INDIANAPOLIS – A group of Indiana farmers has returned home following a three-day trade mission to Taiwan where they sought to solidify relationships for future purchases of Indiana-grown grain.

Members of the Indiana Soybean Alliance visited government officials and Taiwanese food processors which use Indiana raised soybeans.

“They want a dependable product of high quality,” said Jim Douglas, a farmer from Flat Rock, Indiana who took part in the trip. “They can’t run their factories without product. They’ve found the U.S. to be a reliable provider.”

In September, a delegation from Taiwan was in Indiana to sign purchase agreements for U.S. soybeans and corn.

Indiana Soybean Alliance directors signed an agreement with the Taiwan Vegetable Oil Manufacturers Association to sell between 2.6-2.9 million metric tons, equivalent to 96-97 million bushels, of soybeans in 2020 and 2021.

The purchase is valued at approximately $1 billion.

A similar agreement was made for corn. Between the two grains, the value is estimated at approximately $2 billion.

Indiana farmer Nancy Cline, who is a board member for the Indiana Soybean Alliance, says the trip was valuable as it helps strengthen farm trade relationships.

“We actually were able to meet the people who buy our soybeans,” said Cline. “They were interested in hearing about the way we tend our land. We were also able to ascertain what needs Taiwan has. I think those face-to-face meetings of building trust and confidence in one another is really going to be valuable.”

According to the U.S Soybean Export Council, Taiwan imports all of its soybean needs for its 23 million consumers. In 2018, the United States supplied 86 percent of that market share.