Friday, October 12, 2007

Soyfoods Association of North America and Southern African Soyfoods Group to Partner

The Soyfoods Association of North America (SANA) and the Southern African Soyfoods Association (SASFA) have signed a memorandum of understanding that will benefit the soyfoods industries on both continents. The World Initiative for Soy in Human Health (WISHH) is providing financial support of the new cooperative effort with support from the U.S. Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Global Development Alliance and Southern Africa Trade Hub Project.

The two industry associations have agreed to share information about products and markets under the agreement that covers October 1, 2007 through March 31, 2009. SANA has also pledged to help SASFA develop a strategic plan and strengthen its abilities to serve their members and their soyfoods market. With USAID’s support of the Soy Foods and leveraged soybean checkoff dollars, is covering the cost of technical transfer, communications, and SASFA strategic planning in South Africa.

“This international cooperation is deemed vital to the continued success of soyfoods worldwide, and as SANA President I look forward to a growing and valuable relationship between the two Soyfoods Associations,” said WholeSoy & Co. CEO Ted A. Nordquist who recently returned from a WISHH- supported training program in South Africa.

The new agreement builds on the cooperation that WISHH and SANA leaders began in September 2005 under the USAID-supported Soy in Southern Africa Alliance (SISA). In addition to Nordquist, SANA leaders Peter Golbitz and Paul Lang have worked with Southern African soyfoods companies and shared their experiences during popular soyfoods training programs. SASFA Executive Committee Member Dutliff Snyman reports that soyfoods trainings were successful and cultivated interest in expanding the cooperation with SANA.

The basis for the enthusiastic response to these trainings is well founded, according to market research completed through SISA. South African consumers are increasingly becoming conscious of the link between diet and health. This is just one of the findings of the market research done in April – July 2006. The soy market for human consumption increased to 49,395 tons in 2005. Soy protein in the meat processing industry is by far the largest segment consisting of 52.1% of the total market for soy. However, beverages and snack bars are showing the fastest growth and have significant potential.

In addition to the trainings, the groups are helping install electrically powered SoyCow processing systems as well as manual VitaGoat systems that generate business opportunities as well as nutritious high-protein soyfoods. Soyfoods are also of great interest in Africa because of their potential to provide better nutrition for people living with the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV).

“WISHH applauds both soyfoods associations for their commitment to this partnership,” said WISHH Executive Director Jim Hershey. “Their cooperation has the potential to benefit hundreds of companies who can offer better diets through soyfoods to millions of people.”

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