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Americas Rice Convention:
Build it and they will come

Heavy hitters from around the world slated for the program.


By Dwight Roberts
President and Chief
Executive Officer
USRPA
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For the U.S. rice industry, opportunity is knocking on Miami’s door so pack your bags for the Sunshine State and make plans to attend the 1st Americas Rice Convention, June 5-7 at the Downtown Miami Hilton Hotel. At press time for this article, more than 200 rice companies and mills from more than 30 countries had registered for the big event with close to 500 participants.

Why attend? Nowhere will you be able to meet a concentration of rice buyers, sellers and affiliated industries than at the Americas Rice Convention. With the United States exporting 50 percent of its rice crop, it’s imperative that the members of the USA Rice Federation and the US Rice Producers Association have a strong presence at this big event in an effort to project a strong image for U.S. rice.

Rice buyers from countries such as Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama and Venezuela plan to attend. These markets represent the most important markets for U.S. long-grain rice in the world.

Program Preview

The opening address from Dr. C. Peter Timmer, Professor of Development Studies from Harvard University, titled “The Changing Role of Rice in Global Food Security: Implications for Latin America” is of interest to everyone. Dr. Timmer also serves as an advisor to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. As Dr. Timmer states, “There is surprising news about the dynamics of rice consumption in Africa and the Americas.”

The program continues with Joel Widenor of the Commodity Weather Group LLC, Juan Ignacio Fernandez, Director for the Port Administration of Veracruz, Mexico, and Jeffrey Fajardo, a specialist in international relations and negotiations from Colombia’s Rice Millers Association, who will discuss what free trade means for rice.

The always popular Dr. Steve Linscombe will address “Seed Purity is Not An Accident.” Breakout sessions will be conducted by RiceTec, Horizon Ag and a special panel with research representatives from the United States, Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina, Peru and Colombia discussing variety development programs.

Breakout Sessions

“Managing Rice Margins and Profits in the Americas via U.S. Rice Futures” is the title of a breakout session to be conducted by Firstgrain, The Price Futures Group, White Commercial Corporation and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. A publications round table will involve Creed Rice Report, Agrotendencias, Firstgrain, Rice Market Letter, Live Rice Index and other invited publications.

Additional breakout sessions will include a Mercosur: Supply/Demand Update and a “Come Meet the Sellers” session. Dennis DeLaughter will address the topic “Can we determine the price of rice?”

The closing session consists of Alex Fernando de Alencar, the Global Rice Market Area Head for Bayer CropScience based in Singapore, Thomas Wynn, PHD candidate from Texas A&M, and closing out the conference will be Robert Papanos, the World Rice Market Analyst whose presentation is titled “Asian Politics Set World Rice Prices.”

Go to americasriceconvention.com, and we’ll see you in Miami! For more, visit www.usriceproducers.com.

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