The U.S. Grains Council responded quickly when notified of a trade-disrupting issue in Vietnam in September, working with the U.S. Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) and Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) to help improve the situation.
Through a request for assistance from an importer, the Council learned the Vietnam Ministry of Agriculture's Plant Production Department (PPD) at the Port of Hai Phong had found some insects in a container shipment of U.S. distiller's dried grains with solubles (DDGS). The insects, the larger cabinet beetle (Trogoderma Inclusum LeConte), are common in the United States but are on the quarantine list in Vietnam.
Since they were on the quarantine list, PPD required fumigation or re-export of that shipment and fumigation of future shipments. "It became a trade-restricting issue," said Adel Yusupov, the Council's director for Southeast Asia. "As soon as we heard about the issue, we traveled to Vietnam, met with FAS and APHIS officials and then with PPD."
He and others also went to the port to examine shipping containers alongside PPD staff and helped coordinate information back to U.S. DDGS exporters. Officials from PPD also came to Export Exchange 2012 to get a first-hand look at the U.S. DDGS supply chain before traveling to Washington where the Council helped arrange meetings with APHIS, the Federal Grain Inspection Service (FGIS) and other U.S. officials.
Nguyen Quang Hieu, who is with PPD, was one member of the delegation who came to Export Exchange. He said the goal was to find ways to cooperate and improve the situation because DDGS is an important feed ingredient in the country. "We import a large amount of grain products from the U.S.," he said. "Solving this would be very beneficial for the U.S. and very beneficial for our industry."
The response by APHIS and FAS was critical to moving forward, Yusupov said. As a result of their and the Council's efforts, PPD approved the use of phosphine as a fumigant instead of other fumigants that are not generally used in the United States. "Our ultimate goal is to see U.S. DDGS removed from the quarantine product list," Yusupov said.
It is important for the Council to be able to respond to situations like this, he said. "We have to be there, to have boots on the ground and support U.S. exporters."