In the "did you know" category comes information from the United Soybean Board about exports to Japan. It turns out that 75 million bushels of whole U.S. soybeans made their way to Japan last year. This week a delegation of U.S. soybean farmers is heading to Japan to celebrate a key anniversary: 50 years working with a key importer for the Land of the Rising Sun.
The delegation will represent the United Soybean Board, American Soybean Association and the U.S. Soybean Export Council plan to honor the 50th anniversary of the Japan Oilseed Processors Association, which works with U.S. soybean farmers to meet demand for U.S. soy in that country. The group will be part of the 50th anniversary celebration, and will also visit a soy processing plant and feed mill at a major port near Tokyo.
The strong trade relations with Japan started in 1956, when a team of representatives from the Japanese soy industry made a U.S. visit. Ever since, JOPA, which represents 20 oilseed processors, has been an ally for the U.S. soy industry, with nearly 70% of Japanese soy imports originating 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."