It reported this week its first successful crushing of non-GMO soybeans at its facility in Spyck, northwestern Germany.
Located close to the Dutch border, the site was previously only used to crush rape and sunflower seeds.
René van der Poel, commercial manager for oilseeds in Germany at the company, told us previously: “We hope providing farmers with an additional outlet for their soy crops will encourage non-GMO soy production."
Switch capacity allows a facility to process more than one crop - ADM said the move is part of its long-term strategy to expand its network of European soy processing facilities and support local farmers in increasing the region’s soybean acreage.
Flexible crush capacity, scale and carefully managed production costs per unit all remain key to its achieving that objective, it added.
ADM’s rapeseed crushing plant in Straubing in Germany also saw switch capacity put in place in 2016, with non-GMO soybean crushing getting underway there in June last year. That facility can now process soybeans sourced from farmers in Bavaria, Baden Württemberg and Upper Austria producing under the Danube Soy GM free standard.
Jon Turney, general manager, ADM European soybean crush, reacting to the Straubing development in 2016, said: “The future of crushing beans in Europe looks healthy, and we are looking very closely at where we can best expand crush in Europe. We see scale, due to the marginal cost per metric ton, as a key for our continued success as a destination soy crusher in order to ensure we are able to compete with origin crushers importing meal into the region.
“Adding switch capability to our plants allow us to utilize our assets more towards the protein markets when EU oil markets are under pressure. We believe we are best placed in our industry to further grow our crush capacities organically and keep our production costs in line with or lower than our origin crushing operations.”
ADM said it has been working to convince farmers in France and along the Danube of the value of growing soybeans within their rotation. It said it has also been collaborating with industry accreditation bodies to create further opportunities to grow and market soybeans across northwest Europe.
European soy declaration
Out of the 31.2m tons of protein-rich soybean meal used for feed in Europe in 2015/2016, 1.5m was produced from EU grown soybeans, according to FEFAC data.
Earlier this month, 13 EU member state signed the European Soy declaration yesterday.
The agriculture ministers of Austria, Croatia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Slovenia and Slovakia endorsed the German-Hungarian proposal on 17 July during the July Agriculture and Fisheries Council in Brussels.
The 13 signatories agreed to increase production of legume crops for food and feed as a contribution to the development of more sustainable and resilient agricultural systems in Europe.
The politicians claimed that soybean production can be increased in many countries in western Europe, but that even greater opportunities exist in central and eastern Europe:
“Large areas of these regions are cultivated with wheat, maize, oilseed rape and sunflower in simple cropping systems that lack diversity. Including legumes in these cropping systems strengthens local economies, increases local and regional protein self-sufficiency, and supports East-West protein partnerships. Protein crop production in Europe generally supports rural economies and creates jobs in farming, processing and usage of locally produced proteins for food and feed.”