WASHINGTON, D.C., U.S. — At China's Food Security and Food Safety Strategy Summit hosted by China's Development Research Center (DRC) last month, U.S. Grains Council (USGC) representatives spoke on the importance of trade to achieve future food security in China and around the world.
With more than 150 stakeholders from government and industry in China attending a closed-door session on the first day of the summit, USGC board of directors’ member and Iowa, U.S., farmer Dick Gallagher gave a presentation covering trends in global agricultural trade and new opportunities under the new normal of China's economic development.
"Future agricultural policies will emphasize reduced environmental impact for a more sustainable agricultural system, emphasize quality as well as quantity, and become more open to imports for non-staple foods," Gallagher said. "The council's current program in China is working to help address all of these issues."
The council has been active in China since opening an office there in the 1980s, and this conference is one example of council leaders engaging in dialogue with key government policy makers there.
"USGC has sponsored technical workshops for the feed and livestock industries in China and trade teams traveling to the United States for training that have included thousands of participants over the years," Gallagher said. "I have personally hosted several of these teams on my farm in Iowa. As a producer, I believe these opportunities to meet with Chinese users of my product help us develop a better understanding of each other, strengthen relationships and improve food security."
The council hosted more than 30 trade teams this summer, including some from China that allowed participants to see U.S. production firsthand and gain confidence in the quality of grain they are receiving from the U.S. This and other programs that the council has undertaken related to corn, distiller's dried grains with solubles (DDGS), nutrient waste management and providing accurate, timely information to Chinese customers are all part of the council's multi-pronged strategy to develop trust in this crucial market.
"The council is proud of the partnerships it has developed in China and the role it has played to help facilitate agricultural modernization there during the last 33 years," Gallagher said. "We are looking forward to continuing this partnership during the next three decades and more."