Illinois Soybean Association adapts to virtual trade missions

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Illinois Soybean Association adapts to virtual trade missions

Virtual ISA booth at the USSEC Pan Asia Food Summit June 2020

Commodity groups are getting creative with trade relationship efforts since COVID-19 has limited foreign travel.

Illinois Soybean Association Trade Team Coordinator David Headly tells Brownfield normally they would be welcoming foreign buyers to US fields for harvest, but this year…

“We have been pretty busy having booths set up online. It is not the same as face-to-face and shaking hands but at least we are getting the word out there letting folks know that Illinois soybeans are available and ready for export.”

He says they have reached nearly 1,000 buyers through virtual events, but time zone differences and other logistics have posed challenges.

“Hopefully at some point we can return back to having everybody in the same room, but I am sure that is going to take some time to work out as we navigate through post-COVID in the next year or two.”

Headly says while they value trade with all countries, recently ISA has been working closely with two specifically.

“In the state of Illinois, Taiwan and Indonesia are very important buyers due to Illinois being container centric and so we have been working with those buyers as well as the consulate offices in Chicago to get that message out.”

He says it is important to let buyers know US commodities are open for export and that groups are available to answer their questions.

Interview with David Headly