Key business representatives from prominent soy food companies and distributors on three continents comprised the largest trade team delegation for ASA’s World Initiative for Soy in Human Health Program this year. Company leaders from Latin America, Asia, and sub-Saharan Africa joined the Northern Crops Institute’s INTSOY trade team to explore multiple options for incorporating U.S. soy into their business strategies. Trade team members made the visit to the United States to enhance their understanding of soy’s nutritional value for human foods and investigate adding soy protein into more products. During the trip, the trade team visited soy production facilities, cultivators and met with experts specializing in food research and soy food applications.
NCI’s INTSOY trade team spanned across three states with support from the soybean checkoff boards of Minnesota, South Dakota, and North Dakota. WISHH also used USDA Market Access Promotion, Agricultural Trade Promotion, and Foreign Market Development funds to bring the company leaders to the States.
A key highlight of the 2023 trade trip is the inclusion of multiple distributors from Latin America who are interested in carrying more soy products for their markets. Elsy Alvarez, whose company already distributes U.S. soy-based products from an Iowa-based company, expressed her excitement on getting more in-depth knowledge of how to incorporate more soy in her company’s products.
“This information has been really invaluable for us,” noted Alvarez. “We know that our products could impact over 20 million people. We can’t afford to waste time looking at other sources. Thankfully, WISHH has already connected us to the best experts as we explore incorporating more soy protein.”
Jose Saban, whose company distributes to multiple countries in Central America, explained that seeing how soy is sustainably grown combined with learning from top experts provided a one-two punch he could take back to his team.
The quality of education offered by these experts through WISHH was top notch and gives me information to support my team’s work,” Saban explained.
Like many other trade team members, Saban was impressed with the ways soy protein can be used to increase the nutritional value of his products.