By George Harper
In the midst of the global COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. Soybean Export Council (USSEC) remains hard at work. In U.S. soy markets around the world, the organization’s teams, which USSEC CEO Jim Sutter often refers to as “boots on the ground,” have continued to stay engaged with key audience stakeholders.
“Exploring and leveraging our technological capabilities is critical right now,” says Sutter. “We feel very fortunate to have access to so many platforms that allow us to continue to connect with our customers and stakeholders.”
The U.S. soy industry is known for its strong face-to-face relationships, and USSEC is working to continue close contact with its customers through virtual webinars and conference calls, courtesy of WebEx, Zoom, and other platforms.
Here are some highlights of current or upcoming USSEC initiatives to engage the use of technology to stay connected with broad audiences:
- On March 31, more than 150 U.S. soy stakeholders from every part of the soy value chain participated in a WebEx call to discuss the impact of the novel coronavirus on the global soy industry. Stakeholders representing soy’s value-chain, including USSEC members, buyers, customers, and soy partners , listened to a brief overview of the effects of the virus, including the need for a reliable supply chain. USSEC’s regional directors provided insights about the impacts of the novel coronavirus on ports, supply chains, animal agriculture production, various governments’ management of the crisis, and opportunities for U.S. Soy. Regional teams are healthy and utilizing technology to stay connected with customers in global markets.
- On April 1 and 3, USSEC held two virtual webinars in China for feed and food customers, which provided information on U.S. soy outlook, supply, risk management, purchasing, and the effects of COVID-19 on Phase I of the U.S. – China trade deal. Click here and here for more information on these events.
- On April 14 and 15, USSEC will hold a virtual worldwide conference, U.S. Soy Connection: Global Digital Conference and Situation Report, which aims to provide U.S. soy’s global customers with the most updated information from subject matter experts on production, global supply and demand, and the effects of the pandemic on agricultural markets, along with updates from U.S. soybean farmers on planting progress. To register for this event, please click here.
Additional virtual events in all regions are also being planned and will continue to be rolled out as needed during this time. These types of forums, among other efforts, will allow USSEC to continue to build preference for U.S. Soy while promoting its competitive advantage.