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
Major Chinese Rice Import Company Visits U.S. Rice Industry Print E-mail
ip-major-chinese-rice-import-co-visits-us-rice-industry-small-141008RICE COUNTRY, USA -- The USA Rice Federation facilitated the visit of four representatives from one of the largest private rice importing companies in China to the offices of U.S. rice exporters in Arkansas, Louisiana, and California this week and  last.  The company, Dragon Ocean Hing Group, was established  in 2001and has an annual import volume of over 200,000 metric tons and a turnover of more than $163 million U.S dollars.

“This trip was very successful,” said Mr. William Li, the delegation leader.  “There were more exporters interested in meeting with us than time allowed.”

With their subsidiaries Shenzhen Hong Tai Xiang Import & Export, Gold Profit Industries, and Shenzhen Yintuo, the company has built a complete rice supply chain from origin procurement to terminal sales, covering customs clearance, domestic logistics, freight forwarding, import and export agency, warehouse, rice factory, and both retail and wholesale rice distribution.

One hundred sixty thousand tons of the two hundred thousand Dragon Ocean Hing imports each year is long grain sourced from Thailand, Vietnam, and Pakistan. The remaining 40,000 tons of imports is short and medium grain rice used in alcohol and rice noodles.  The company sells products in over eighty cities, 1,200 supermarkets, 1,500 gas stations, and major on-line stores.

“We expected this trip to help prepare us to reach import contract agreements with American rice suppliers as soon as China allows rice imports from America,” “We believe American rice will enhance our product line and we wish to be the first company to import American rice into China.”

FSA Announces Key Farm Bill Decision Dates Print E-mail
farm service agency logoWASHINGTON, D.C. -- (October 1, 2014) -- This week, the Farm Service Agency (FSA) announced key dates and deadlines for decisions regarding programs authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill.  Decision tools are now available online to help owners make choices on base acre reallocation and yield updates before visiting their local FSA office.  Owners have until February 27, 2015 to make these decisions.

Between November 17, 2014 and March 31, 2015, producers can elect whether to use Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) or Price Loss Coverage (PLC) for the 2014-2018 crop years.  The enrollment period for both programs is set to open mid-spring and run through summer 2015 for both the 2014 and 2015 crop years.

Specific program information and detailed deadline information is available from FSA.  For updates on Farm Bill progress and useful links, visit our website.
Arkansas Rice Producer Dow Brantley Elected Chairman of the USA Rice Federation Print E-mail
bw and usarf chairmen-140715DALLAS, TX -- (July 15, 2014) -- The Board of Directors of the USA Rice Federation elected a new chairman during annual meetings here yesterday.

Arkansas rice producer Dow Brantley will assume the two-year post on August 1, taking over for Mark Denman, a Texas rice miller who has been chairman of the group since 2012.

"Dow is going to make a great chairman," Denman said.  "He is an important producer in the number one rice producing state in the country, and has already begun to make his mark on the industry as the chairman of the Arkansas Rice Federation and the Arkansas Rice Farmers and through his service on several USA Rice committees and task groups."

"Mark Denman guided our industry through some trying times -- the farm bill, trade and marketing challenges, and other critical issues," said Brantley.  "He was also at the helm during our recent strategic planning that resulted in a solid viability plan for the industry and the organization.  He served all segments of the industry with distinction, and I'm looking forward to keeping us moving in that right direction."

Brantley operates a large family farm in England, Arkansas and reports about 35 percent of his acreage is in rice.  In addition to serving on several USA and Arkansas Rice committees, Brantley is a graduate of the Rice Leadership Development Program, and is the chairman of the Lonoke County Farm Bureau.

"This is an exciting time for the American rice industry with many challenges and opportunities ahead," said Betsy Ward, president and CEO of USA Rice.  "Chairman Denman was an outstanding leader who turns over a more focused and stronger Federation than he inherited.  We're pleased to continue working with Chairman-elect Brantley as we continue to enhance our organization and take on existing and new challenges on behalf of the entire U.S. industry."

Photo caption: CEO Betsy Ward flanked by outgoing Chairman Mark Denman (l.) and new Chairman Dow Brantley.
School Nutrition Magazine Announces Healthy Rice Bowls Contest Print E-mail
The September issue of School Nutrition Magazine (circulation 50,000) features the USA Rice Federation's annual Healthy Rice Bowls Contest for kindergarten through 12th grade (K-2) school menu planners.  The contest began this month to coincide with National Rice Month and the beginning of the new school year.

In a piece with the headline of "Bowl Them Over," the article says, “rice sure is nice, especially for winners of the USA Rice Federation's Healthy Rice Bowls Contest for K-12 school nutrition professionals!”  It also gives details on how to submit entries for creative rice bowls served as a school lunch.

The contest is an opportunity for USA Rice to promote rice usage in schools and feature winning ideas on the organization's Web site.

This year's entry deadline is Nov. 6.  One winner will receive a $250 Visa gift card, an Aroma commercial rice cooker for their school and a 10-cup cooker for home.  Runners-up also will receive rice cookers.

USA Rice works closely with the School Nutrition Association and K-12 menu planners to encourage increased rice offerings in schools. For more contest information and a look at previous winners, visit


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