Asian market growth is another reason to celebrate April as Soy Foods Month. ASA/WISHH is building new Asian markets for U.S. identity preserved (IP) food soybeans by leveraging USDA program funding with U.S. soy checkoff investments. As a result, tofu and soymilk companies in Cambodia and Myanmar are planning 2023 purchases of U.S. IP food soybeans and committing to more soy product development research.
In January, WISHH used the USDA Agricultural Trade Promotion Program to organize a trade team of five Cambodian and Burmese tofu and soymilk companies to attend the Specialty Soya and Grains Alliance (SSGA) Identity Preserved International Summit in Hawaii. All five companies reported that the trade team improved their understanding of the nutritive, economic, or functional benefits of using soy as an ingredient. WISHH’s survey also found 100% are committed to further product research and development incorporating soy. Importantly, two of the five reported they plan to use U.S. soy within the next year.
WISHH’s 2023 work in Cambodia and Myanmar is built on a five-year-old foundation of USDA and soy checkoff investments and recognition of the necessity of long-term relationship building. An additional payoff from WISHH cultivating these relationships is they provide market intelligence that helps prepare the U.S. soy supply chain to meet future customer demand for specific soybean varieties that can offer a premium price to U.S. farmers.