(Posted Wed. Jun 4th, 2014)
This week, representatives from the three corn-producing countries which constitute the MAIZALL alliance are participating in a biotechnology mission to Europe. With meetings scheduled in Portugal, Spain and Belgium, the team will work to introduce MAIZALL to European farm, livestock and agribusiness organizations and advocate for biotechnology accessibility before European Union Commission departments on behalf of U.S., Brazilian and Argentine corn farmers.
The meetings launched Monday in Lisbon, where MAIZALL representatives met with embassy and ministry officials as well as industry representatives from Portuguese feed, farmer and agroindustry groups. Tuesday and Wednesday, the mission held meetings in Madrid with Agriculture Ministry officials, embassy officials, farmers and ranchers associations and biotech companies.
Thursday, the MAIZALL mission will begin its work in Brussels, where representatives will take part in a series of discussions advocating for biotechnology availability to Permanent Representatives to the EU from Ireland, the Netherlands, Spain, Poland, Italy and the United Kingdom. In addition, they will meet with the European Commission Directors General for Sanco and Trade. During these meetings, MAIZALL representation will stress that the world’s largest maize producing and exporting countries need access to existing and future technology to meet the growing global food security needs and challenges.
Through the mission, MAIZALL also aims to introduce the group to European farm, livestock and agribusiness organizations who are supportive of MAIZALL efforts. The team will looks for ways in which both parties can work together to build support to advocate for transparent and predictable policy directions that will address the EU’s asynchronous biotechnology risk assessment and approval process, and the need for the establishment of a practical low presence policy.
The MAIZALL delegation includes NCGA Chairwoman Pam Johnson, U.S. Grains Council Chairman Julius Schaaf, staff from both organizations, as well as ABRAMILHO President Alysson Paulinelli, Chairman Joao Carlos Werlang and Vice Present Sergio Bortoloz,o and MAIZAR Executive Director Martin Fraguio and Vice President Alberto Morelli.
The MAIZALL partners include the National Corn Growers Association, MAIZAR (Argentina), ABRAMILHO (Brazil) and the U.S. Grains Council. While American, Argentine and Brazilian growers are global competitors, they share common interests as exporters in food security, biotechnology, stewardship, trade and producer image.