Food Safety Could Present Key to US Rice’s Return to Switzerland

She wants safe rice
Mar 17, 2016
BERN, SWITZERLAND – Hartwig Schmidt, regional director of USA Rice, attended the annual meeting of the Swiss Rice Promotion Board (RISO) here last week and gave a presentation on the world rice outlook for 2016.  

In his report, Schmidt said, “Switzerland used to be an important market for U.S. long grain rice with a market share of greater than 50 percent before the Liberty Link incident in 2006, when imports fell substantially.  In 2015, U.S. rice exports shrank to 2,000 MT or only 5 percent of all rice imports.  At this time, U.S. rice sales appear to be limited due to the higher price of U.S. rice compared to other origins.”

Schmidt said the RISO meeting presents an excellent opportunity for USA Rice to check in with the industry since all Swiss rice importers and important retailers and wholesalers are members.

“We continue to work with the trade here,” Schmidt explained.  “And learned this week that Swiss consumers have a rising interest in traceability and food safety – topics the U.S. can speak quite effectively to.  We will look to bolster U.S. rice sales here with this information and may resume promotional activities if the market begins to show promise.”