USSEC and OSC Host Virtual Trade Teams
October 11, 2021 Ohio Soybean Council
By Madison Layman
Travel restrictions do not stop the Ohio Soybean Council (OSC) from reaching international soybean customers. In late June, OSC and the U.S. Soybean Export Council (USSEC) hosted a Virtual Trade Teams meeting via Zoom. Soybean customers were invited to learn about the latest developments in Ohio and U.S. soy from Ohio soybean farmer Bill Bayliss, Mac Marshall of the United Soybean Board, and Neil Donovan of Bunge USA.
A total of 75 soybean buyers from Romania, Bulgaria, Greece, Croatia, Albania and Turkey tuned in virtually. This group of viewers included feed or general commodity soybean customers as well as poultry integrators and feed mills.
Moderators for the meeting were Katie Reardon, OSC Global Demand and Market Development Manager; Iani Chihaia, USSEC country representative for Greater Europe and Romania; and Brianna Metts, USSEC Industry Relations. Chihaia called the meeting to order, and Bauer introduced the first speaker, Bill Bayliss. Bayliss, who serves on OSC’s Board of Trustees and is a USB director, then led the group through an Ohio Soy presentation. He lives in Logan County.
“Food-grade soybeans were a topic of interest as I realized how important the quality and taste are valued amongst different cultures,” said Bayliss. “We appreciate the environment and the quality of our product and put a lot of pride in growing the food-grade beans even though it’s more effort.”
Following Bayliss’s presentation and Q&A, Bauer introduced Mac Marshall. Marshall’s role as Vice President for Marketing Intelligence at USB includes evaluating and establishing long-term strategic initiatives in support of advancing domestic and international trade opportunities for the U.S. soybean industry. Marshall’s presentation covered the overview of his work as well as a market outlook.
“It was interesting to hear him talk about trade issues around the world,” said Bayliss. “Mac was super knowledgeable, and the information he presented was useful. It is very important farmers use the information to make informed decisions.”
Finally, Neil Donovan wrapped up the presentations talking about his role as an exporter. Donovan has worked with Bunge for 14 years transporting and adding value to agricultural commodities. He has moved into various commercial roles in the U.S. and in Brazil trading corn, fertilizer and soybeans. Donovan gave an informational presentation on his efforts in export marketing and finished up with a Q&A.
“I am looking forward to hosting trade visits and traveling abroad again,” said Bayliss. “There is a personal touch when we are able to be in-person for these things.”
The last in-person trade team visit took place in August 2019, and OSC hosted more than 30 company representatives from Korea, China and Japan. Trade team visits are one way OSC communicates value and quality to key layers in the soybean market. These visits give international customers an opportunity to learn about the latest developments in the U.S. food-bean supply chain and to confirm the dependable market system and sustainable supply chain of Ohio.