Oilseed industry leaders discussed the global economy, regulatory challenges and engaging consumers, among other key issues, last week during the National Oilseed Processors Association (NOPA) 2015 Annual meeting in California.
“This meeting was valuable for leaders of both the National Oilseed Processors and farmer leaders of both advocacy and promotion to come together to better understand what they can do to improve the profitability of both the soybean crushing industry, as well as the profitability for the American farmer,” said Keith Schrader, Minnesota Research & Promotion Council Vice Chairman.
Different speakers at the event discussed everything ranging from consumers on GMOs to livestock market growth to the effects of weather and transportation on crops movement. The growing and changing world and market opportunities remained a theme throughout.
“With world population growing and more people coming into the middle class, there is and will continue to grow a huge demand for whole soybeans, soybean meal and soybean oil,” Schrader said. “We always want the U.S. to be the country that sells our supplies out first in both the domestic and world market. This gives farmers in Minnesota the best chance at profitability each year.”
Near the end of the annual meeting, NOPA Chairman Chris Nikkel spoke about the need to better align NOPA with the soybean groups on lobbying and product promotion efforts.
“Key items for them now include market access both domestically and internationally, as well as help with industry issues ranging from regulatory to political,” Schrader said.
Industry leaders at the meeting also stressed the importance of putting more focus on consumer educational efforts on biotechnology, how farmers produce food and what work goes into meeting consumer needs for healthy, affordable food.
On the policy side, Minnesota Soybean Growers Association Vice President Paul Freeman attended on behalf of Minnesota (see related story).