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.”

 
Major Grant Awarded to Rice Industry, DU for Habitat Conservation Efforts Print E-mail
ga-major nrcs grant awarded owen bw and weller-150114WASHINGTON, DC -- (January 14, 2015) -- Today Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced approved grants from the first round of proposals to the new Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP). The USA Rice Federation, Ducks Unlimited, Inc. (DU), and more than 40 collaborating partners are pleased that the "Rice Stewardship Partnership - Sustaining the Future of Rice" project was selected for support.

This project will help rice producers conserve natural resources such as water, soil and waterfowl habitat, while having long-term positive impacts on their bottom line.

The RCPP application process was very competitive; less than half of all applications were awarded funding, and no proposal was fully funded.  However, the USA Rice and DU national request was deemed to have significant merit, and the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) - the agency responsible for administering RCPP - awarded the partnership a grant of $10 million, one of the largest awards given under the program.

"The Mississippi Alluvial Valley, Texas' and Louisiana's Gulf Coast, and California's Central Valley are critical landscapes for waterfowl and therefore ranked as some of DU's top priorities for habitat conservation," said DU President and Arkansas rice producer George Dunklin.

A 2014 study conducted by DU scientists for The Rice Foundation demonstrated that rice agriculture provides 35 percent of the food resources available to migrating and wintering dabbling ducks in the regions where rice is grown in the United States.

"U.S. rice farms are valuable, not just for the nutritious commodity they produce and their positive impact on the economy, but also as important contributors to the entire ecosystem, and today's announcement from NRCS and USDA recognizes that fact," said USA Rice Federation Chairman Dow Brantley, an Arkansas rice farmer.  "Wildlife and waterfowl depend on our farms as much as any of us do."

Established in the 2014 Farm Bill, the RCPP competitively awards funds to conservation projects designed by collaborating partners.

"The USA Rice Federation, Ducks Unlimited, and all of our partners commend the USDA for their vision in creating partnership-driven conservation initiatives, and we especially appreciate each of the six state NRCS offices who were instrumental in crafting a competitive proposal," said Betsy Ward, President and CEO of USA Rice. "This is a giant step forward for conservation in ricelands with many more steps to come."

"We applaud the many rice producers who integrate extra conservation measures into their rice production to maintain water quality and provide much-needed waterfowl habitat," said USDA NRCS Chief Jason Weller.  "The partnership between DU, USA Rice, and USDA offers increased technical and financial assistance to help producers accomplish these goals on their land, and the tangible benefits to farmers, the environment, and all Americans will be felt for a long time."

The Arkansas NRCS has scheduled a meeting Friday, January 16, to announce the state's RCPP project participants, and to invite local rice farmers to an informational session with RCPP Project Sponsors. All 50 states and Puerto Rico received NRCS funding for conservation projects and have scheduled similar events in the coming week.

Photo caption:  From left:  LA rice farmer John Owen, USA Rice CEO Betsy Ward, and NRCS Chief Jason Weller
 
WOTUS Revisited Print E-mail

GA-WOTUS_Revisited_2SMALL-150527

WASHINGTON, D.C.--Late yesterday, USA Rice staff were invited to a meeting with EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy andothers to discuss the Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) rule (now titled the Clean Water Rule).  EPA disclosed that they intended to release a pre-Federal Register notice of the rule today.   Implementation of the rule will begin 60 days after it is officially published in the Federal Register, which is expected within the next month.

The agency staff stated that significant changes were made to the final version based on the more than one million public comments the agency received. EPA indicated that among the changes are the issues of upland ditches, the definition of tributaries, the extent of floodplains, and the confusion over how farms would be treated in "adjacent waters," among other things.  Agency staff specifically cited USA Rice comments in helping to better define an exemption for rice fields that was in the proposal but had some problematic language.

USA Rice is encouraged by the agency's efforts to substantively change the document, but will be carefully reviewing and analyzing the final rule to provide guidance to the rice industry.  The pre-Federal Register version of the  final Clean Water Rule and various supporting documentation can be found here.

 

 

Upcoming Field Days: Mark Your Calendar!

May 28 – Southwest Louisiana Rice Field Day

8:30 a.m. – Fenton Coop and Hoppe Farms, Fenton, LA

Contact: Jimmy Meaux, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

May 28 -- Vermilion Parish Field Day

4:00 p.m. - Lounsberry Farm, Hwy. 14 East, Lake Arthur, LA

Contact: Andrew Granger, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 
USA Rice Hails ITC Study of Global Rice Industry Print E-mail
WASHINGTON, DC -- (May 14, 2015) -- One year to the day after the request from the House Ways & Means Committee, the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) has released its study of factors and policies affecting the global competitiveness of the U.S. rice industry. The study, "Rice: Global Competitiveness of the U.S. Industry," is known as a Section 332 investigation and examined the rice industry in the U.S. and in major producing and exporting countries, such as China, India, Thailand, Vietnam, Uruguay, and Brazil, and found that the world rice market is a confusing, and often unfair place.

"The global rice market is characterized by significant government intervention in both imports and exports," the report says. "[This] has affected trade and price trends in the world rice market more than it has for most other agricultural products."

The study looked at the impact on the U.S. rice industry of exports from competitor countries to the U.S. and traditional U.S. markets like Mexico, Haiti, and West Africa and found that although the U.S. rice is high quality and enjoys favorable tariff treatment from markets such as Mexico and Central America, competition is on the rise.

The report finds that while tariff and non-tariff barriers have major impacts on trade in rice, support programs also take their toll.

"Consumption support has the largest effect on the global rice market," the report finds. "Had such support not been in place in 2013, global paddy production and rice consumption would have been 6.1 million mt lower. Another factor shaping rice production in non-U.S. countries is government support for inputs such as seed, fertilizer, and fuel."

"The study provides detailed evidence that the U.S. rice industry is playing by the rules, but is at a decided disadvantage from some of our trading partners who do not," said Betsy Ward, president & CEO of USA Rice. "The report points out that support for U.S. farmers continues to decline, while in places like China, Thailand, and India, those supports are going in the opposite direction."

The yearlong study is the result of a collaboration between USA Rice and Congressman Charles Boustany (R-LA), a Member of the House Ways & Means Committee and the Committee's Chairman, Congressman Dave Camp (R-MI).

"We appreciate the leadership of Chairman Camp and Congressman Boustany on bringing these important issues to light on behalf of America's rice farmers," said Dow Brantley, an Arkansas rice farmer and chairman of the USA Rice Federation who participated in the ITC study. "We've said all along that we can compete globally and are willing to compete, but if the system is rigged against us, it makes it quite difficult."

The ITC will conduct a detailed briefing of the study with USA Rice next week and Ward says the rice industry will use this study to advocate for change in foreign government policies that negatively impact the industry's competitiveness.
 
USA Rice Partners with Celiac Awareness Group on Video Print E-mail

USA_Rice_Partners_with_Celiac_Awareness_Group_on_Video_picARLINGTON, VA – May is Celiac Awareness Month, and USA Rice has partnered with the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) to help draw attention to this often misunderstood genetic autoimmune disease with a video targeting television news.

“People with celiac disease are unable to safely eat food containing gluten – something found in wheat, rye, and barley,” explained Katie Maher, manager of domestic promotion for USA Rice.  “Since rice is naturally gluten-free, it constitutes a major food source for people with the disease, and our groups working together seemed obvious.”

USA Rice produced a three-minute video for distribution to television news stations around the country to help raise awareness and encourage people in “at-risk groups” to get tested – since as many as 83 percent of people with celiac disease are undiagnosed because they show no symptoms.  Since the disease is genetic, anyone who has someone with celiac disease in their family is considered “at-risk,” even if they show no symptoms.

The video contains interviews with a representative of NFCA, a world-renown gastroenterologist specializing in pediatric celiac disease, and representatives of the food service industry who are often on the front lines dealing with food allergies.

“Not only is the video informative, but it talks about the importance rice can play in treating this disease and it showcases a lot of rice being utilized,” Maher added.

The video will be released to the media tomorrow and will be available for all of May for use by local television news in its entirety or to help stations with their own stories.  It coincides with NFCA’s new PSA campaign, “Seriously, Celiac Disease” that urges family testing.  You can preview the video here and learn more about NFCA at www.celiaccentral.org.

Caption: Chef Silva Talking about Versatility of Gluten Free Rice

 


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