Unique Opportunities

Dwight Roberts President/CEO USRPA
Dwight Roberts President/CEO USRPA

Convention brings together the world of technology and rice marketers in Houston.

Although the focus of the Rice Market & Technology Convention has always be on the rice market of the Americas, the success of this event has spread to other regions of the world. The 2016 edition, scheduled for May 31-June 2 at the Royal Sonesta Hotel in Houston, Texas, won’t disappoint.

Representatives from 14 different countries have already confirmed their involvement. Riviana Foods, Riceland Foods, MIT Corp. Singapore, Buhler Inc., Satake USA, Zaccaria Brazil, Granos Patron Mexico and IMECO Italy are just a few of the participants. Twenty-eight exhibitors have already reserved space.

As mentioned in this column previously, Dr. Robert Zeigler, an internationally respected plant pathologist, will open the conference. He served as the director general and CEO of the International Rice Research Institute in the Philippines with offices in 15 countries and a support staff that included more than 1,000 scientists.

A new speaker this year is Rakesh Sodhia, who for seven years has been managing director for Fortuna International Ltd. in Bangkok. Fortuna International is an international trading and consulting company focused on the world rice market and other commodities.

Prior to his assignment with Fortuna, Sodhia spent nine years as managing director of Phoenix Commodities, a global rice and commodity trading business that handles 8 million tons of product exported to more than 50 countries.

Screen Shot 2016-01-14 at 7.46.04 PMAnother new speaker is rice breeder Dr. Alberto Livore from Argentina who released several popular rice varieties in South America. Livore, who coordinated the rice-breeding program in Entre Rios, Agentina, will speak on “Rice Breeding: Are We Listening to the Consumer?”

Frigor Tec will conduct a breakout session on grain cooling conservation, which enhances long-term grain storage without quality loss. It is achieved in about three weeks independent of weather conditions by cooling with conditioned ambient air of less than 55 degrees.

Gustavo Ludwig, manager of Brazilian Rice, has also been confirmed. The largest producer of rice in the hemisphere with some 13 million tons of paddy rice per year, Brazil’s production trends and export efforts cannot be ignored.

Unique opportunity and learning experience
This conference is a unique opportunity for the U.S. rice sector and a great learning experience for the young leaders of our industry.

Recent developments point to a significant increase in Asian rice being exported into several Latin American countries. And of course, the Trans Pacific Partnership, pending Congressional approval, will make important changes in key markets.

The most important markets for U.S. long-grain rice exports, including Mexico, Colombia and Central America, will be well represented. Grain quality remains at the heart of many discussions, so it’s a great opportunity to compare notes with representatives from more than 30 countries.

Meeting people and exchanging information is as important as the program itself. Come prepared because this is one event where folks come to buy and sell. Que bueno! Visit www.ricemtconvention.com for more information.


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