Iowa soybean farmer in Italy

(Photo: World Initiative for Soy in Human Health)

Morey Hill shares U.S. Soy’s value with global food security leaders

May 30, 2024

Submitted by Karen Edwards, KCE Group

Soy is a powerful protein for both animals and humans. As the vice chair of the American Soybean Association’s (ASA) World Initiative for Soy in Human Health (WISHH), former Iowa Soybean Association (ISA) Director Morey Hill illuminated soy’s role in global protein during meetings in Rome earlier this month. WISHH set up the meetings to identify potential new partnerships that can use soy for global food security and promote trade and development for new soy market growth.

The Madrid soybean farmer joined four other U.S. soybean farmer leaders in sharing U.S. soy’s quality and sustainability with the three Rome-based food agencies. U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Agencies for Food and Agriculture and USDA Foreign Agricultural Service staff also joined the conversations.

“The trip to the Rome United Nations Agencies was important to understand how they operate, but more importantly, it was good for them to hear from American soybean farmers about WISHH and how we can work together to promote soybean protein,” says Hill.

Hill reports the meetings helped ensure that developing countries look to soy to meet their protein needs first. As they develop, they choose soy to feed their livestock or for more nutritious human foods.

The Rome-based United Nations food organizations (Food and Agriculture Organization, World Food Programme and International Fund for Agricultural Development) lead programs that either currently use U.S. soy or invest in developing economies where ASA/WISHH also works to develop new markets. None of the Rome-based agencies receive soy checkoff funding.

For example, the World Food Programme (WFP) and WISHH have partnered on demonstrating the value of fish in healthy school meals in Cambodia where WISHH is helping build demand for soy-based fish feeds. WFP also uses U.S. soy in nutritious foods, such as corn-soy-blend and Ready to Use Therapeutic Food. Global donors fund WFP’s procurement of these products. A United Soybean Board soy checkoff investment is allowing WISHH to work on a new product formulation that contains the highest level of soy that leading manufacturer, Edesia, alone has ever used. Edesia has tripled its use of U.S. soy flour since 2021 at its Rhode Island manufacturing facility that operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Currently, Edesia uses more than 20 million pounds of soy flour each year, which is the soy protein equivalent of more than 512,000 bushels of soybeans from U.S. farmers. It also uses high oleic soybean oil in its nutrition-packed foods that are distributed to more than 60 countries worldwide.

Due to the global food security challenges around the world, Edesia plans to buy even more U.S. soy flour than ever so WFP and others can use it in their responses.