Date of Graduation

5-2016

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science in Business Administration

Degree Level

Undergraduate

Department

Supply Chain Management

Advisor

Fugate, Brian

Reader

Arentz, Jason

Abstract

In recent years, the increase and shift in China’s population combined with a reduction in useable farmland due to soil contamination has prompted a significant increase in food imports. Soybeans, in particular, have become a significant import, and the United States is one of their prime suppliers. Chinese soybean imports have increased from 18 million bushels in 1996 to 1.171 billion bushels in 2015. Soybeans are used in food products like tofu and cooking oils and also as a base for animal feed. In the United States, soybeans are the second largest field crop, ranking just behind corn. Close to four billion bushels of soybeans were harvested in 2014, and roughly forty to fifty percent of these were exported, with China as a primary destination. Arkansas is one of the top soybean producing states in the nation, with around 3.3 million acres devoted annually to the crop. While the majority of Arkansas’s soybeans are considered genetically modified (GMO), one of the fastest growing but still largely untapped markets for Arkansas farmers is Non GMO specialty soybeans. These acres are on the rise in the state, and China represents a significant market opportunity for the crop. To take advantage of this opportunity, however, there needs to be adequate financial incentives for farmers, proper management of Non GMO production, and infrastructure to deal with logistical issues before Arkansas farmers, intermediaries, and shippers can benefit from this potential market opportunity.

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