During the trip 26 Canadian representatives met with more than 220 current and potential customers in Japan, Malaysia, and Vietnam.

Brian Innes, Executive Director with Soy Canada says there’s nothing like being face-to-face to share and understand how we deliver value for our customers.

"The enthusiasm we saw this year shows the value of our market development investment and how we can grow the value of our industry in the future."

Participants Soy Canada heard firsthand the quality specifications customers are looking for when purchasing soybeans.

Nicole Mackellar, market development manager with Soy Canada says in Japan, Canada’s highest premium market for Identity Preserved (IP) non-GMO soybeans, participants heard about their preference to use Canadian soybeans due to their high quality and protein levels.

She noted that the quality characteristics Japanese tofu makers are looking for are quite different than feed users in Vietnam. 

"For some customers, they value hearing about how we’re developing new varieties to meet their needs while for others our discussions focused on resolving trade concerns."

The group also heard about their interest in sustainable sourcing and the need for consistent supply.

During the visit to Malaysia, Canada’s eighth largest market for food-grade soybeans, participants heard about the growth in the middle class and continued demand for soy food products is driving demand for soybean imports. 

In Vietnam, the group heard about the growing demand for both food and feed purposes with crushing capacity set to double in the next two years. 

During the visit they also talked about improving the restrictive import measures for the presence of creeping thistle seed in soybean shipments.

Canadian soybean exports have faced significant market access challenges in Vietnam over the last five years.