Good Rice Equals Good Prices

U.S . rice has improved in terms of whole grain, but we are still having problems with the quantity of chalk and cooking. The United States had very good quality rice in the past , so we expect that same quality today.”
– Jose Tudo

RQM RF Jan 2015by Jose Tudo
Business Manager of Arrocera OMOA
El Salvador

Rice is one of the principle staples in El Salvador for the nutritional value and for the price. Because of these two factors, rice quality is our highest priority. When we talk about quality, we are referring to good flavor, good color (white, of course), a very low percentage of chalk and a very good smell. These parameters influence the price that we are willing to pay. Good rice equals good prices.

In our efforts to procure paddy rice, the United States was, and is, the most important commercial partner in this business. Logistically, the United States is closer than the other countries that provide us rice, and there is a great demand for U.S. rice. Over the past year, U.S. rice quality has improved, but it is still not at the level that we would like it to be, especially in regard to chalk. U.S. rice has improved in terms of whole grain, but we are still having problems with the quantity of chalk and cooking.

We have realized big economic losses from the chalk problem. There is a difference in what the USDA says is chalk and what the customers think is chalk here in Central America. When asked what the United States can do to make us more satisfied as a customer of U.S. rice, I am giving the response in the name of El Salvador and all other Central American countries.

Horizon AgWe would like the USDA to certify all shipments of rice from the USA to Central America to give greater credibility to the quality of rice sent to us.

Another way that the United States can help us be more satisfied customers is by modifying the interpretation of the term “chalk” inside the Rice Inspection Handbook of the USA, which to date is more subjective in nature rather than objective. For several years, FECARROZ has made this request to the USDA.

Implementing these recommendations would make the definition of chalk more clear for all of the markets.

The United States had very good quality rice in the past, so we expect that same quality today.


FROM SEED TO SHIPPING
• Quality parameters influence the price that we are willing to pay for U.S. rice.
• One way the United States can help us be more satisfied customers is by modifying the interpretation of the term “chalk” inside the Rice Inspection Handbook of the USA.