Cramer opened the morning session with a call to broaden the circular economy on resource use in the Netherlands. Additional speakers addressed current challenges in the plant protection business and the Netherlands government’s efforts to increase the use of insects in animal feed. The Chairman of the European Former Foodstuffs Processors Association gave a presentation on efforts to increase industrial food products in animal feed (do not use the word “waste”).
USSEC representative – Northern Europe Eugene Philhower gave a presentation on the sustainability of U.S. soybean production, emphasizing the continuous improvement efforts by U.S. soy growers and the recent inclusion of the U.S. Soybean Sustainability Assurance Protocol (SSAP) on the approved list of FEFAC sourcing guidelines. To address concerns on the volume of sustainable soy available from the United States and the costs involved with sustainable production, Philhower emphasized that almost all U.S. soy is certifiable and that applying for the certificate is free for exporters.
In a panel discussion afterwards, Mr. Philhower presented his thesis: as long as the European model of agriculture was based on livestock production, Europe will continue to import a majority of its protein needs. In that market, the U.S. wants to position itself as a reliable source of high quality, competitively priced and sustainably produced soybeans.