Jan 07, 2022
NEW ORLEANS, LA -- Importers from Latin America who attended the 2021 USA Rice Outlook Conference were invited to a special session, the U.S. Rice Quality Symposium ll, where breeders from five U.S. rice research institutions and three private companies presented 18 newly-developed U.S. rice varieties.
Dr. Steve Linscombe, director of The Rice Foundation, kicked off the event with a brief explanation of the activity to a room filled with USA Rice members and trade partners from Central America, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, and Mexico. Eight tables, setup trade show style, displayed the up-and-coming rice varieties in raw form along with one-page factsheets detailing the unique characteristics of the rice including grain length, whiteness, and amylose content. Each table was also equipped with rice cookers to conduct live cooking tests.
“We are very happy to participate in the U.S. Rice Quality Symposium ll as it is extremely important for our industry to have open communication about the developments in varieties of U.S. rice,” said Eduardo Rojas, an importer from Costa Rica and president of FECARROZ, the Central America Rice Federation. “We look forward to more events like this one and welcome opportunities for access to suppliers as this event provided.”
International participants reported unanimous interest in attending future rice quality symposiums. Sixty percent of the U.S. participants said they anticipate contacts made during the Outlook Conference will lead to sales in the next three months.
“Our industry is making efforts to address the U.S. long grain quality issues that Latin America and our FECARROZ friends have brought to our attention over the past several years,” said Sarah Moran, USA Rice vice president, international. “U.S. rice breeders are developing varieties that adhere to the quality characteristics preferred by Latin American importers. These annual symposiums are meant to put a spotlight on these efforts and facilitate connections between our overseas buyers, U.S. suppliers, U.S. farmers, and other USA Rice members, so that Latin America remains a top export market for us.”
The U.S. Rice Quality Symposium has now become an important tool for demonstrating the latest advances in the industry and providing a forum for open communication between trade partners, and will be included in the programming of the 2022 USA Rice Outlook Conference, December 7-9, in Austin, Texas.