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International Trade Committee Meeting Minutes – October 26, 2012

North American Millers’ Association
International Trade Committee

The Grove Park Inn
Coolidge Room

Friday, October 26, 2012


Members Present:

Wade Ellis, Chairman, Bunge Milling, Inc.

George Allard, Bunge Milling, Inc.

Don Brown, ConAgra Mills

Jack Cwach, ADM Milling Company

John Didion, Didion Milling, Inc.

Rod Geiger, Bartlett Milling Company

John Gillcrist, Bartlett Milling Company

Jim Madich, Horizon Milling LLC/Cargill

Don Sullins, ADM Milling Company

Stephen Wickes, Agricor, Inc.

Staff Present:

Paul Green, Staff Liasion, International Trade Consultant

Robert Myers, Jr., Legal Counsel, Morris, Manning & Martin, LLP

1. Call to Order – International Trade Committee Chairman, Wade Ellis, Bunge Milling Inc.

Mr. Ellis, chairman, called the meeting to order at 4:15p.m.

a. Introductions – Wade Ellis, Bunge Milling Inc

Self-introductions were made.

b. Antitrust Guidelines – Skip Myers, Legal Counsel

Mr. Myers, legal counsel, reviewed the antitrust guidelines.

2. Administration

a. Approval of Minutes – May 7, 2012

The May 7, 2012 International Trade Committee minutes were distributed prior to the meeting for review.  The minutes were approved as distributed.

3. Items for Discussion

a. Food Aid in Farm Bill and 2012/2013 Appropriations

The briefing sheet on the farm bill status was discussed, with the concurrence of the ITC on the interest NAMA has in both the food aid and FMD authorizations.

b. NAMA International Travel Policy Recommendation to Executive Committee

ITC discussed the travel policy recommendation and concurred with the policy as written.  The Committee asked for a more formal notification on trips, so as to give advance notice of the destinations, purposes and possible cost considerations.  There was an additional request that we look at shorter trips to nearer destinations to give the members the prospect of participation at less cost and time commitment.  Mr. Wickes pointed out that the PGPI designated funds were originally contributed by members of the ITC and suggested that NAMA consider using that funding to offset the cost to members of some of the more expensive trips.

Action Item:  ITC recommends to the Executive Committee that on high cost trips that PGPI funds be considered to offset member travel costs for overseas trips sponsored by the ITC on a case-by-case basis. 

c. Food Aid Quality Review Status and Plans

The Committee discussed the briefing sheet on the FAQR and agreed to continue to express our support and cooperation with their studies.  The committee voiced concern about the requests from the study for impractical actions by NAMA members.  The Committee agreed that NAMA should communicate to the Tufts University managers of the FAQR that their asks to the industry need to be timely and practical.

d. Review of decision to proceed with pilot project on container shipment of NAMA products

The Committee reviewed the decision made at the May meeting to proceed with a pilot study of the prospect of moving NAMA food aid products in containers using alternative technologies.  The ITC discussion was segregated between part A and part B.

Part A, which relates to bulk shipment of blended foods that might include additional blending and packaging near the destinations, led to some hesitancy in moving forward.  There remains some question on whether a US grain milling industry participant would have plans to manufacture the newly formulated blended foods as suggested by the FAQR.  Because of that uncertainty, the Committee agreed to table Part A indefinitely and review that decision in future meetings.   The ITC also would like more information on the prospect that not having a US manufacturer of the new formulations would enhance the probability of local or regional manufacturers being supported by USAID or WFP.

Action Item:  NAMA staff will assess the likelihood and timing of possible local and regional production of the blended food formulations. 

Part B relates to the need for protection to US origin wheat flour during the supply chain.  The ITC still believes that procedures for protecting the cleanliness and food safety of US flour would enhance its shelf life and assist in restoring the tonnage of flour shipments.

Action Item: NAMA staff will continue to explore the interest of the US Government in trial shipments of bagged wheat flour and possibly bladders in containers for food aid use and report back to the ITC.

e. NAMA FMD budget and marketing plan for FY 2013

The Committee discussed the briefing sheet and requested ideas for either travel or the pilot project of container shipment using the currently available $20,000 of FMD for 2013.

f. Committee recommendation to NAMA Chair for 2013 ITC Chairman

Jack Cwach of ADM was nominated and he accepted.

Action Item:  NAMA staff will inform incoming Chairman Schlafer of the recommendation that Jack Cwach of ADM be selected as ITC Chairman for the 2013-2015 term.

4. Information items – Discussion if requested

ITC did not discuss any of the information items listed on the agenda.

5. Other Business

The committee found no other business to discuss.

6. Adjournment

Mr. Ellis adjourned the meeting at 5:40p.m.


Respectfully Submitted,

Paul Green
Staff Liaison

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