Council Trade Schools In Session In CAFTA-DR Markets

Growing meat, milk and egg production in Guatemala, the Dominican Republic and Costa Rica is increasing the demand for feed there. The U.S. Grains Council (USGC) recently conducted trade school programs in each of these countries to help capture these market opportunities and capitalize on close geographic proximity and economic ties to the United States thanks to the Dominican Republic–Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR).

Trade schools are in-country seminars that both convey information about the consistency and quality of sourcing U.S. coarse grains and value-added products from the United States and facilitate discussions. They are a central part of the Council’s strong educational programming

“This trade school was very interactive. Participants brought their own perspectives and questions and shared their concerns and previous experiences using U.S. coarse grains and co-products,” said Catalina Correa, USGC regional marketing specialist for the Western Hemisphere. “They liked that the program was focused on individual countries, and each presentation was prepared with actual figures for the destination, tailor-made to connect with the audience in a more realistic context on the day-to-day subjects with which they have to deal.”

The 2018 seminars presented results from the 2017-2018 Corn Export Cargo Quality Report and provided participants with knowledge on how quality is managed throughout the supply chain from export facilities to ports of destination.

The program also included presentations on sorghum and its opportunities in several markets; highlighted the technical information available on the USGC website; and encouraged buyers to stay in constant conservation with suppliers about prices related to corn.

The topics included will help participants use market tools to manage both basic and advanced risks, negotiate contract terms, understand governing rules, review rights and responsibilities and access the latest freight market information as well as gain knowledge on the specifications, logistics and use of U.S. distiller’s dried grains with solubles (DDGS) for different species.

Agribusiness members and trade representatives for the respective countries participated in the events, enlarging the scope of market insights to include those only locals can deliver. Maritime agents and feed industry association representatives also joined, bringing a wide group of market players together to learn and discuss common challenges.

“The trade school challenged their thinking,” Correa said. “Attendees recognized the importance of understanding contract terms, and speakers recommended several sources of information for further research. Everyone expressed the desire for more time to delve even deeper into the topics presented.”

Providing information to participants throughout the export and feed production value chains is a critical element of the USGC strategy to build global demand for U.S. corn, sorghum, barley and value-added products like DDGS. The Council is also conducting a separate trade school in Colombia this week with the same objectives, the results of which will be covered in a future edition of Global Update.