Joint venture to boost Aberdeen grain exports
Cargill and Concord Grain Inc. have joined forces in a 50/50 joint venture to own and operate a 110-car shuttle-loading grain elevator in Aberdeen.
The newly built grain elevator will be operated by Concord Grain and managed by a team recruited from Cargill.
The elevator has 2.5 million bushels of storage space, an unload capacity of 60,000 bushels an hour and load out capability of 80,000 bushels an hour. The storage space is also being expanded to add 2 million bushels, which will give the facility extra capacity to support the growing export demand through the Pacific Northwest.
Russian scientists seek moratorium on GM crops
Russian scientists have called for a temporary ban on GM crops to give the scientific community more time to perform thorough tests assessing the long-term effect on human health.
Irina Ermakova, vice president of Russia’s National Association for Genetic Safety, said previous research is not sufficient and that most studies suggest GM food can have dangerous side effects.
“It has been proved in Russia, and in many other countries in the world, that genetic modification of food is dangerous. Methods of obtaining the GMO are not perfect, therefore, at this stage, they are all dangerous. It is necessary to impose a moratorium for 10 years. While GMO will be prohibited, we can plan experiments, tests, or maybe even new methods of research could be developed.”
Russia has set two legal precedents on the products containing GM components. From September this year all products now have to be officially registered and Russian authorities have temporarily suspended the import and sale of Monsanto’s GM corn, which they consider to be a threat to human health.
Grain co-op gives voice in Australia’s B20 Group
The CEO of Australian grain co-op CBH Group will represent the agricultural industry as a newly appointed member of Australia’s B20 Leadership Group.
Dr Andrew Crane will be involved in the forum where the private sector produces policy recommendations for the annual G20 meeting of international finance leaders.
Australia is the world’s third largest exporter of wheat, but CBH Group is currently the only B20 member representing the industry – as well as being the first to represent co-operatives.
Dr Crane said: "As members of B20 Australia, we will lead business engagement and coordinate the communication of international business priorities to the G20. It is so important that the agriculture, agri-business and co-operatives have a voice in this discussion."
Ups and downs for Finland’s 2013 crop yield
Finland’s oat crop harvest reached a 10-year high in 2013 but shrivelled grains and myotoxins impacted overall quality.
The Finnish Food Safety Authority Evira and Tike (Information Centre of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry) said that one quarter of the oats sampled exceeded the minimum amount of myotoxin levels suitable for human consumption.
Wheat harvest volumes remained steady compared to 2012, and the average quality improved. Of the 888 million kilo autumn wheat crop, 844 million kilos was spring wheat and only 44 million kilos winter wheat.
The quality of the malting barley harvest was good, with low average protein content (below 11.5%) and large grain size. The average hectolitre weight was better than in the last three years at 64.9 kilos.
Bunge Asia appoints new CEO
Global agribusiness and food company Bunge has appointed current COO Michael Goettl as CEO, Bunge Asia, effective from January 1.
He replaces Christopher White who, after 10 years in the top job, is staying on at Bunge in an advisory capacity to manage strategic initiatives.
Goettl joined Bunge in 2005 and held various managerial roles prior to becoming COO, Bunge Asia. Before joining Bunge, Goettl was president of China Food & Agricultural Services and vice president of Asia/Latin American Marketing at Louis Dreyfus.