Advances in Rice Quality Topic of First Webinar on International Markets

Latin-America-Webinar-Title-Slide, photo of golden rice field with dark blue text box and several logos
First stop: Latin America
Oct 21, 2020
ARLINGTON, VA -- Yesterday, USA Rice kicked off a new international trade webinar series with the U.S. Rice Quality Symposium focused on customers in Latin America.  

“We had great participation with more than 130 people logging in from Central America, Mexico, Colombia, Brazil, and Peru,” said Sarah Moran, USA Rice vice president international.  “Staff from the U.S. Department of Agriculture also attended from various locations across the U.S. and abroad.  Simultaneous translation was provided in English, Spanish, and Portuguese.”
The agenda included rice breeders from RiceTec, Nutrien, Horizon Ag, University of Arkansas Rice Research & Extension Center, Louisiana State University AgCenter Rice Research Station, Mississippi State University Delta Research & Extension Center, Texas A&M University Beaumont Research Center, and California Cooperative Rice Research Foundation who showcased 25 rice varieties that have recently or are currently being developed specifically for Latin American consumers.  

USA Rice President & CEO Betsy Ward opened the webinar with a gracious welcome emphasizing the importance of rice quality in Latin America saying, “When your largest regional export market has concerns, you stop and listen.”

During the course of the webinar, participants interacted with polls to test their rice knowledge and give feedback on consumer preferences in their own markets.  The final poll measured consumer preference for U.S. rice over other imported origins, and the results showed that 64 percent of participants agree that their consumers prefer U.S-grown rice over other imports.

The U.S. Rice Quality Symposium concluded with a spirited Q&A session in which all 10 panelists gave their expert opinion on inquiries posed by participants.  Questions covered a wide range of topics, including: “Do rice crops have a maximum yield?” and “What do you think rice production in the U.S. will look like in 20 years?”  

Ward emphasized that the purpose of the symposium was to have the audience “walk away with confidence that the varieties being developed here in the U.S. are profitable options and will meet the preferences of consumers in your markets.”

All resources including a recording of the symposium and copies of all presentations, as well as a form to request samples and meetings with breeders and suppliers will be available this Friday, October 23, on the USA Rice website.   

Be sure to register for upcoming webinars on China (October 27) and the UK & EU (November 5).