Soy Canada mission connects with over 200 Indopacific customers to promote Canadian soybeans

Posted on: February 23, 2023

February 22, 2023, Ottawa, ON – Representatives from Soy Canada recently returned from their first in person mission since 2019. The mission connected the Canadian value chain directly with customers in Japan, Vietnam, and Malaysia to share the latest about Canadian soybeans and hear what’s most valuable to them.

“There’s nothing like being face-to -face to share and understand how we deliver value for our customers,” says Brian Innes, Executive Director with Soy Canada. “The enthusiasm we saw this year shows the value of our market development investment and how we can grow the value of our industry in the future.”

From February 8th – 16th, a delegation of 26 Canadian representatives met with more than 220 current and potential customers to develop markets for Canadian soybeans and support stable market access – representing record participation from both Soy Canada members and customers. Exporter and producer members of Soy Canada heard firsthand the quality specifications customers are looking for when purchasing soybeans, visited manufacturing facilities to see how Canadian soybeans are processed, and shared how the latest developments in the Canadian soybean industry provide value for our customers.

Seminars in each country connected customers with experts from across the Canadian soybean value chain. Customers heard about Canadian producers’ sustainable agriculture practices, projections for the 2023 growing season, a global soybean market overview, Canada’s traceability program and Agriculture and Agri-food Canada’s world leading quality research. Speakers included representatives of the Canadian Grain Commission, Agriculture and Agri-food Canada’s Harrow Research and Development Centre, Transport Canada and Soy Canada members. Soy Canada was also pleased to have the Honourable Lisa Thompson, Ontario Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs speak at the Japanese and Vietnamese seminars that coincided with her delegation tour. Numerous side meetings with customers and their associations were also held.

“Our mission helped us connect directly with key customers to better understand what provides them value – which is quite different from one country or end user to the next,” explains Nicole Mackellar, market development manager with Soy Canada.. “The quality characteristics Japanese tofu makers are looking for are quite different than feed users in Vietnam. For some customers they value hearing about how we’re developing new varieties to meet their needs while for others our discussions focused on resolving trade concerns.”

In Japan, Canada’s highest premium market for Identity Preserved (IP) non-GMO soybeans, participants heard about their preference to use Canadian soybeans due to their high quality and protein levels. Participants also heard about their interest in the sustainable sourcing and their need for consistent supply. “Japan is an important market for Canadian non-gmo soybeans”, says Mackellar, “We had the opportunity to share with the Japanese the work that we are doing with the Canadian Food-Grade Soybean Variety Finder, which helps identify new varieties that will meet the needs of end users.”

In Malaysia, Canada’s eighth largest market for food-grade soybeans, participants heard about how the country’s rising middle class and continued demand for soy food products is driving demand for soybean imports. Additionally, Canadian transportation experts explained how Canada is investing in infrastructure to maintain its reputation as a reliable supplier.

In Vietnam, where Canadian soybean exports have faced significant market access challenges over the past five years, participants heard about growing demand for both food and feed purposes with crushing capacity set to double in the next two years. Improving upon the restrictive import measures for the presence of creeping thistle seed in soybean shipments was discussed.

Soy Canada is a national value-chain organization for the soybean sector, including seed companies, Canada’s 30,000 producers, exporters, and processors. Created in 2014, Soy Canada leads the sector’s efforts on market access and market development, provides industry leadership on issues affecting the growth and profitability of the soybean sector and coordinates research efforts across the value chain and across the country.


For more information, media may contact:

Nicole Mackellar
Manager, Market Development
Soy Canada