Last week, the California Rice Commission held annual grower meetings to provide updates on political matters in the state and in Washington, DC, the water outlook for 2019 and progress on local reservoirs, and the implementation of new employment regulations in California.
Sarah Moran, USA Rice vice president for international, shared information on USA Rice promotional activities in key California markets such as Japan, Korea, and Taiwan, as well as trade policy updates, including the development of a new and now attainable export market: China.
Moran reported on USA Rice’s strong promotions program in Japan, developed over the past two decades, aimed at introducing the Japanese consumer to identified U.S. rice. In 2010, 38 tons of Calrose rice entered the market in this manner; in 2018, it had increased to more than 58,000 tons indicating that the distribution of U.S. rice is now nationwide.
Additionally, Moran discussed the U.S.-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement, a free trade agreement that is working well for the entire U.S. rice industry having brought $65 million to U.S. rice research since 2012, and nearly $14 million of that for California.
“I enjoyed meeting many new faces in California and hearing about the research being done in the state as well as environmental initiatives such as the salmon pilot project in rice fields,” said Moran. “One of our industry’s strengths is the diversity in products we grow and initiatives we pursue, and it’s always great to see and hear about these things firsthand.”