US Grains council recently invited China's State Administration of Grain to organise a senior study team to learn first hand about the U.S. production system
The reason for the invite was to address concerns among international buyers about the reliability of US corn export capacity following last year's drought, the third and most severe in a three year string of declining yields.
The Chinese delegation spent two weeks visiting key sites in five states and Washington DC to assess every part of the US value chain and regulatory system. The team met with producers and visited research facilities, elevators, traders, ports and government officials.
The Chinese team was especially interested in the US grain export inspection system and the biotechnology development and approval process. Several members shared the misperception -- widely held around the world -- that most Americans do not eat genetically modified foods. The team quickly came to understand that in the United States, biotechnology is fully integrated into the production stream, and that most Americans accept genetically modified foods as safe and reliable.
China’s corn import market is increasingly competitive and rapidly growing and seeking to diversify its suppliers; this year, for example, China has taken its first-ever shipments from Ukraine and Argentina. Constant communication with buyers, government officials and other stakeholders is important to boosting confidence in the reliability, quality and capacity of the US production system.
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