More than 75 million bushels of whole U.S. soybeans made their way to Japan last year, thanks to strong demand for quality soy. 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) are honoring 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.
“Japan has grown to be one of our most valued customers,” said Vanessa Kummer, USB chair. “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.”
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.
“Japan’s oilseed processing sector has long been a trusted partner for American soybean farmers,” said Danny Murphy, ASA First Vice President. “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.”
Today, nearly 70% of Japanese soybean imports originate from the United States.
“Our partnership with the Japanese crushing industry, which is the third largest buyer of U.S. soybeans, is stronger than ever,” said Roy Bardole, USSEC chairman. “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.