Three generations of feed mill operators choose U.S. soybean meal for quality, reliability and logistics
Manuel Morena is the third generation to run Provi feed mill in Merida, the vibrant capital city of Mexico’s state of Yucatan. Provi manufactures 7,000 metric tons of commercial feed per month for swine, broiler chickens, poultry, dairy cattle, beef cattle and horses. There have been many changes and updates in the company’s 58 years, but one thing has remained constant – Provi’s use of U.S. Soy as a staple ingredient. Manuel explains that when it comes to feeding Mexico’s livestock and animals, quality is a top priority.
Q: Why has Provi imported U.S. soybean meal consistently for more than five decades?
A: We deliver commercial feed to the states of Yucatan and others in southeast Mexico, and our customers require a quality product. U.S. Soy has always been a very nice quality. It’s also very easy to work with our suppliers and it has been the most economical to obtain. Most of the grains that we obtain here in the Yucatan Peninsula are shipped by barge from the U.S., typically from New Orleans. We receive it here at Port Provi docks, which is nearby, so it’s quick and easy to receive.
Q: When it comes to soybean meal, what constitutes “quality,” in your mind?
A: Quality means both proteins and amino acids. It is very important for us to get a quality product to process feed that meets our customers’ demand. We need to obtain grain that meets our warranties, and that requires proteins and amino acids. We have high expectations for our raw materials (soybeans) to help us achieve a better, more consistent product for our customers. A quality feed helps our customers produce better eggs or meat for their customers.
Q: Is sustainability important to your customers?
A: Sustainability is not a big factor now. As we expand our facility, though, we are using more energy-efficient equipment. In the future, we think that our customers will be more concerned with how their raw materials are sourced, how their raw materials are managed in the facilities and what they are feeding their animals. We’re exploring products that comply with these increasing consumer demands.
Q: What other trends are you seeing in the animal feed sector?
A: We’ve been experimenting with products that are 100 percent vegetable. Organic is just a small part of the market now, but we are exploring this kind of trend since it will become more and more relevant in coming years.
Q: How long have you been working with the U.S. Soybean Export Council (USSEC)?
A: We’ve been working with USSEC for three years. It’s been a great experience. Last year, I was invited by USSEC to visit ports and tour some of the labs that process grains, perform tests and confirm quality. On these travels we had the opportunity to speak one-on-one with analysts, labs and suppliers and to visit these facilities to see what they are doing to ensure the security of the product we’re receiving here in the Yucatan. It would be difficult for a small producer like us to get this information or visit these suppliers on our own. So it’s been very helpful to see how the U.S. sources raw materials and to hear where the market is going. It’s very interesting and I’m sure it will help us in coming years. I’m very grateful to USSEC and the team.
Q: Your family has a long history with U.S. Soy. Do you see this relationship continuing in the future?
A: I would say we will continue buying from the U.S. It’s very easy to obtain, the logistics in the U.S. are very good and we receive grains that meet our raw materials requirements. It’s been very easy to work with the U.S. We’re very happy. In the future, I will look to continue doing the job that we’ve been doing 58 years. I’m hope to have the same opportunity that I had to pass to future generations – the chance to continue the business. We are doing the right things now to continue the market and our commitment to our customers.