Following the official May formation of the international corn alliance MAIZALL, growers representing the National Corn Growers Association, Argentina's group MAIZAR and Brazil's corn group ABRAMHILO, will travel to Korea and China to gather perspectives on food security, market access, and biotechnology.
The groups earlier this year have focused on preparing the basics of the group, including governance issues, bylaws, articles of incorporation, and funding.
Now, after two years of discussion and a year of concentrated effort, MAIZALL representatives will begin the group's first mission.
"It is always exciting when an idea moves from concept to reality," said Julius Schaaf, USGC chairman and MAIZALL's first president. "I want to thank our partners in Argentina and Brazil, our funding partners, and our staff here in the United States for all the work they've done to turn the concept into a tangible, functioning partnership. I also want to acknowledge the Foreign Agricultural Service for its important support for the MAIZALL initiative."
Schaaf, USGC Vice Chairman Ron Gray, and NCGA President Pam Johnson will head the U.S. team next week in Panama, as the MAIZALL board of directors formalizes articles of incorporation and plan the organization's first mission to China and Korea.
While in Korea and China, the team will meet with buyers and government officials to discuss regulatory and technology issues, and will participate in the China Food Security Strategy Summit in Beijing.
"In a typical year, Argentina, Brazil, and the United States together account for more than three quarters of the world's corn exports," Schaaf explained.
"We are strong competitors, but as major producers and exporters, we also share common interests in market access, regulatory harmonization and streamlining, and global acceptance of biotechnology. MAIZALL will allow the major producers to work together to better serve global customers."
Panama was chosen as MAIZALL's home because it is a neutral location equally convenient to both North and South American participants. Argentina, Brazil, and the United States have each named three directors to MAIZALL's board. Funding is shared equally among the three countries.