The first international MAIZALL mission is underway in Asia this week, bringing representatives of corn farmers from the United States, Argentina and Brazil to South Korea and China for meetings with key industry and government officials, the National Corn Growers Association said.
The team, which includes NCGA Chairwoman and MAIZALL board member Pam Johnson, will discuss issues important to both parties including biotechnology, current corn production, product regulatory issues and domestic farming practices.
Launched in the spring of 2013, MAIZALL is a non-governmental organization representing grower organizations in major exporting countries interested in the international trade in corn. Currently, the group includes the National Corn Growers Association, the U.S. Grains Council, ABRAMHILO and MAIZAR – the national corn producers' organizations of Brazil and Argentina, respectively.
While all three countries are competitors, the three also share common interests in market access, transparent and efficient global trading systems, and increased global acceptance of modern agricultural technology, NCGA said.
"A lot of work has gone into planning and organization and now it is paying off," said Julius Schaaf, USGC chairman and MAIZALL's first president.
According to Schaaf, tour participants will meet with the American, Brazilian and Argentine embassy, as well as with each country's top corn importers and end-users, and key government officials in Korea and China.
"Not only will Korea and China receive America's, Brazil's and Argentina's perspectives but they will also hear a common commitment to food security through trade, and regulatory systems that make that possible for a growing world," Schaaf said.
Legally incorporated in Panama, NCGA said MAIZALL is designed to elevate the producer perspective from the major corn exporting countries in the ongoing, and sometimes heated, global debate about agricultural technology and trade.