The Weekly Grind – June 6, 2014June 6, 2014
BOROUGHS JOINS NAMA AS DIRECTOR OF REGULATORY AND TECHNICAL AFFAIRS
NAMA President and CEO Jim McCarthy announced this week that Benjamin Boroughs has joined NAMA as the Director of Regulatory and Technical Affairs. Boroughs joins NAMA from the Office of U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (MN), where he focused on agriculture, environment, commerce, and transportation issues. Boroughs graduated from Texas A&M University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Genetics and received his Master’s Degree in International Science and Technology Policy from George Washington University.
NAMA OAT DIVISION MEETS WITH POGA ON TRANSPORTATION ISSUES
NAMA’s Oat Division co-hosted an oat transportation conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota this week with the Prairie Oat Growers Association (POGA) of Canada. The purpose of the meeting was to review the challenges presented by rail issues in the oat supply chain this past winter and plan for association actions to mitigate the prospects of similar issues in the future. Recently, legislation was passed in Canada to provide certainty of rail service to agriculture products for the next two years. Regulations to implement that legislation have been fast-tracked to be in place by August 1 of this year.
The NAMA Oat Division agreed on a basic outline of actions NAMA will take in concert with POGA and the Canadian National Millers Association (CNMA) to consult with the Canadian government and assure the regulations assist in keeping adequate rail service to the North-South rail corridor for Canadian oats to US mills. The oat division reaffirmed the longstanding NAMA position for free and open trade, by deciding to not support government mandated service levels for each rail corridor. Instead, NAMA will be working to maintain Canadian government stand-by authority to take action to compel service in any corridor that might suffer critical failures in rail service, such as the oat situation last year. A full list of the action items from the meeting is in preparation and will be available next week.
NAMA STAFF MEETS WITH AACCI ON CODEX DON MLs
NAMA President and CEO Jim McCarthy, newly appointed Director of Regulatory and Technical Affairs Ben Boroughs, and International Trade Consultant Paul Green met with staff from the American Association of Cereal Chemists International (AACCI) at their Minneapolis, Minnesota headquarters to discuss collaboration in approaching the proposed Deoxnivalenol (DON) Maximum Level (ML) in the Codex Alimentarius. The proposed MLs that NAMA and other US and Canadian grain associations have opposed are currently suspended in the Codex process, but stakeholders are planning strategies to remove the MLs from consideration.
AACCI has credibility as a scientifically based body by Codex members, so stakeholders are working with them on the prospect of an AACCI paper to address international approaches to food safety challenges that are weather, geography and crop year specific. NAMA’s Technical Committee and other stakeholder groups will be meeting mid-June and will consider a more detailed approach from AACCI regarding the use of the paper to support our efforts.
NAMA, GRAIN CHAIN SUBMIT DIETARY GUIDELINES COMMENTS
This week, NAMA and other members of the grain chain, including ABA, submitted joint comments to the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) regarding the importance of grains in the diet. The comments reiterated the crucial role of both enriched and whole grains in the diet. In addition to the comments, the group submitted an updated compilation of recent studies and references relevant to the role of grains in the diet. The DGAC has announced it’s fourth public meeting on June 17 and 18, which will be held via webinar.
NAMA TO PARTICIPATE IN NATIONAL FESTIVAL ON WHEAT
NAMA will be joining wheat weavers, farmers, bakers, and educators to greet visitors at the United States Botanic Garden (USBG) on Saturday, June 14 as part of the Amber Waves of Grain Family Festival. The festival runs from 10 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and highlights the USBG’s summer exhibit on the history and beauty of wheat. The festival includes hands-on activites for children, live wheat weaving, baking demonstrations – including samples, hand-crank flour mills and a tabletop threshing machine as well as mixing activity illustrating the function of different wheat classes and flours. For more information on this festival, visit http://www.usbg.gov/exhibits.
MCCARTHY ATTENDS WFC BOARD MEETING
NAMA President and CEO Jim McCarthy was in Fargo, North Dakota this week to participate in the Wheat Foods Council (WFC) Annual Board Meeting to review on-going public relations campaigns and WFC’s budget and priorities for the coming year. Other topics of discussion included the Wheat Safari, which will also be taking place in Fargo this summer, August 5 -7. While at the meeting, participants had the chance of touring the Northern Crops Institute, which McCarthy attended.
NAMA STAFF VISITS MEMBER MILLS
This week, NAMA staff participated in two member mill visits. President and CEO Jim McCarthy, along with International Trade Consultant Paul Green, and Director of Regulatory and Technical Affairs Ben Boroughs visited Cargill in Minneapolis, MN to introduce Boroughs to the Ardent Mills staff and discuss the completion of the Ardent Mills formation. It was a great opportunity for NAMA staff to be updated on the timetable for Ardent Headquarters’ move to Denver, Colorado. McCarthy also had the opportunity this week to visit North Dakota Mill & Elevator while he was in North Dakota for the Wheat Foods Council Annual Board Meeting.
AUSTRALIAN, CANADIAN, AND US GROUPS RECONFIRM COMMITMENT TO INNOVATION AND BIOTECHNOLOGY IN WHEAT
U.S. Wheat Associates, June 5, 2014
Sixteen organizations in the Australia, Canada and the United States representing producers and millers together publicly confirmed support for innovation in wheat, including the future commercialization of biotechnology. The statement, which lays out shared commitments for the responsible advancement of biotech traits and other breeding advancements in wheat, comes five years after an original document was signed. This new pledge welcomes the addition of broad-based groups like the American Farm Bureau Federation and the National Farmers Union to a wide coalition of wheat organizations in the three countries.
To view the full press release from the U.S. Wheat Associates, visit http://www.uswheat.org/newsRelease/doc/BA83177A8B679FB685257CEE0067525B?Open.
To view the full statement, visit http://www.namamillers.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/Trilateral-Statement-June-201411.pdf.
NAMA signed the original document back in 2009, and has reconfirmed their commitment to the statement.