With a goal of examining how international cooperation, policy and technology can help feed a swelling world population, the U.S. Grains Council (USGC) is sponsoring the Global Food Security Symposium next month in Tokyo.

Announced at the 2010 Commodity Classic in Anaheim, CA, the April 7 event will bring together U.S. and Japanese government, agribusiness and biotechnology leaders, including Sec. of Agriculture Tom Vilsack who will give the keynote address.

“The Global Food Security Symposium brings together some of the world’s finest minds for an earnest discussion of how we can leverage the past successes in international agricultural cooperative programs between the U.S. and Japan,” says UCGC Chairman Rick Fruth.

“In addition, we will discuss how to also utilize today’s emerging technologies for providing proper nutrition and economic stability and strength for our world’s growing population,” he adds.

USGC is a vital link in helping secure export sales of U.S. corn, soybeans, sorghum and barley and in answering questions about concerns foreign buyers have on the quality of U.S. grain. The quality of some corn and beans that saw harvest slowed by wet, cold weather last fall and early this year is among the concerns, says Fruth. “We give them accurate information,” he says, so foreign buyers can feel comfortable about the type of product U.S. farmers send abroad.

Sustainability and biotechnology were key subjects on the table at Commodity Classic and USGC is committed to both. “Sustainability is inherent to the concept of food security,” says Fruth, adding that a food production process “is sustainable if it meets the needs of people today without hampering the future.”

He stresses the importance of biotech in the future of food production. “To meet the demand (of the growing population) without biotechnology is impossible,” says Fruth.
The upcoming symposium is part of the Partners in Agriculture series of events being held throughout Japan from March through May 2010. Partners in Agriculture celebrates the successful, enduring agricultural trade partnership between the U.S. and Japan.

“Too often, the American public hears negative reports about our country’s trade relationships abroad,” says Fruth. “The Partners in Agriculture events remind us of our tremendously successful relationship with Japan in terms of agricultural trade and economic strength for both countries.

“The Global Food Security Symposium will give our two countries an excellent basis for building upon these successes, so we can create a mutually beneficial blueprint for the future health and well-being of not just our own citizens, but for people around the world.”

For more, go to www.grains.org.