Earlier this week, the United Sorghum Checkoff Program, in coordination with the U.S. Grains Council (USGC), Kansas Grain Sorghum Commission and Texas Grain Sorghum Producers Board, hosted international grain buyers from eight countries that are currently purchasing or are interested in U.S. grain sorghum.
“Bringing members of each part of the sorghum value chain together is key to our mission of developing markets, enabling trade and improving lives,” said USGC President and CEO Ryan LeGrand. “The Council is pleased to be working with the United Sorghum Checkoff Program to develop relationships that promise to improve the flow of sorghum globally for U.S farmers.”
Export Sorghum was a one-day, educational conference in Dallas,Texas, where buyers learned more about sorghum markets, trade opportunities, contract negotiation, logistics and U.S. sorghum production. In addition to these market-based discussions, three nutritionists and a dietician discussed the various uses of sorghum for human nutrition, animal feed and pet food in addition to conducting a cooking demonstration.
Sorghum has proven to be a reliable ingredient across these industries and the sponsoring groups work together to build strong relationships between buyers and sellers. Export Sorghum brought these projects in different markets together for the event. The human nutrition portion of the meeting was of particular interest to a Japanese team, to whom the Council has promoted food sorghum for several years. A large Mexican delegation was able to meet with U.S.-based cooperatives to further work on direct sales, a project partially funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Trade Promotion (USDA’s ATP) program. The Chinese delegation met with a genetics specialist from Texas A&M University to discuss the demand for waxy sorghum in the baijiu industry, part of another ATP project.
“By having all of these teams from different markets in one room, importers and end-users were able to see how widespread the demand is for U.S. sorghum,” said Reece Cannady, USGC manager of global trade, who participated in the event. “The delegations were able to talk about their experience using sorghum, allowing others to hear those success stories and perhaps re-evaluate sorghum use in their own rations.”
Following the conference, several teams toured parts of the U.S. to experience sorghum production and the value chain firsthand while developing relationships with U.S. sorghum farmers and suppliers. Read more about what they learned during these trade teams in the next edition of Global Update.
“The post-event trade teams showcase the U.S. grain value chain to these decision-makers and users,” Cannady said. “That personal experience provides a larger degree of comfort and confidence in the quality, reliability and value in U.S. origin when making purchasing decisions.”
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 13 key markets and representatives in an additional 15 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.