USSEC connects farmers and buyers along the soy supply chain - Indiana Corn and Soy

USSEC connects farmers and buyers along the soy supply chain

Posted: March 20, 2023
Category: Indiana Corn and Soybean Post - Winter 2023, ISA, News

BY MARY PECK

Where does this food come from? Food producers and manufacturers around the world want to answer this question confidently. To help members of the soy supply chain do this, the U.S. Soybean Export Council (USSEC) hosts events around the world and welcomes customer trade teams to the United States.

“Our goal is to provide a comprehensive view of U.S. Soy so grain handlers, livestock producers and food manufacturers can explain to their customers where their soy products originate,” said Rosalind Leeck, USSEC executive director of market access and strategy and regional director of Northeast Asia. “Event attendees and trade team participants get to sit down face-to-face with key links in their supply chain.”

USSEC hosts trade teams every year, allowing participants to connect with the farmers and suppliers that raise and ship their soybeans. At the same time, USSEC intentionally sends famers to meet with their end users.

Farmer engagement plays a critical role in these events. While some soybean growers have a general idea about where their soybeans go, that concept becomes real when they meet those people and the companies that buy their soybeans to feed pigs, chicken and fish or to produce tofu, soy drinks and more.

“Including farmers serving in soybean industry leadership positions both within and outside USSEC allows more of
them to understand and share what customers need from U.S. Soy,” Leeck explains. “Whether meeting on customers’ home turf or on U.S. farms, we nurture relationships that help every link in the soy food value chain learn how they can deliver value to the others.”

Indiana farmers prioritize these opportunities. For example, they welcomed representatives from nine countries, including key program supporters from Korea, to Indiana for the U.S. Soy International Oil Masters event last summer. The immersive event included farm visits to help soy oil customers understand production, as well as visits to Purdue University, an input supplier and a crushing to highlight research, processing and more.

During late 2022, various farmers from around the state attended USSEC’s Southeast Asia Cooperators Conference
in Bangkok, Thailand, and the Americas CrushCon, held in Cartagena, Colombia. They sat alongside customers to learn about global demand, U.S. yield potential, ongoing supply chain issues, challenges of rising input costs and more, while actively advocating U.S. Soy farmers’ commitment to continue partnering with them.

In the middle of harvest, Indiana farmers welcomed the Taiwan Soybean Oil Masters team to their farms. They
took time away from the combine to explain how they sustainably plant, nurture and harvest high-quality soybeans.

Fostering these relationships produces long-term benefits in the form of market share around the world.

“For example, U.S. Soy has collaborated with Japan since 1956, and today we enjoy a 75 percent market share there,” Leeck said. “Based on their culture, we need to continue to share our appreciation for that long and rich partnership.”

She added that U.S. Soy is currently celebrating 40 years of partnership with China, which is now the world leader in pork, egg and aquaculture production, as well as soy food consumption. The country is also the top export customer for U.S. Soy.

“When farmers meet soy customers in person, they learn how those customers use soy to produce their products and how interact with their end customers,” Leeck said. “This influences how they raise soybeans and validates that their efforts to continue improving the quality and sustainability of U.S. Soy really does benefit the full supply chain.”

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