The market for identity-preserved (IP) edible soybeans is strong and getting stronger, farmers learned during an information meeting organized by Huron Commodities Inc. recently.
Eiichiro Nishida, assistant manager for buyer Kanematsu Corporation of Japan said Ontario’s producers are emerging as preferred suppliers, certainly over China.
The U. S. is losing out because two big companies, Monsanto and Pioneer, have stopped supporting conventional soybeans, said Shawn Brennaman of Huron Commodities.
They’re putting all of their producer support behind Roundup Ready varieties which are not welcome in the Japanese food market.
Roundup Ready varieties were, however, accepted in some Asian markets last year, including Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Viet Nam and Thailand, Brennaman said.
Richard Audy, business development manager for Syngenta, which markets NK brand seed, said his company is embarking on a serious effort to link its breeding program into the supply chain, meaning close relationships with growers and overseas customers.
He said Syngenta holds about 40 per cent market share in the IP edible soybeans market in Ontario, and is shooting for 60 per cent.
He showed the farmers an IP kit Syngenta has developed for Japanese customers, including a detailed outline of the attributes of all of its varieties grown in Ontario and a CD of information.
Canada currently sells about 350 tonnes per year to Japan “and if there are the right conditions, I could see that doubling in five years,” Audy said.