Soy 20/20 increases focus on soy food commercialization

Soy 20/20 is strengthening its focus on bringing new soy food products to the Canadian marketplace. The organization has hired a new senior business development manager, Mike Williams, to lead commercialization activities in the soy food area to create new market opportunities for Canadian soybeans. The position was created following the completion of an in-depth strategic plan for soy food by Soy 20/20 earlier this year.

“We’re excited to welcome Mike to the Soy 20/20 team and to ramp up commercialization activities,” says Jeff Schmalz, President of Soy 20/20. “Soybeans are food and while many of the new opportunities in the industry revolve around bioproducts, Canada is underdeveloped in the breadth and depth of soybean-based food products.  Mike’s skills and experience will be invaluable assets as we expand our efforts in this area.”

Williams is a senior level executive with extensive experience in the Canadian consumer packaged goods industry, including General Mills, Schneider’s and Merisant. He assumed his position in mid-November and will be working with Soy 20/20 on a part time basis over the next two years.

The opportunity will be to produce more new and unique food products here in Canada, using soybeans grown by Canadian farmers. Soy 20/20’s recently completed strategic plan for food products and ingredients for Canadian soybeans identified key areas for growth in the snacks, sauces, desserts and frozen products categories.

“Our new strategic plan for soyfood clearly identified a number of areas with excellent market potential, so we’re sharpening our focus on commercialization activities”, says Gary Fread, Chair of Soy 20/20. “Our mandate is to expand market opportunities for Canadian soybeans and this will certainly help drive the industry forward in that regard.”

Soy 20/20 brings together government, academic and industry partners to stimulate and seize new global bioscience opportunities for Canadian soybeans. Soy 20/20 is supported by the Grain Farmers of Ontario, the University of Guelph,  and by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs under Growing Forward, a Federal-Provincial-Territorial initiative.