Checkoff helps mark 50th anniversary of Japan’s oilseed industry
ST. LOUIS (May 10, 2012) – More than 75 million bushels of whole U.S. soybeans made their way to Japan last year, thanks to strong demand for quality soy. Next week, a delegation of U.S. soybean farmers representing the United Soybean Board (USB), the American Soybean Association (ASA) and the U.S. Soybean Export Council (USSEC) plan to honor the 50th anniversary of the Japan Oilseed Processors Association (JOPA). The organization has worked with U.S. soybean farmers to meet demand for U.S. soy in Japan.
Today’s strong trade relations with Japan started in 1956, when a team of representatives of the Japanese soy industry visited the United States. Ever since, JOPA, which represents 20 Japanese oilseed processors, has been a key ally for the U.S. soy industry. Today, nearly 70 percent of Japanese soybean imports originate from the United States.
“Japan has grown to be one of our most valued customers,” says Vanessa Kummer, USB chair and a soybean farmer from Colfax, N.D. “Because customers in Japan serve as one of our largest markets abroad, soy ranks as the top U.S. agricultural export and makes a large net contribution to the U.S. agricultural trade balance. The soy checkoff, along with my fellow farmers representing ASA and USSEC, mark this very symbolic milestone with our Japanese customers and remain committed to meeting their soy needs.”
“Japan’s oilseed processing sector has long been a trusted partner for American soybean farmers,” says ASA First Vice President Danny Murphy, a soybean farmer from Canton, Miss. “The American Soybean Association opened its first overseas international market development office in Japan in 1956, and U.S. soy exports to Japan have grown to more than $1 billion annually today. We are honored to join our Japanese counterparts and colleagues in celebrating the accomplishments of the Japanese Oilseed Processors Association as it celebrates its 50th anniversary, and we look forward to continuing the Japanese-American partnership.”
“Our partnership with the Japanese crushing industry, which is the third largest buyer of U.S. soybeans, is stronger than ever,” says Roy Bardole, USSEC chairman and soybean farmer from Rippey, Iowa. “U.S. soy farmers take the relationship with JOPA very seriously. We are committed to do what we can to ensure another 50 successful years as their partner.”
Prior to formal recognition marking JOPA’s anniversary, the U.S. group plans to visit a soy processing plant and feed mill at a major port near Tokyo.
The 69 farmer-directors of USB oversee the investments of the soy checkoff to maximize profit opportunities for all U.S. soybean farmers. These volunteers invest and leverage checkoff funds to increase the value of U.S. soy meal and oil, to ensure U.S. soybean farmers and their customers have the freedom and infrastructure to operate, and to meet the needs of U.S. soy’s customers. As stipulated in the federal Soybean Promotion, Research and Consumer Information Act, the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service has oversight responsibilities for USB and the soy checkoff.
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