Through the cooperators meeting of the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) Central American Northern Triangle offices, the U.S. Grains Council (USGC) was able to connect with end-users of feed grains in Guatemala, while also meeting with key stakeholders in the poultry and livestock industries. In addition, speakers and attendees discussed the comfort levels of those in the region given the ongoing pandemic.
While in Guatemala, the Council’s Latin America office conducted an in-person feed grains program, the first in-person event since March 2020. Ana Ballesteros, USGC’s Latin American marketing director for feed grains, visited Guatemala in mid-August to facilitate the trade servicing program, while also participating in the FAS cooperators meeting.
“Although we have been able to keep in touch with those end-users virtually, being able to talk with them in person allowed for a better understanding of their situations,” Ballesteros said.
Following the appropriate safety measures in the area, the Council met with six organizations while in Guatemala, some of which allowed for on-site visits. USGC visited Alimentos S.A., that processes corn for human consumption, and Comayma, a feed-producing cooperative. Ballesteros also met with the Guatemalan Pork Producers Association (APOGUA), the Guatemalan Poultry Producers Association (ANAVI), the Dairy Producers Chamber and the Central Agricola Group on behalf of the Council.
By learning more about each organization and the challenges they have faced since the beginning of the pandemic, USGC is better able to plan its programs for the future.
“Having the in-person meetings helped the Council identify additional activities to conduct even under current restrictions,” Ballesteros said. “It also helped to understand the impact that the first year of the pandemic had on industries and their expectations moving forward.”
Guatemala imported 1.2 million metric tons (MT) (47.2 million bushels) of U.S. corn and 74 thousand MT of U.S. DDGS in the 2020-21 marketing year.
About The U.S. Grains Council
The U.S. Grains Council develops export markets for U.S. barley, corn, sorghum and related products including distiller’s dried grains with solubles (DDGS) and ethanol. With full-time presence in 28 locations, the Council operates programs in more than 50 countries and the European Union. The Council believes exports are vital to global economic development and to U.S. agriculture’s profitability. Detailed information about the Council and its programs is online at www.grains.org.