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The Weekly Grind – February 21, 2014

February 21, 2014



NAMA participated in the Grain Foods Foundation (GFF) Marketing Committee meeting held in Washington, DC this week. The committee met with members of the GFF Scientific Advisory Board for a Q&A session on opportunities and challenges for grain food products. The committee learned the gluten-free diet is here to stay, nuts will be a recommended snack in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, and future nutritional analysis will evaluate the nutritional value of patterns of food and not individual food items.

The GFF Marketing Committee also heard from the Mullen public relations team, which told the group the GFF campaigns to tell the story about the healthfulness of grain foods are surpassing the goals set by the Foundation. The team wrapped up the meeting with a discussion about AIM (Anticipatory Issues Management), which Mullen also manages for GFF. Don Brown, ConAgra Mills and Terri Long, NAMA staff, represented NAMA at the meeting.


NAMA’s international trade consultant, Paul Green, attended a meeting with the Administrator of the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service of USDA to determine the current and prospective needs of the grains industry.  This is the first such stakeholder meeting and was welcomed by the entire grain industry.  Specifically, we brought up the need of the food industry to sometimes obtain urgent exceptions to APHIS restrictions due to disruptions of normal supply chains.  We used the example of Canadian rail transportation disruptions of the oat supply chains to US mills and the desire to have a means to get speedy compliance agreements in place to import from other sources which may contain wild oats, while meeting APHIS’ restrictions on noxious weeds.  The Administrator was very open to suggestions for how to speed that process and said they would be cooperative.  NAMA staff is following up on next steps for dealing with the wild oats issue.


NAMA’s director of government relations, Sherri Lehman, attended the Wheat Quality Council (WQC) meeting in Kansas City, Missouri this week.  Lehman is a member of the Executive Committee and Board of Directors.  Discussion topics included a proposal to grant the Agriculture Research Service a permanent spot on the WQC board, which was approved.



The National Wheat Foundation (NWF) announced this week that it will host a Wheat Summit of the entire wheat value chain to assess progress from the first summit and obtain input from all stakeholders to define the direction for future wheat innovation, including biotechnology.  The purpose of the summit is to provide an open discussion on what each sector in the value chain needs in wheat innovation to formulate a common direction for the future of wheat. The Wheat Summit is set to take place in late spring.  A definitive date is yet to be set.

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