WASHINGTON, D.C., U.S. — The U.S. Grains Council (USGC) hosted a delegation from the Japanese feed industry, the Japanese Feed Manufacturers Association (JFMA), JA Zennoh and the Japan Feed Trade Association (JFTA) in its Washington, D.C., U.S,headquarters on Aug. 3 to continue an ongoing and open dialogue about U.S. corn quality.

The delegation also met with representatives from the North American Export Grain Association (NAEGA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) Federal Grain Inspection Service (FGIS).

The group’s discussions were centered on Japan’s new good manufacturing practice (GMP) guidelines as introduced to the Japanese feed industry, which might influence control of aflatoxin and mycotoxin levels in regards to corn quality.

The conversations considered ways to mutually harmonize standards so corn trade between the U.S. and Japan will continue to flow smoothly under the new guidelines, including sampling and analytical methods to test corn quality and rules for sampling and testing U.S. corn that is shipped.

“The Japanese delegation was very interested in implementing a program in which corn is tested prior to unloading in Japan using sampling and testing methods for aflatoxin consistent with those in the United States,” said USGC Director in Japan Tommy Hamamoto. “This would reassure Japanese buyers and end-users of U.S. corn’s high quality and help meet the new GMP guidelines. In addition, the feed industry delegation requested more frequent information on mycotoxin levels in U.S. corn.”

The Council said it plans to provide Japanese customers with more of its customer servicing expertise in an effort to mitigate their concerns. This is in addition to USGC’s plan to educate Japanese buyers about U.S. corn production, the U.S. marketing system and U.S. grades and standards that are the basis for corn export trading practices.

“These types of face-to-face interactions are very important to our customers in Japan,” Hamamoto said. “As the world market becomes increasingly competitive, we have to provide the customer servicing that our top markets demand.”