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International Trade Committee Meeting Minutes – March 24, 2013

North American Millers’ Association
International Trade Committee
Minutes

Hammock Beach Club
Palm Coast, Florida

Sunday, March 24, 2013
12:00-2:30 PM

DRAFT

Members Present:

Committee Chairman, Jack Cwach, ADM Milling Company

Steve Wickes, Agricor, Inc.

Rod Geiger, Bartlett Milling Company

Wade Ellis, Bunge Milling, Inc.

 

Other Members Present:

John Didion, Didion Milling, Inc.

Riley Didion, Didion Milling, Inc.

Matt Gibson, Lifeline Foods, LLC

 

Members Absent:

David Silver, Didion Milling, Inc.

Jim Madich, Horizon Milling LLC/Cargill

Bruce King, Cereal Food Processors, Inc.

Don Brown, ConAgra Mills

William Liska, Grain Millers, Inc.

Dan Fetherston, SEMO Milling LLC

 

NAMA Staff:

Paul Green, Staff Liaison, International Trade Consultant

Skip Myers, Legal Counsel, Morris, Manning, Martin, LLP

1.  Call to Order – International Trade Committee Chairman, Jack Cwach, ADM Milling Company
Mr. Cwach, committee chairman, called the meeting to order at 12:10 PM.

a.  Introductions – Jack Cwach, ADM Milling Company
Self-introductions were made.

b.  Antitrust Guidelines – Robert (Skip) Myers, Legal Counsel
Mr. Green read the guidelines on behalf of Mr. Myers who joined the meeting late due to obligations with the Oat Division.

2.  Administration

a.  Approval of Minutes – Jack Cwach, ADM Milling Company
The October 26, 2012 minutes were distributed to the members prior to the meeting for review. The minutes were approved as distributed.

3.  Items for Discussion

a.  Status of 2013 and 2014 Food Aid Budgets
Mr. Green reviewed the joint letters that NAMA helped generate from the Senate and House to the Administration in support of in-kind food aid. The President’s budget proposal is expected April 8 and the Administration is expected to continue to push for more resources for LRP (Local and Regional Purchase). The committee discussed the situation and agreed that NAMA should continue to defend in-kind food aid in coalition with the PVOs (Private Voluntary Organizations) and maritime interests.

b.  Report on the LRP Pilot Project from the 2008 Farm Bill
Mr. Green cited some criticisms of the ‘independent’ evaluation of the $60 million of LRP under USDA food aid programs. While there are several flaws in the evaluation, it would not be productive for proponents of in-kind food aid to attack LRP. This is the logic that led to the advocacy letters from the Hill that are positive regarding in-kind, but do not criticize LRP.

c.  Tufts University FAQR (Food Aid Quality Review) Review Status
The committee discussed the role of NAMA in the ongoing FAQR study and agreed that companies individually can have a cooperative relationship on samples and formulations. The committee approved a proposal for NAMA to engage the Tufts staff in dialogue on some of the micronutrient fortification levels to assure they are practical.

d.  House Agriculture Committee request for input on Long Term Supply Agreements for food aid procurements
The request from the staff of the House Agriculture Committee for input on the possible use of longer-term supply commitments was discussed. The ITC consensus was that the issue of bunching orders or inefficiencies isn’t primarily a result of the buying procedures. Therefore, NAMA doesn’t believe that there are any savings or efficiencies gained from long-term contracting.
Action Item: Mr. Green to pass the information to the House Ag staff and report back to the Committee on the reaction.

e.  Bagged product container project
The committee discussed the pilot project proposal from 2012, and agreed that NAMA would continue to suspend action on the pilot program for CSB, but continue to pursue the wheat flour-shipping project.

The committee instructed staff to get buy-in from the stakeholders such as USAID and USDA for this project to assure that the food aid programs would adopt the conclusions reached from the test shipments. If so, NAMA will seek input from USAID and private parties on program design and begin plans for shipments as soon as possible. It was noted that some member companies have volunteered to make in-kind donations for carrying out the test, if necessary.

f.  NAMA 2013 FMD (Foreign Market Development) program status and possible travel plans
Assuming support for the flour shipping procedure test, the committee agreed to use some of the 2013 FMD project funds for the pilot shipments. Mr. Green was asked to begin preparations for traveling to Rome and Africa to plan the best test destinations for the flour shipments and finalize the design of the pilot program.

4.  Information items – Discussion if requested
Mr. Green informed the committee of recent changes in personnel at the WFP (World Food Program) offices in DC and major offices around the globe. Jon Brause, former USAID Food For Peace and Deputy Assistant Administrator has taken over as Director of the WFP DC offices.

The committee discussed the old business topic of the moisture level in food aid flour procurements. It was agreed that Mr. Green would engage USDA to discuss the matter informally and gather more information prior to making further formal actions.

5.  Other Business
No other business was discussed.

6.  Adjournment
Mr. Cwach adjourned the meeting at 3:00 PM.

Respectfully Submitted,

Paul Green
Staff Liaison

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