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USGC hosts biannual Global Industry Partners Conference

The conference brings together industry partners to refine market development strategies and review progress across its international programs.

Usgc Global Industry Partners Conference

The U.S. Grains Council (USGC) hosted its biannual Global Industry Partners Conference (GIPC) in Marrakech, Morocco, bringing together staff from its nine global offices and representatives from its commodity checkoff partner organizations. The conference focused on aligning market development strategies and providing updates on the Council’s ongoing programs and initiatives.

Ellen Zimmerman, USGC Director of Industry Relations, emphasized the importance of the GIPC, noting it as a crucial platform for collaboration and strategic alignment across the Council’s extensive network. "It’s also a great opportunity for U.S.-based staff and members to connect with international staff face to face and gain detailed knowledge about the Council’s programs and strategic vision,” Zimmerman stated.

The conference highlighted the Council's achievements since the last GIPC in 2022 and outlined future programming plans, which are set to expand thanks to additional funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Regional Access Promotion Program (RAPP). Key discussions included updates on trade policy, sustainability efforts, and detailed market-by-market insights on ethanol and feed grains, presented by directors from the Council’s international offices.

Following the conference, attendees had the opportunity to visit COPAG, a major citrus and dairy cooperative in southern Morocco. The USGC has supported COPAG for the past two decades, contributing to projects such as the development of a modern feedlot and the establishment of three large dairy operations. These initiatives have not only advanced Morocco’s dairy industry but have also significantly increased the production of ruminant feeds in the country—from 80,000 metric tons annually two decades ago to over 1.3 million metric tons today.

Kurt Shultz, USGC Senior Director of Global Strategies, reflected on the impact of these projects: “It’s incredible to see how COPAG’s operation has expanded in just two decades and how U.S. export opportunities to Morocco have increased as a result. Touring its facilities is a learning experience for staff and members as they see the results of the Council’s work and long-term investments firsthand.”

The GIPC in Marrakech not only served as a critical meeting point for discussing the future of grain marketing and trade but also as a testament to the tangible benefits of international agricultural cooperation.

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