USRPA, FEDEARROZ and INDUARROZ maintain ongoing dialogue.
BY DWIGHT ROBERTS
PRESIDENT AND CHIEF
The finalizing of the new U.S.- Colombia Free Trade Agreement during 2012 has to be one of the bright spots for the U.S. rice industry. Now with duty free access beginning with 79,000 tons milled basis in 2012 and increasing 3 percent each year, the U.S. rice leadership is learning more about this beautiful country and its rice culture.
The US Rice Producers Association (USRPA) has been involved in the Colombian market since the organization was formed in early 1998. Back then, the U.S. exported some 200,000 tons of rough rice due to emergency measures caused by weather disasters.
Columbian Rice Organizations
To better understand this important market, one must know some basic information about the Colombian rice industry and FEDEARROZ – the National Federation of Rice Producers – and INDUARROZ – the National Rice Millers Association.
FEDEARROZ is an national association whose members are the country’s rice farmers. It was founded in 1947 when rice farmers from several different growing regions realized the need to form an organization to represent their interests. Gildardo Armel, a coffee grower, played a role in the early development as he began to farm rice on his properties.
Jorge Ruiz Quiroga, considered a pioneer in the technology of new varieties of rice crop development, also played an important early role. Today, the mission of FEDEARROZ is the defense and representation of Colombia’s rice farmers with an objective to support technical development, profitability and market conditions that best serve producers.
INDUARROZ, Colombia’s milling organization was created in 1965 with the objective to guarantee the sustainability of the rice business and the competitiveness of those in the market chain. INDUARROZ represents the “industrials” (mill members) on the public and private stage, both nationally and in the international marketplace. In 2006, it joined an umbrella chamber known as ANDI, the National Association of Colombian Businesses similar to a chamber of commerce, in order to consolidate and institutionalize the sector and offer more services to their members. INDUARROZ buys 100 percent of the national rice production.
The USRPA has maintained an excellent working relationship with both of these Colombian rice organizations and has participated year each in their national rice conferences, hosted delegations and kept an ongoing dialogue. Both FEDEARROZ and INDUARROZ have confirmed their participation in the USRPA’s Rice Market & Technology Convention that will take place in Miami, May 28-30, 2013
For more, visit www.usriceproducers.com.