World Initiative for Soy in Human Health
The Illinois Soybean Association checkoff program (ISA) is an active member of the World Initiative for Soy in Human Health (WISHH). The organization’s vision is to build U.S. soy trade through the improvement of health, nutrition and food security in emerging markets.
Q&A with WISHH committee secretary and ISA director Roberta Simpson-Dolbeare
Why are you passionate about WISHH?
Roberta: As a soybean producer, it’s important that we find new markets to sell our soybeans so we can fuel economic growth for our businesses and our communities. Even more important is that this program provides valuable protein to improve nutrition for people and animals. This is truly a win-win effort.
Where are some of those emerging soybean markets?
Roberta: Right now we’re engaged in 24 countries in Africa, Asia and Central/Latin America. Many of these groups are using U.S. soy protein to improve diets and health, as well as encourage the growth of food industries.
What types of projects does WISHH support to grow the industry and provide nutrition?
Roberta: A recent project we launched in Cambodia is the Commercialization of Aquaculture for Sustainable Trade. This program will connect trade and development by accelerating production of high-demand fish species for the Cambodian market and develop a lasting aquaculture industry that recognizes the value of soy protein in feed. We also have worked in Pakistan to drive demand for soy protein in its growing fish feed industry.
What is one of your fondest memories while serving on the WISHH committee?
I had the opportunity to travel with WISHH to Central America in June 2018. We visited schools and businesses that have benefitted from WISHH projects. It was very informative to see firsthand how soy protein is being added to beverages and food products to help improve the diets of children and adults. There is a lot of opportunity for food production companies to increase the amount of whole soybeans, textured soy protein and flour being used as the demand for protein-enriched food products continues to grow in these countries. This in turn will result in growing markets for U.S. soybeans.