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USA Rice Makes the Case for Broad Return to UK Market Print E-mail
itp-uk-meeting-small-141016LONDON, ENGLAND -- (October 16, 2014) -- On Tuesday the USA Rice Federation's trade delegation arrived in the United Kingdom, visiting selected wholesalers that sell identified U.S.-grown rice such as Costco, and holding discussions with a major UK retailer about the re-introduction of U.S. rice into this important market segment.

Yesterday the team met with four major UK rice importers and millers, as well as USDA Foreign Agricultural Service representatives from London, and Jim Higgiston, Agricultural Minister Counselor at the United States Mission to the EU.  The team stressed the increased competitiveness of U.S. rice thanks to increased production levels and expected high quality of the 2014 US rice crop.

"The UK has been an important market for U.S.-grown rice, and I'm optimistic that it will be again, once the trade sees how we have addressed quality concerns they've raised in the past," said Betsy Ward, USA Rice's president and CEO who accompanied the delegation. "The UK importers are firm in what they need from us, but I'm confident we will be able to deliver for them."  

Today the delegation participated in the biannual Symposium of the UK Rice Association, where Ward gave a detailed presentation on the U.S. rice crop situation, including the assurance that GMOs have been successfully eliminated from the U.S. supply, and that the newly passed Five Year Farm Bill will provide grower, and supply, stability.  USA Rice's Chief Operating Officer Bob Cummings followed with a presentation on government subsidies and their effect on the world rice market.

The weeklong visit concludes on Friday with visits to local Chinese retail and wholesale chains that offer several identified U.S. rice brands to the Chinese community, the most loyal consumer base for U.S. rice in the UK.

Photo caption:  U.S. rice: Ready to trade
 
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