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Here are four takeaways from the first Identity Preserved International Summit.

Mindy Ward, Editor, Missouri Ruralist

February 9, 2023

2 Min Read
shipping containers stacked
FILL DEMAND: There was much discussion at the Identity Preserved International Summit about size and availability of shipping containers. Demand by ocean shippers will likely drive the decision, but those working with agriculture products would like those smaller containers to remain in play. Finn Salomon Nielsen/Getty Images

Buyers and farmers sat in on 10 sessions during the inaugural Identity Preserved International Summit in Hawaii this January.

Here are four topics at the center of the conversations:

1. Container concerns. Shipping containers can stay in the system up to eight years, and then there is a process for replacement. “The carriers that we work with tell us that they are no longer making 20-foot containers,” says Bob Sinner, SB&B Foods, “basically all 40-foot.”

But restocking those containers could depend on the builder. “ONE [Ocean Network Express] is telling us that they are building more 20-foots; they want more magenta color,” said Teri Zimmerman of Ray-Mont Logistics.

2. Supply and price projections. “If you look at where we sit right now in this market, considering harvest, considering carryover stocks from a supply position, we have doubled the organic supply that we normally have at the start of any given market,” said Ryan Koory, vice president of economics at Mercaris.

Prices for organic soybeans reached highs of $45 per bushel in 2022. Will they stay there? “We know the markets are long,” Koory adds. “We also know there’s a lot of unmet demand. Which is going to influence the market the most in price?”

3. Consumers move product. Consumer validates the value of IP grain by purchasing the product again and again. They are willing to pay more for a product that speaks to them, said Peter Golbitz, founder of Agromeris, an advisory firm focusing on specialty food and agriculture products.

BRAND AWARENESS: Consumers read labels. The Specialty Soya and Grains Alliance wants the U.S. Identity Preserved brand to be one that consumers recognize and trust. (Mindy Ward)

“Food labels can help consumers select products with attributes, a value, that would otherwise be difficult or impossible for them to verify. So, the consumer trusts the label, they trust the seal, they will buy that product,” Golbitz said. “If we look at how to promote value added IP up and down the food chain, the U.S. Identity Preserved verified mark certifies that products are traceable back to the defining point in the supply chain and that they've complied with the program's requirements.”

4. U.S. IP certificate delivers. The U.S. Identity Preserved logo and certification process is recognized by buyers and their customers, said Gary Williams, owner of Grainhound Consulting, which works in the grain trading space.

“My hope is that the brand — U.S. Identity Preserved — becomes a gold standard worldwide as a brand your customer will rely upon and demand,” he said, addressing buyers in the room. “I also sincerely hope it's a brand that makes you very successful and will reward you for buying from, in my opinion, after 33 years in the business, the best supplier country in the world in terms of value, integrity and trust.”

Read more about the need for this type of identity preserved industry event at here.

About the Author(s)

Mindy Ward

Editor, Missouri Ruralist

Mindy resides on a small farm just outside of Holstein, Mo, about 80 miles southwest of St. Louis.

After graduating from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a bachelor’s degree in agricultural journalism, she worked briefly at a public relations firm in Kansas City. Her husband’s career led the couple north to Minnesota.

There, she reported on large-scale production of corn, soybeans, sugar beets, and dairy, as well as, biofuels for The Land. After 10 years, the couple returned to Missouri and she began covering agriculture in the Show-Me State.

“In all my 15 years of writing about agriculture, I have found some of the most progressive thinkers are farmers,” she says. “They are constantly searching for ways to do more with less, improve their land and leave their legacy to the next generation.”

Mindy and her husband, Stacy, together with their daughters, Elisa and Cassidy, operate Showtime Farms in southern Warren County. The family spends a great deal of time caring for and showing Dorset, Oxford and crossbred sheep.

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