FARGO, N.D. – The North Dakota Trade Office (NDTO), in conjunction with the Northern Food Grade Soybean Association (NFGSA), will host a delegation of seven value-added food buyers and three American Soybean Association (ASA) officers from Indonesia, Singapore and Thailand during the Southeast Asia Reverse Trade Mission, held Sept. 10-13 in the Red River Valley. The Southeast Asian visitors are soy-food producers interested in purchasing high-quality food grade soybeans from the Red River Valley region.
“NFGSA is very pleased and excited to host the Southeast Asia Reverse Trade Mission. This northern soybean producing area region plays a very important role in supplying high quality food grade soybeans to Asia and SE Asia. This region is recognized for producing and supplying some of the highest quality food grade soybeans in North America, said Curt Petrich, general manager of SunOpta Moorhead and NFGSA representative. “NFGSA is proud to promote not only the northern food grade soybean production region but also to showcase the producers and suppliers of this region as a long term committed partner to our customers.”
Each year, the U.S. exports nearly 60 million bushels of soybeans at a premium for food-grade use, and Asia is the largest customer. Because of improved economies in Southeast Asia and evolving tastes, end users are demanding higher-quality products and are willing to pay more for them. Many Southeast Asian buyers want traceable, high-quality food-grade soybeans to satisfy the demand, and the Red River Valley is the largest U.S. producer of these products.
“Southeast Asia uses exponential amounts of soybeans for protein, which is why North Dakota works to continuously cultivate this relationship. It is important for these buyers to meet the growers and see facilities first-hand,” said Dean Gorder, Executive Director of the North Dakota Trade Office.
Reverse Trade Missions provide a unique opportunity to foster business relationships and build long-lasting partnerships between North Dakota businesses and overseas partners through one-on-one meetings, exhibitions and facility tours. During the Southeast Asia Reverse Mission, foreign delegates will meet with a number of food-grade soybean producers and attend educational seminars at the Northern Crops Institute (NCI), in addition to touring the North Dakota State University (NDSU) Agronomy Seed Farm in Casselton and the NDSU Commodities Trading System in Barry Hall, including the Chicago Board of Trading (CBOT) System.
Nine North Dakota companies will take part in the Southeast Asia Reverse Trade Mission. NDTO is coordinating the program with the help of the American Soybean Association (ASA). Following the mission, foreign delegates will travel to New Orleans to attend the seventh annual Soy & Grain Trade Summit, Sept. 17-19.