It’s not every day that John Ade gets to be the first at something. But when given the opportunity, Perdue AgriBusiness’s senior vice president of North American grain will do everything he can to make it a win for his company and the region he pulls from.
High oleic soybeans are his latest opportunity to succeed for the industry. And he’s rallying the troops.
“Perdue AgriBusiness is excited to source high oleic soybeans and be one of the first,” says Ade, who is based out of Salisbury, MD, and sources most of his soybeans from Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and Pennsylvania. “We have an opportunity to show the rest of the country how we can grow the latest technology right here.”
Ade alludes to the fact that seed companies tend to launch products in larger soybean regions of the country because of the large number of acres there. But, this time is different. High oleic soybeans came to his region first.
“This time we get to be on the front end of innovation,” adds Ade. “Our farmers have an opportunity to grow a product that is in high demand.”
Ade sees Perdue AgriBusiness crushing high oleic soybeans and selling the oil to food customers in the Northeast. Food customers prefer this oil because of its increased stability in some frying and baking applications, without the need for partial hydrogenation. It also has no trans fats, and less saturated fats than commodity soybean oil.
“This oil will definitely benefit the food industry and those customers we serve,” says Gary Cordier, Perdue AgriBusiness vice president of soy processing. “Snack foods are a big market for Perdue and they have shown interest in using this oil.”
With demand for this premium soybean oil, Ade does pay a little extra to farmers growing these soybeans. But, he also has to keep the product competitive with other oils already on the market. He passes that premium cost on to end-use customers.
“Customers are willing to pay more than commodity soybean oil for this product because of its functionality,” says Cordier. “But, these customers have other choices than soybeans, so it has to be affordable or they won’t use it.”
Growing the Business
Perdue AgriBusiness plans to expand the high oleic business this year to help meet those customers’ needs.
“We’re offering several delivery options,” adds Ade. “We have a list of contracting elevators to make it easy for farmers to deliver at harvest, or they can store it on their farm and deliver later in the marketing year.”