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The Weekly Grind – March 28, 2014

March 28, 2014

NAMA NEWS

NAMA AND POGA WORKING TO SOLVE OAT TRANSPORTATION ISSUES

NAMA’s Oat Division met by conference call this week to discuss proposals from the Prairie Oat Growers Association (POGA) of Canada for joint initiatives to address the serious rail transportation difficulties that have disrupted the supply chain for Canadian oats to NAMA oat millers.  During the call, NAMA staff was asked to work with POGA on the possibility of a transportation forum that might bring together several stakeholders in the North-South corridor movement of Canadian grain to the US market to discuss solutions.

POGA’s Board is considering that response to their idea this week and a reaction is expected soon.  If agreed, a meeting that could include representatives from POGA, NAMA, the Western Grain Elevators Association in Canada (so-called Line Companies), and terminal elevators in Thunder Bay, Duluth and/or Minneapolis is expected.  It is uncertain whether railroad or Canadian Government officials would be invited to participate in the meeting.

With guidance from legal counsel, NAMA made it clear to POGA that discussions were about policy and communication with the public sector.

NAMA SPEARHEADS GRAIN CHAIN COMMENTS ON CODEX DON STANDARD ON “RAW” GRAINS

NAMA wrote and coordinated a full grain supply chain comment to the US delegation for the Codex Alimentarius CCCF (Codex Committee on Contaminants in Food) that meets next week in The Hague, Netherlands.  The agenda includes a proposed Standard for Deoxynivalenol (DON) on ‘raw’ grain at 2ppm that, if implemented, would severely restrict the ability of individual grain processors to manage their own food safety management plans for DON.

The comment letter included signatures from the grower community, grain trade and end product manufacturers.  This is a very good example of the whole chain working in concert.  Unfortunately, the Standard we are commenting on has moved ahead in recent years and our effort is vey late in the process.  (The standards are at Step 5/8, meaning that the proposal is to move from Step 5 directly to the last Step (8), which makes it ready for adoption at the next Codex Council meeting). The Government of Canada will take the lead in opposing the movement of the Standard forward and we expect the USG to work with them.

The current US standard of 1 ppm for semi- processed flour is being met by individual millers using grains that comply with their own internal processing standards, rather than a government mandated whole grain level and we have shown that we are able to use levels much higher than 2 ppm in inbound grain.  The joint comments also support the 1ppm Codex proposed standard for semi-processed foods and oppose the proposal for infant foods at 0.2 ppm.  Paul Green, NAMA’s International Trade Consultant will attend the meeting as part of the US delegation.

To see the comments NAMA submitted, visit http://www.namamillers.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/CCCF-DON-GrainchainFinalREV1.pdf.

INVITATION TO ATTEND AMERICAN OAT WORKERS CONFERENCE

An invitation has been extended to the entire oat community to participate in the American Oat Workers Conference (AOWC), to be held in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada from Sunday July 13 to Wednesday July 16, 2014.  The theme of AOWC 2014 is “Oat Action Together: a Strategy for Public/Private Cooperation” and additional details are available at www.aowc.ca .  The 2014 conference is proudly sponsored by General Mills, Quaker, Grain Millers, Prairie Oat Growers Association, PhytoGene Resources, SeCan, and the North American Millers’ Association.  The AOW organization links together researchers, industry, growers and other stakeholders who have an interest in the sustainable development of the oat sector. The purpose of the AOWC is to advance oat improvement and culture in North America and the World by providing a vehicle for discussion of the challenges of oat improvement and the integration of applicable research.  The meeting is held only once every four years.  Participants at the last AOWC represented a broad range of grower, processor, research, and stakeholder organizations, both private and public, from the United States, Canada, Brazil, China, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.  It is anticipated that AOWC 2014 will prove to be an equally effective forum for the exchange of ideas and information across all sectors.

REGISTRATION IS OPEN FOR 55TH ANNUAL CORN DRY MILLING CONFERENCE

Registration is open for the 55th Annual Corn Dry Milling Conference, May 14-15, 2014.  Jointly sponsored by USDA’s National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research (NCAUR) in Peoria, Illinois and NAMA, the conference has become a unique event with the objective of sharing information about the corn dry milling industry, including the latest advances in milling, product testing technologies and the science of corn production technology.  Corn millers and seed producers, people involved in food corn product manufacturing or sales, and agricultural engineers dealing in the production, handling, storage, and processing of corn products for food are encouraged to attend.  For more information on the conference and to register, please visit http://www.namamillers.org/meetings/corn-dry-milling-conference/.

REGISTRATION STILL OPEN FOR 2014 NAMA LEADERSHIP MEETING

Registration is still open for NAMA Board of Directors and Executive Committee to attend the 2014 Leadership Meeting taking place in Washington, D.C, April 9-10, 2014.  The Leadership Meeting is a great opportunity for NAMA members to bring a real-world perspective to milling industry issues, make NAMA a familiar name and sought after source of information and to visit with other colleagues on the NAMA Board members in a small, informal setting.  The meeting will begin April 9 with a luncheon, Capitol Hill and federal agency visits, and a rooftop reception.  The NAMA Executive Committee will meet the following day.  To make hotel reservations, please call the Holiday Inn Capitol at 877.572.6951.  For more information on the leadership meeting, please visit http://www.namamillers.org/meetings/leadership-meeting/.


INDUSTRY NEWS

NORMAN BORLAUG ENTERS U.S. CAPITOL’S STATUARY HALL
Des Moines Register

Far from the fields and laboratories where Norman Borlaug workers much of his life, hundreds gathered in the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday to unveil a statue honoring the plant geneticist credited with saving more than a billion people around the world from starvation.  As light snow blanketed Washington, attendees joined to praise the late scientist’s work to boost crop production and recognize his enduring impact on agriculture – still yielding benefits for people living in Mexico, India and other countries around the globe years after his death.  For the full Des Moines Register article, visit http://www.desmoinesregister.com/article/20140326/NEWS/303260057/Norman-Borlaug-enters-U-S-Capitol-s-Statuary-Hall.

RESTAURANTS ENCOURAGE CONSUMERS TO REACH FOR WHOLE GRAINS
SmartBlog

On Wednesday, April 2, 2014, Healthy Dining and several other of Healthy Dining’s restaurant partners will join the Whole Grain Council’s annual Whole Grain Sampling Day (WGSD).  Along with the participating restaurants, a medley of other foodservice entities including grocery stores, schools, workplaces and universities will also be participating.  This celebration will give Americans the delicious opportunity to sample and taste the wonderful flavors of whole grains.  Whole grains are an important component of a healthy day and are filled with important antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and fiber.  For more on this SmartBlog article, visit http://smartblogs.com/food-and-beverage/2014/03/25/restaurants-encourage-consumers-to-reach-for-whole-grains/?utm_source=brief.

STRONG EXPORTS LIFT CORN FUTURES, DRY WEATHER CONCERNS BOOST WHEAT
Food Business News

Corn, wheat and soybean meal futures advanced Thursday while old-crop soybean and soybean oil futures declined modestly.  Corn rallied on favorable export sales data while wheat firmed on dry weather concerns in hard red winter wheat growing areas.  Soybeans weakened on prospects for an increase in acres in the coming growing season.  For the complete Food Business News article, visit http://www.foodbusinessnews.net/articles/news_home/Purchasing_News/2014/03/Market_Data.aspx?ID=%7B7EB29148-E675-452D-9896-A9DFEC42C42E%7D.


Edited by Lyndsey Valentine, Manager of Communications and Administration

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