Indiana agriculture representatives were in Taipei last week to celebrate 50 years of US soybeans in the Taiwanese market.
State Dept. of Ag Director Bruce Kettler and new Indiana Corn and Soy CEO Courtney Kingery were joined by Indiana Soybean Alliance board members Nancy Cline and Jim Douglas for the trip.
Cline, a farmer from Kirklin, says this was a great opportunity to meet their customers and build relationships.
“They were interested in hearing about the ways that we tend our land, how we take care of our land, that we want to produce the best product possible for them. We were also able to ascertain what needs they have for their food products as well as their animal feed, and we started to get a handle on what they really need from us.”
Douglas, from Flat Rock in Shelby County, agreed. He likened it to how farmers do business in Indiana- you don’t do much business with people you don’t really know.
“It’s the same way with international customers. They want to come to Indiana, get out on the farm and see the operations, and see the crop growing. They want you to visit their country to see what they’re doing with the product… it’s a relationship that just takes years of trust and continuing trade to establish that. It is so important to make that happen.”
The delegation made a trip to TTET Union Corporation, the largest soybean crusher in Taiwan. Douglas said they expressed how much they rely on the US being dependable and providing high-quality soybeans.
“They can’t run their factories without product, and they’ve found the U. S. to be a reliable supporter and have leaned in to where we’re supplying 86 percent of the country’s needs at this point.”
The trip was also made in conjunction with the U.S. Soy Buyers Outlook Conference held last week in Taipei.