Illinois Soybean Association hosts trade teams from Cambodia and Myanmar
The Illinois Soybean Association, Specialty Soya Grains Alliance and World Initiative for Soy in Human Health is hosting trade teams from Cambodia and Myanmar this week.
Shane Frederick with SSGA tells Brownfield the Fork to Farm event is an opportunity to connect people along the entire specialty soybean supply chain and answer questions from foreign buyers. He says they talked a lot about the growth of their Identity Preserved Assurance Plan and Brand Program.
“There’s no co-mingling with other varieties, with other crops or with foreign materials. It’s a clean, bagged product.”
He says since the program began about a year and a half ago, 14 US companies have met the qualifications for identity preserved and there is a growing interest from overseas buyers to use the label on their food products.
“That’s going to signify that identity preserved ingredients from the United States are of the highest quality, are traceable, are verifiable, are safe and secure.”
And he says the program offers US farmers an opportunity to increase the value of their product and derive premiums.
Potomac, Illinois farmer Bryan Severs also welcomed the group to his farm so buyers could see how the soybeans are grown and handled.
“I think this helps show them the product they are buying from us, as Illinois soybean farmers, and it gives them a chance to see what it’s like in the beginning when beans are growing. We have beans in the bin, so they can see that too and we can explain to them what we do to try to identity preserve for them. It’s an opportunity for us too because without them, we’re just raising soybeans for no reason.”
Severs says as a farmer, he takes pride in knowing he is growing a quality product that end users are happy with.