IGTC thanks grain trade representatives and partners for participation in annual meetings, Geneva

More than 60 international delegates and partners gathered in Geneva on 10 and 11 November for the Annual Ordinary General Assembly of IGTC and related meetings. Participants travelled from countries and regions including Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Eastern Africa, EU, Mexico, UK and USA. Attending the meetings were also IGTC's global Corporate Stakeholders and international organizations such as World Trade Organization (WTO), the International Grains Council (IGC) and UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

IGTC was honoured by the presence of high level guests David Dong, CEO and Vice President of COFCO International, and Dr. Ibrahim Ashmawy, Deputy Minister, Ministry of Supply and Internal Trade of Egypt.

The text of the speech of Mr. David Dong given at COFCO International Headquarters on 10 November can be read here. It provides insights, guidance and a call for collective grain trade action on current issues regarding the grain trade, environmental sustainability, and global food security.

Other meetings on the IGTC's programme of events on November 9 included:

  • Safe trade: Phytosanitary Measures and Management of Crop Protection Products. Guests from technology providers and regulators were invited to join in the session chaired by Craig Fedchock, IGTC Innovation Emissary.
  • Plant production and genetics: Plant Breeding Innovation, Low Level Presence and the Cartagena Biosafety Protocol were examined as key elements of IGTC's work to provide for a regulatory and commercial environment that accommodates safe and important plant breeding technology. Guests from technology providers and regulators were invited to join in the session chaired by the international renowned Dr. Martin Lema.
  • Innovating digital information systems including IPPC ePhyto Solution Progress to further innovate digitalisation in the agri-bulk sector was highlighted as necessary. The grain trade has already succeeded in making trade faster, more efficient, more secure and with reduced costs. More can be achieved with the help of the IGTC. Our members and stakeholders are ideally placed to provide multiple venues and strong voices for cross-sector cooperation among the private sector, governments and international organizations. Third parties attended including platform providers and government officials. Legal, regulatory and commercial practices will be considered with the chairmanship of Thomas Erickson, IGTC/NAEGA Senior Advisor.

On November 10, three Sessions addressed new opportunities to foster a safe, predictable, sustainable, affordable, nutritious and secure food supply across the world.

  • Session 1 - Expanding Scope and Impact Priorities and Actions: Discussions aimed to expand the international effort to provide representation and share expertise on the commercial requirements and economics of the world's food, feed and processing industries will be considered. Themes included sustainability, finance, development, investment, food security needs of consumers and providing for reliable, responsible food systems.
  • Session 2 - Focus on Africa and the Middle East was a valuable opportunity for thought and decision leaders, particularly those based in North Africa and the Middle East, to join IGTC in its mission and global action. The session considered today’s geopolitical circumstances and the need to facilitate trade and investment. Building on IGTC's successful meetings in East and South Africa, Europe, and the UK earlier this year, steps to provide for resilience and innovation were identified.
  • Session 3 - Planning for 2024 provided a focus on opportunities for engagement for IGTC to renew its efforts to support a global rules-based trading system with the aim facilitating trade and serving the global population with its complex food security needs.

IGTC thanks its guest Key Commenters at the meetings:
Thursday: Philippe Isler Director of the Global Alliance on Trade Facilitation (GATF); Melvin Spreij, STDF; Khaoula Belhaj-Fragnière and Rose Souza Richards, International Seed Federation (ISF); Nelli Hajdu, Secretary General of the European Liaison Committee for Agriculture and Agri-Trade; Sorin Albeanu, Covantis; Eric Dereudre, Vice President, Corteva; Szabi Ruthner, Senior Market Acceptance Manager EMEA at BASF; Ray Shillito, Shillito & Associates.

Friday: David Dong, COFCO International CEO; Prof. Ibrahim Ashmawy, Vice Minister for Internal Trade, Egypt; Latifa El Boubdelaoui, Director General of Islamic Centre for Development of Trade; Ahmad Mukhtar, FAO Regional Office for Near East and North Africa (RNE), Arnaud Petit, Executive Director, International Grains Council (IGC); World Trade Organization (WTO) Secretariat representatives.