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Wheat Chain Statement Following 2011 Wheat Summit

April 13, 2011

Chicago, Ill. (April 13, 2011) – Representatives from across the U.S. wheat value chain met Tuesday in Chicago for the fourth Wheat Summit. To encourage open and honest industry dialogue, the discussions at this meeting were closed to press, as previous Wheat Summits have been.

Following is a joint statement from Dana Peterson, chief executive officer of the National Association of Wheat Growers; Alan Tracy, president of U.S. Wheat Associates; Mary Waters, president of the North American Millers’ Association and Lee Sanders, senior vice president  of the American Bakers Association, whose organizations jointly hosted the meeting Tuesday:

“We were pleased to be able to come together today for the fourth Wheat Summit meeting with our colleagues from organizations spanning the depth and breadth of the wheat chain, from seedsmen to food companies.

“The Wheat Summit process started with a call to the industry on wheat’s competitiveness crisis. In the five years since that first meeting, we have seen a true resurgence of interest and investment by the public and private sectors in research and development of wheat. Some of this new engagement stems from grower support for the eventual commercialization of biotechnology traits in wheat, and some is a reaction to increased demand for plentiful, affordable and nutritious grains from a growing world population.

“Together we have identified a number of critical areas of agreement when it comes to paving the way for the responsible introduction of biotechnology – this follows our theme for the 2011 Summit – Moving Forward Together. As a guiding principle throughout our work, we hold as paramount the importance of choice for both the grower and the consumer. We are committed to guarding the high quality of our wheat through all technological innovations, since we know that is key to our continued competitiveness in the marketplace. Additionally, we recognize the need for reasonable tolerances to be set for biotech wheat in future non-biotech shipments.

“Our organizations will continue to work together on biotechnology issues in a variety of capacities, including work to track developments on the scientific and regulatory fronts; to educate stakeholders about the need for innovation in wheat; and to keep open the dialogue with all wheat chain participants on emerging technologies.

“We appreciate the time and engagement of those attending the Wheat Summit today and look forward to continuing to work together so our industry and our customers can benefit from the innovation we expect in the coming decade.

NAMA is the trade association representing 43 companies that operate 170 wheat, oat and corn mills in 38 states and Canada. Their collective production capacity exceeds 175 million pounds of product each day, more than 95 percent of the total industry production.

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Contact: Terri Long, Director of Communications, 202.484.2200, ext. 11, tlong@namamillers.org.

The North American Millers’ Association prohibits discrimination in all its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, gender, marital or family status, age, disability, political beliefs or sexual orientation. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact NAMA at 202.484.2200 (voice and TDD). To file a complaint of discrimination, write to Mary Waters, President, 600 Maryland Avenue SW, Suite 825W, Washington, DC, 20024 or call 202.484.2200 ext. 13. NAMA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

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