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International Trade Committee Conference Call Minutes – February 20, 2012


Conference Call
February 20, 2012

9:30 AM EST/8:30 AM CST

Committee Members Present:
Wade Ellis, Bunge Milling, Inc., Committee Chairman
George Allard, Bunge Milling, Inc.
Don Brown, ADM Milling Company
Jack Cwach, ADM Milling Company
Jeff Dillon, Didion Milling, Inc.
Rod Geiger, Bartlett Milling Company


Others Present:
David Silver, Didion Milling, Inc.

NAMA Staff:
Paul Green, International Trade Consultant and Staff Liaison

1. Call to Order – International Trade Committee Chairman, Wade Ellis, Bunge Milling, Inc.
a. Introductions – Wade Ellis, Bunge Milling, Inc.
b. Antitrust Guidelines – NAMA legal counsel Skip Myers was unavailable, so Mr. Green reminded the Committee of the antitrust guidelines under which all NAMA meetings are conducted.
2. Items for Discussion
a. Food Aid Supply Chain Study
The Committee discussed the complexities of the future of blended foods in US food aid procurements and particularly the recommendations from the World Health Organization (WHO) on formulations for blended foods containing dairy ingredients as a source of animal protein for all moderately malnourished children under age 5. While the decision to participate in such a new product development and production in the US will be an individual company decision, the Committee reaffirmed that NAMA’s role is to maintain milled grain products, in their most efficient, cost effective manner as significant contributors to food aid objectives. As such, the ITC instructed staff to proceed to the next steps in initiating a Supply Chain Study of the semi-bulk handling of blended and fortified foods and wheat flour. Mr. Green was asked to outline in more detail the objectives of a trip to Africa by ITC members as a step toward that activity. He was also directed to prepare whatever authorization is needed by the Executive Committee to assure overall NAMA support for this objective.
b. Trip to West Africa to observe use and programming of Super Cereal Plus by WFP
The Committee also felt there was merit in observing the use of the Super Cereal Plus as produced by European manufacturers and even visiting one of the WFP approved manufacturers, if invited. Mr. Green was directed to refine the details and timing of such a trip for consideration by the ITC.
3. Adjournment
The call was adjourned at 10:30 Eastern time.
Respectfully submitted,

Paul Green
NAMA International Trade Consultant

ITC sponsored FMD Trips- Spring 2012

NAMA’s International Trade Committee has been working with other food aid stakeholders to predict demand forces impacting the future of food aid and particularly the impact of those forces on NAMA product orders from cooperating sponsors.  Trends that will continue to impact NAMA products include:

  1. Strong bias toward Local and Regional Procurement (LRP) of food aid products
  2. Increasing focus of food aid initiatives aimed at childhood nutrition impact
  3. UN World Health Organization (WHO) recommendations for dairy product inclusion in food aid formulations for children under 5, which has been a prime target group for NAMA blended foods (CSB and WSB) over the last several decades
  4. Tufts University Food Aid Quality Review (FAQR) recommendations for small (2-5kg) packaging and formulations with dairy products (whey protein concentrate) in blended foods that would require sizeable capital equipment investment and/or off-sight co-packing of products
  5. Recurrent insect infestation in bagged products resulting in delays in food aid supply chains to do tarp fumigation and the prospect of repeated fumigations that are a concern at USAID and to PVOs.
  6. US food aid procurements based on sometimes-problematic 3rd party lab sampling and testing for product quality

In light of those forces, the ITC has proposed reviewing bagged food aid supply chains with an eye toward innovating the supplies through the use of latest shipping and handling technology.

One particular innovation that should be examined is the shipment of products in a semi-bulk form to determine the feasibility of semi-bulk shipments and perhaps further value addition (blending and/or small portion bagging nearer to the product distribution.

To determine the feasibility of pilot shipments of semi-bulk blended foods, ITC proposes 2 committee trips to Africa:

Trip 1:

Destinations:  Africa Sahel (Burkina Faso, Niger and Mali (2 of 3)) where WFP and others are responding to imminent emergencies by shipment of Super Cereal Plus (CSB formulation with milk powder).  Possible visit to Italy or Belgium to observe processing plant making SCP+


To observe WFP and others use of SCP+ in emergency distribution and determine advantages and disadvantages to this product and shipment in small packages from Europe.

To obtain valuable perspectives for design of an effective pilot shipment of CSB in semi-bulk containers

Outstanding Questions:

  1. Special handling, storage, food preparation involved
  2. Distribution or storage issues
  3. Product acceptance (taste, ration size, diversion, food preparation, targeting to small children etc.)
  4. Comparison of SCP+ with lipid-based foods (plumpy doughs etc.)
  5. Discussion with food aid programmers on prospective demand, usefulness, food preparation and overall suitability of product
  6. Discussion with SCP+ manufacturer of demand consistency and special packaging accommodation

Prospective Dates/Duration:  Up to 8 days Likely Departure Monday evening 3/26, Return Wednesday, April 4.

Trip 2:

Destinations:  Food Aid prepositioning ports Djibouti; Mombasa, Kenya; Durban, S. Africa and/or inland warehousing in Uganda, Mozambique, Zimbabwe etc.  Possible visit to Rome for consultations with WFP.


To gauge interest, capability and possible partners in pilot shipments of CSB and wheat flour using semi-bulk container loads for repacking into ration-sized packages near distribution sites.

To obtain valuable perspectives for design of an effective pilot shipment of CSB in semi-bulk containers addressing:

  1. Investment in LRP food system development
  2. Protection of food aid products from microbiological and insect damage during storage, handling and distribution
  3. Relative cost-effectiveness of different product shipment models (current, semi-bulk, and/or small packs from milling plant in US)
  4. Value to supply chain of sealing product from environment throughout shipment and storage to near final use

Outstanding Questions:

  1. Will container shipments of granular products be practical given demurrage on containers that mitigates against using them for storage?
  2. Will bladder-lined containers keep product protected in extreme conditions of heat and humidity such as encountered in prepositioning facilities and rough roads, etc.?
  3. Do facilities currently exist to repack products into ration sized packages and do advantages exist in doing so?
  4. Would investment in a hygienic facility (ies) for blending/ repacking have commercial application and practicality with food aid as one of its potential uses?
  5. What supply chain route would give the pilot project its most real-world practical information and comparison with current distribution practices?
  6. Are the perceived insect and microbiological threats to food aid supply chains significant enough to warrant inclusion in this study?
  7. Does the Grain Pro technology have sufficient real-world testing to warrant use in this application at NAMA expense?
  8. Will the results of pilot shipments be credible and considered useful to food aid programming stakeholders (USAID, WFP, FAQR, PVOs) and fit into their procurement decisions in the future?
  9. Does the potential for this supply chain alternative warrant the design of pilot shipments of NAMA products?

Prospective Dates/Duration:  12-14 days, depending on destinations.  Possibility for some travelers to only participate in some destinations.  Dates: sometime during the period April 10-May 4.

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