Carole Brookins, a leading agricultural marketing consultant in Washington, examined grain market trends during the recent U.S. Grains Council 7th International Marketing Conference. “The U.S. Grains Council has the experience and imagination necessary to make things happen,” she says.

Brookins presents the idea of the world growing from disposability to sustainability in natural resources, production capabilities and lifestyles. “We are moving into a new era of focus on global public goods, including money, trade, climate and environment,” she says.

“With that come global threats: cyber terrorism, fragmented political and economic power, radical groups seeking to control weapons of mass destruction and piracy on the high seas.”

She identified four trends shaping the world. First, a rebalancing of global wealth and power. “There are shifts in global economic leadership, which creates a wider competition to maintain and grow market share,” says Brookins. Second is a revolution in energy supply and markets. According to Brookins, this is fueled by climate change, resource depletion, energy security and technological innovation.

Third is a rebellion against the modern food system. “Activist groups attack the safety and value of the modern food production system,” she says. A resurgence of investment in commodities and agriculture is the fourth trend, she says, and will be stimulated through investments, control of the supply chain and economic power.

“Experience shows that sustainable global food security will depend on intensive, large-scale agriculture and expanding global trade,” says Brookins. “Both your risks and rewards will be multiplied. Your complexity of choices and competition will be magnified. The brand of the Council is highly respected around the world. Renew your mission in 2010 and lead out in a growing, dynamic world of 9 billion lives over the next 50 years. I look forward to watching.”