I.G.C. meeting crosses Atlantic to Canada

by Stormy Wylie
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LONDON — The annual conference of the International Grains Council, which is usually held in Europe in June, will travel across the Atlantic in 2000 to the plains of western Canada. The conference, set for June 14-16 at the Saskatchewan Centre of the Arts, Regina, Saskatchewan, will ambitiously tackle current issues surrounding the grain industry, said Richard Ulrich, executive director of the I.G.C. 2000 Grains Conference.

The traditionally one-day conference was expanded to two days "to make the distance worthwhile," Mr. Ulrich said.

The conference theme of "Grain: the New Century," he added, focuses on the I.G.C.'s belief that international grain trade will be undeniably different in the next century because of global production capacity, food security, trade liberalization, biotechnology, trade financing, global transportation and environmental issues.

"This could be the premier conference of the year," Mr. Ulrich said. "We are keeping it full of very interesting and topics and guests, and incorporating the decision makers into the conference."

Lyle Vanclief, Canada's Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, will host a welcoming dinner June 14. Sessions and speakers on June 15 and 16 will include:

• "A Century of Grain," advances in production, transportation and global grain trade patterns from the past century, with Brian T. Oleson, University of Manitoba.

• "Which Direction for the Grains Industry?" technology and its future impact on the industry, with Maurice Delage, Aventis CropScience; Dan Glickman, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture; Trevor Flügge, chairman, AWB, Ltd.; Hassan Khedr, Egypt's Minister of Supply and International Trade; and Nick Brown, Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, U.K.

• "Financing Expanding Global Needs," with Hans Megens, Rabobank International; Greg Arason, Canadian Wheat Board; Richard Fritz, U.S.D.A's Foreign Ag Service; and Mojtaba Ansari, Government Trading Corporation, Iran.

• "Toward a New Trading Environment," with panelists Miguel Rodriguez Mendoza, World Trade Organization; Mr. Vanclief; Zhou Mingchen, China National Cereals, Oils and Food Stuff Import and Export Corporation; and Hideaki Kumazawa, Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Japan.

Pre-conference activities include tours of the Saskatoon and Guelph biotechnology research facilities, Vancouver port facilities and Winnipeg grain institutions.

For more information about the I.G.C. 2000 Grains Conference, telephone 306-780-8805; fax 306-780-7360; or e-mail igc2000@em.agr.ca.