News & Events
The Vietnamese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) for the first time has granted licenses to four genetically-modified corn varieties to be used for both human consumption and animal feed.
This process started four years ago when Vietnam announced it would start field trials of these four varieties of genetically-modified corn. Since then, the varieties have gone through extensive testing and evaluation, as well as being approved by Vietnam’s Council of Food Safety for Genetically-Modified Food and Animal Feed.
More than 300 participants crowded the U.S. Grain and Oilseed Market and Trade Forum, held last week in Beijing, to assess the evolving role of trade in meeting China’s strategic food security objectives. Iowa producers Kevin Ross and James Grief presented on the U.S. producers’ perspective and current crop conditions at the Forum.
Yes, modern agriculture and biotechnology do have allies in Europe -- just not enough, yet.
This week, MAIZALL, the international maize alliance, brought its message regarding the importance of biotechnology for producers in the Americas to both private sector and governmental stakeholders in Europe. The MAIZALL team also stressed the need for a predictable, science-based regulatory regime in the EU.
The Almarai Company, Saudi Arabia’s largest dairy company and third largest poultry company, has announced plans to stop domestic cultivation of forage and rely entirely on imported feed. This move is in response to anticipated new governmental restrictions on water usage, as the country’s economic and population growth continues to overtax available water resources.
“Almarai has been a strong and consistent purchaser of U.S. corn, often paying a premium for U.S. origin corn,” said Cary Sifferath, U.S. Grains Council regional director of the Middle East and Africa. “The company already imports 100 percent of its feed grain needs for milk production."
The dynamic of trade is changing in China as the country looks toward expanding sources of grain to supply chain, food security and meet a growing demand for high-protein products for its rapidly expanding middle class.
Trade allows developing countries to gain food security, access the variety and abundance of the world market and win entry to developed markets for their own products. As an additional benefit, these countries enjoy a competitive advantage and can earn greater profit on goods exported. Developed countries like the United States benefit from additional markets for their products; enhanced international political stability, which means a more peaceful world; and global economic growth that results from food security.
The clock is ticking down on the World Trade Organization Ministerial meeting in Bali. With talks scheduled to conclude tomorrow, Dec. 6, negotiators remain far apart regarding a proposal advanced by India, with the support of several other developing countries, to expand agricultural production subsidies, ostensibly in the interests of food security. Such a proposal is clearly a step back from the Uruguay Round of commitments limiting "amber box" trade distorting programs.
Efforts are intensifying in Geneva to secure a trade package for consideration at the December World Trade Organization (WTO) Ministerial in Bali, and member countries hope to develop a broad enough package to signal that trade liberalization at the multi-lateral level is still possible and desirable.
The U.S. Grains Council (USGC), along with the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA), MAIZAR, representing Argentina producers and the maize supply chain and ABRAMILHO (Brazilian Association of Corn Producers) today signed a memorandum of understanding to form an alliance of North and South American maize (corn) producers to collaborate on a global basis to address key issues concerning food security, biotechnology, stewardship, trade and producer image. The organizations will function under the name, MAIZALL—The International Maize Alliance.
History repeats itself. The U.S. Grains Council and National Corn Growers Association officers find parallel trends between mature and developing markets.
The influence of the Council's programs was apparent in the two long-standing, loyal U.S. markets of Japan and Korea, according to USCG chairman Don Fast, with all signs pointing to the same future success in the emerging market of China. Fast was speaking from China, where he was leading the 2013 Officers Mission.