SOY ▶▶▶

Cargill: “Global demand for sustainable soy is still low”

Demand for sustainable soy is still low worldwide, says Joe Stone, Director of the Agricultural Supply Chain division at Cargill, in a webinar presented by the American Soy Export Organization (USSEC).


here are a number of specialised flows that have sustainability as an important factor, but in general there is little enthusiasm for sustainable soy. Customers do ask for solu-

tions that are more sustainable, but usually there is no real added value for the companies to whom we sell ingredients,” according to Stone.

Security ranks higher than sustainability Stone sees that demand for soy from China, in particular, is mainly based on food security. Little attention is currently paid to sustainability. According to Stone, a clear distinction can be made between different markets. “In China no value is placed on sustainability because the main focus is still on food securi- ty. Around 65% of US soy goes to China. We cannot underesti- mate the importance of the Chinese market and we have also responded to it. “On the other hand there’s Europe, says Stone.

Joe Stone: “ Europe has the most specific re- quirements, but it’s a much smaller market. Suppliers must be able to serve both markets.”

“Europe has the most specific requirements, but it’s a much smaller market. Suppliers must be able to serve both markets.”

Demand for soy remains strong Demand for soy from China has recently increased again. The pig population grew much faster than expected after the out- break of African swine fever, prompting demand for soy to re- cover, says Stone. He therefore expects that, in 2021, demand for soy will remain strong, due to the rapidly growing pig population in China, “even though China has a strong focus on self-sufficiency.” He continues: “We have a large crushing branch (soya processing), a food branch and a large animal feed branch in China. The recovery we see there has exceeded our expectations.” Stone is therefore optimistic about global demand for soy, also because he expects that the catering in- dustry will begin to open up again this year. “In general, we have a lot of reasons to be positive about demand for soy.”

A bulk carrier at the Cargill port in Santarem, Para state, Brazil.

Meat substitutes Stone does not yet see much demand from the meat substi- tute sector. This is a sector that also uses protein crops such as soy and one that is growing rapidly. He emphasised that in general little attention is paid to food security, feeding the world’s population and the role proteins can play in this. “We see about 2% annual growth in what we call demand for tra- ditional proteins. And we will continue to invest in that. We certainly think that plant-based products will have a place on the consumer’s table, just like in vitro meat products. We also invest in that. We expect demand for vegetable proteins to continue to grow and this is part of a total solution to the challenge of feeding a growing global population.”

▶ ALL ABOUT FEED | Volume 29, No. 1, 2021 37

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