USSEC’S High Impact Program Holds Mini Meetings in Spain
- General News
USSEC’S High Impact Program held mini meetings in Tarragona and Galicia, Spain on November 28 and December 13, respectively, as part of its series of European meetings discussing the quality and sustainability of U.S. soy in addition to talking about the EU soybean meal market.
At the meeting in Tarragona, fifty participants representing local feed compounders, crushers and soybean meal importers attended the meeting, including Spain’s main feed and meat producers. Nutreco, Spain’s largest feed and poultry producer; Cegeco, the second largest feed producer and the largest European hog producer; and Guissona, the third largest feed producer, were all in attendance. Asfac, the Catalonia feed association, Tarragona Port Authorities and Sitasa, the main Tarragona stevedore, collaborated with USSEC on this event.
Tarragona is Spain’s most important grain and protein port and supplies Catalonia, Argon and North Valencia. This area represents 40% of the total compounded feed production in Spain; the entire country produces a total of 30 million tons of feed including feed on farm. The region consumes 1,270,000 metric tons (MT) soybean meal yearly and is home to two crushing plants owned by Cargill and Bunge, which crush soybeans from December to March. Importers received a shipment of U.S. soybean meal in December and were impressed with the protein quality.
USSEC consultant Lola Herrera explained USSEC’s mission and vision; USSEC’s objectives and projects in the EU; soybean meal markets; and the competitiveness of U.S. soybean meal. USSEC consultant Professor Gonzalo G. Mateos of the University of Spain spoke about the quality advantage of U.S. soybean meal. USSEC consultant Dr. Jan van Eys of GANS, France discussed sustainability and the U.S. Soybean Sustainability Protocol.
At the Galicia meeting, 60 people were in attendance. These participants represented the Galicia market, which makes up approximately 13% of the Spanish market. Agafac, the Galicia feed association, along with Ceferino Nogueria, the main stevedore in the area, both collaborated with USSEC. The format of the Galicia meeting was identical to the meeting in Tarragona.
The Galicia market imports 500,000-600,000 MT soybean meal a year. The city’s location in the northwest of Spain makes it a port well-situated to receive imports of U.S. soybean meal.
The objective of both meetings was the diffusion of research pertaining to soybean meal quality by origin, giving emphasis to the advantages of U.S. soybean meal related to amino acid quality and other components such as digestibility. An equally important objective was to make potential customers aware that U.S. soybean meal is available and competitive in price with South American exporters, especially in the winter season. Although sustainability is not yet an issue in Spain, USSEC proactively shared the steps that the U.S. soy industry has already been taking for years in the area of sustainability, explained the U.S. Sustainability Assurance Protocol, and discussed the ease of importing this sustainable product.