Global Grain blog

YEAR ROUND COMMENT ON THE GLOBAL GRAIN AND OILSEEDS MARKETS
WHAT ARE THE CORE VALUES THAT SHAPE THE GLOBAL GRAIN INDUSTRY?

Published June 2018 by Alex Bell, Senior Conference Producer, Global Grain

 

Marcelo Neri, CEO, Alphamar

As we begin to hear the forecasts of the 2018/2019 crop and the economists start to calculate the implications of the new production data (#drought18, #globalbeastfromtheeast, #whoknows), I have been looking forward and putting together the agenda for the Global Grain Geneva Conference and Awards 2018. As with all conferences it is key to establish a theme for the year, a thread which will tie in all of the outlooks and deeper dive discussions. In preparation for this year's conference I canvassed leaders and members of the global grain community, eager to get their thoughts and ideas. After several conversations I started to realise that like most commodity industries the grain and agriculture community have survived upcycles, downcycles, flat pricing, uncertainty and a few black swan moments. Unlike other commodity industries, the global grain community’s tenacity through fluctuations seemed to be shaped by key values including: sustainability, traceability, excellence and innovation. 

 

Sustainability 


During times of flat pricing and geopolitical uncertainty, being part of the global grain community has meant doing more than just surviving. This has meant not only sustainable sourcing of produce, but sustainable business practices and strategies. At this year’s Global Grain Geneva we are looking at how the top tier trading houses have maintained their position in the market, how they are looking to sustain longer term growth in what seems to be an in increasingly volatile market and how can they demonstrate and prove grain and oilseed stainability from source to consumer.  

 

Traceability 


Arguably an influence of the macro consumer trend of ‘knowing where your food has come from’, demonstrating traceability has become even more important for all stakeholders across the agriculture value chain. With new technologies, including blockchain, traceability is becoming increasingly easier to map and record, hence regional opportunities and challenges are on the forefront of the community’s mind. Global Grain Geneva will deliver insights on new ways of tracking traceability as well as regions to source from, with regional spotlight sessions looking at the opportunity of the Indian subcontinent and South East Asia, overcoming the challenges of working with new hotspots including Iran, Iraq and Libya and of course a focus on the Black Sea region during the pre-conference day Black Sea Forum and throughout the main agenda. 

 

Excellence


Whilst many may think this is my unsubtle attempt to charm the community, I do truly believe that the whole of the grain industry from farmer to trader and miller have a drive for excellence. Excellence of the crop, excellence of the trade and ultimately excellence of the end product. During Global Grain Geneva not only will the speaking faculty represent excellence, we also host the Global Grain Awards which is an opportunity for the industry to recognise this excellence. With a panel of independent judges that assess the entries on strict criteria, the Global Grain Geneva Awards recognise and celebrate the global grain communities’ excellence. 

 

Innovation


A buzzword that goes to the core of the current business zeitgeist; innovative technologies, business strategies and company mandates are becoming the disruptors and deciders of the grain trading industry. During this year’s Global Grain Geneva we have dedicated a room for TED-style talks and presentations on technological advances from upstream to downstream, the implications of increased algorithm and AI trading platforms, as well an actual explanation of what blockchain is and what are the legal implications of it? 

 


Now we want to hear your thoughts. What do you think the core values that shape the global grain industry are? 


We will be conducting a series of interviews, twitter polls and blogs posts around different core values to continue this discussion, so if you want to be involved and share your thoughts on what you think defines the global grain industry please do not hesitate to reach out. 

 

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