Hobbie Speaks at International Grains Conference

Economic slowdown not stopping grain demand.

A key question being asked is to what extent will the economic slowdown affect world grain consumption and trade patterns, including in the food, feed, biofuel and other industrial sectors? At the 2009 International Grains Council Grains Conference in London, U.S. Grains Council President and CEO Ken Hobbie told participants none of that potential demand has been derailed by the economic slowdown of 2008 and 2009. He said people have to eat and the global population is growing rapidly.


The future of all agricultural trade, according to Hobbie, depends on developing laws, policies and agreements that allow the forces of the marketplace to work. Particularly, he enforced the need to complete the Doha Round of the World Trade Organization in order to eliminate or reduce export subsidies and market access barriers that hinder free and open trade. He also urged the passing of other bilateral and multilateral free trade agreements that open markets and stimulate trade.


"The food and fuel debate is settled," Hobbie said. "When the cycle of economic growth returns, food demand will be strong, and agricultural trade will be vital in meeting that demand."

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