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Advancing food security through trade
The U.S. Grains Council recognizes that agricultural trade with reliable partners is a powerful tool for enhancing food security, food quality and consumer choice.
U.S. grain products do more than feed livestock and people. They also stimulate economic growth among trading partners because the efficient movement of food supplies from surplus countries like the United States to deficit countries throughout the world benefits consumers, enhances economic options and allows these countries to move up the international value chain.
Instead of spending valuable resources pursuing the elusive and often costly goal of food self-sufficiency, food importing countries can focus on maximizing their performance in areas of comparative advantage. Sound trade policies and reliable trade partners also allow countries to meet their needs when adverse weather affects production. In the end, all countries benefit from the trade safety net.
Recognizing the rapidly growing importance of agricultural trade in an increasingly populous, prosperous and competitive world, the Council in 2012 rolled out its groundbreaking new study, Food 2040, at a major briefing in Tokyo, Japan. The in-depth report on The Future of Food and Agriculture in East Asia underscores the importance of trade as rising demand from the growing global middle class, especially from China, restructures the global food industry.
Conducted in partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Foreign Agricultural Service, Food 2040 outlines important new opportunities for producers and agribusinesses alike. Seizing these opportunities, however, will require that we be prepared to meet new challenges in emerging markets with often different diets, expectations, perceived challenges and production, marketing and regulatory systems. As U.S. producers and agribusinesses rise to this opportunity, the U.S. Grains Council will continue to serve as a bridge between global consumers and the world’s largest, most reliable and most productive agricultural system.
The emerging economies of East Asia and around the world look to reliable trading partners to achieve food security in the face of rapid growth and accelerating change. The U.S. Grains Council has a powerful and consistent message in this regard: The United States is the most reliable supplier in the world, and aligned trading practices are to everyone's advantage.
Global trade is key to food security, and reliable trading partners like the United States combined with free trade policies promoted by the Council make food security through trade an attainable goal.
Sorghum as an example
Food 2040 illustrates the emerging potential of exploding demand across all sectors. The sale of U.S. sorghum to Japan is one example.
A series of white sorghum food products are available in Japan thanks to Council sorghum promotions aimed at meeting consumer demands for new, healthy foods in the country. From a dedicated website to in-store tasting events to meetings with food companies, the Council promoted how U.S. sorghum can help meet this demand.
The growth potential for new, healthy foods was highlighted in the Food 2040 report and is clearly a market opportunity. Sales of sorghum are just one way to meet that demand and along the way help Japan remain food secure even as some of those foods change.