Geneva Events

Last week, the International Grain Trade Coalition (IGTC) and NAEGA completed several successful activities  in Geneva, Switzerland. Included:

  • November 7 and 11: IGTC President Gary Martin met with Industry leaders, IGTC corporate stakeholders and government officials to discuss IGTC Policy files and the IGTC’s new business plan as well as NAEGA operations. Katy Lee and Gary met with prospective IGTC legal council.
  • November 8: An IGTC Strategy Session and General Assembly were completed. The Strategy Session included comprehensive review and revision of all IGTC files and the related action communication plans, policy and advocacy strategies. A new IGTC file was opened to address pesticide residue management.  Initial consideration for IGTC engagement with the International Maritime Organization was tabled.  The General Assembly focused on IGTC business operations, including officer elections and naming the management council as well as approval of revised business plan incorporating changes submitted by NAEGA. that was largely adopted. Gary Martin (President), Teresa Babuscio (VP) and Randy Gordon (Treasurer) were elected to two year terms.
  • On November 10, the IGTC welcomed an audience of governments and international decision makers to a seminar entitled "The Grain Trade’s Contribution to Global Food Security and Economic Development” at the World Trade Organization (WTO). The event was attended by WTO Agriculture and SPS Committee members, and chaired by Canada and Brazil. The IGTC’s speakers included Grain Trade Australia, COCERAL, IGTC/NAEGA and Cargill. IGTC’s presenters focused on phytosanitary risk management, the Cartagena Biosafety Protocol, plant production methods, and e-documentation. The aim of the session was to highlight the importance of the grain trade in securing safe, affordable, reliable and fungible food supply while as contributing to food security. A copy of the IGTC presentations can be found on the IGTC “Intranet” at
  • On November 11 several IGTC participants including Gary and Katy attended a Cairns Group Farm Leaders Seminar for which the Agenda and Background can be found here and here. Gary and Katy also met with Tim Yeend, the Chef de Cabinet for WTO Director General Azevedo regarding how to best achieve the common interests and objectives of IGTC and the WTO


The new IGTC business plan, which extends until 2020, highlights governance, financial and membership goals for the organization. Most importantly, the business plan includes:

  • Commitment of NAEGA underwriting until at least 2018;
  • Transitioning from NAEGA underwriting and administration sometime after 2018;
  • Approval of membership fees and corporate stakeholder investments beginning in 2016, with the goal of building up US$200,000 of IGTC reserves;
  • Changes to the qualifications for serving on the Management Council and Corporate Stakeholder Advisory Board;
  • Creation and job description of a permanent IGTC Secretariat to be provided by NAEGA for 2017 and 2018;
  • An approved budget for 2016 through 2018 incorporating revised and additional sources of income, including membership fees and corporate stakeholder investments;
  • A prospective budget for 2019 and 2020;
  • A more complete description and accounting of IGTC benefits included in a new section entitled the “IGTC value proposition”.


A copy of the IGTC new business plan can be found here: IGTC Business Plan.


Reports on all the meetings will soon be made available.


For more information or to comment please contact Gary or the Katy Lee, Acting IGTC Secretariat at


On November 10, 2016 NAEGA CEO Gary Martin, who also serves as president of the IGTC, attended a meeting of the International Plant Protection Convention’s (IPPC) ePhyto Industry Advisory Group (IAG) in Brussels, Belgium. Gary, who at the request of IPPC Secretary Jingyuan Xia participates as a member of the IAG, attended to represent IGTC interests regarding electronic documentation in the global grain trade. A copy of the agenda and related material can be found here. The day-long meeting resulted in a consensus that the Pilot phase of E-Phyto project needs to be completed as soon as possible and a complete plan of operations including budget projections and identification of funding sources was imperative.  Several new details on how IPPC and the IAG plan to proceed were discussed.  For instance, survey work will continue and both national and generic service platforms will be subject of the two part pilot now planned for 2017.


Once a complete report of this meeting and subsequent plans is available the IGTC E-Docs Working Group will convene to consider and advise.

PPD Letter on Vietnamese Fumigation Requirements

On Thursday November 10, 2016, NAEGA, along with industry stakeholders and corporate representatives, met with the U.S. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service to discuss the pending deadlines on U.S. origin shipments of corn, wheat and DDGS to Vietnam. Vietnamese PPD authorities have imposed a methyl bromide fumigation requirement for all U.S. origin shipments of wheat and corn to Vietnam after the bill of lading date of  December 1, 2016. In addition, due to increased incidence of pest detections in shipments of DDGS, Vietnam PPD is also proceeding with a December 17 suspension of all U.S. origin DDGS imports.


On a November 10, 2016 dated letter, Vietnam PPD reiterated to APHIS these positions and stipulated that their main concern is phosphine resistance. As a result, for corn and wheat, and despite discussions with APHIS and FAS, Vietnam PPD has reinforced its desire to require methyl bromide fumigation on all shipments after December 1. For DDGS, Vietnam has indicated that it is willing to work with APHIS on alternative measures, including conclusion of an APHIS field investigation and potential verification by Vietnam PPD authorities. A copy of the letter can be found here: November 10, 2016 Letter to APHIS from Vietnam PPD.

Moving forward, APHIS is continuing pursue alternative scenarios for compliance for DDGS, as laid out in its proposal to Vietnam in October, which can be found here. APHIS is still considering next steps for corn and wheat, including measures to confirm Vietnam’s claim of phosphine resistance. More information will be available in the coming days. NAEGA will inform members as soon as it has more information.

GAO Report on Improving Performance of West Coast Ports

Last week the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report on improving supply chain information to enhance efficiency and competitiveness of U.S. West Coast ports. According to the report, West Coast ports have not responded quickly enough to recent changes in global shipping trends, resulting in increased costs or diminished revenues for shippers. Some shippers have modified their supply chains to divert shipments to ports outside the West Coast and are using alternate modes of transportation. GAO recommends that Department of Transportation identify what supply chain information is needed, potential sources of information, and data gaps to develop a freight data strategy to strengthen the role of freight transportation in U.S. economic competitiveness.

The official GAO report can be found here.