The U.S. Grains Council (USGC) marks its origin with the "hog lift," an initiative to help rebuild the Japanese swine industry after a devastating typhoon that struck Yamanashi Prefecture in 1959. Since that time, boosting our international partners' livestock industries has been a core strategy for developing markets for U.S. feed grains. China is among the many countries in which this strategy has been adopted.
Most recently, in an ongoing effort to facilitate the increasing modernization of China's hog industry, the U.S. Grains Council partnered with the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF), the U.S. Embassy in China, China Animal Agriculture Association and Center for Chinese Agricultural Policy, Chinese Academy of Sciences to host the first ever U.S.-China Hog Summit.
While the Council has been active in China for over 30 years, this year's Summit was a direct follow up to the U.S.-China Agricultural Summit held in Iowa in February 2012. China's hog industry is experiencing rapid centralization and industrialization. The Summit provided a unique opportunity for continued discussion of key issues including waste and disease management as well as health and food safety.
The growth and development of China's hog industry is among the major forces affecting not only world commodity markets, but also China's ability to remain self-sufficient in food and feed grains, environmental sustainability, and food safety issues in China. These three topics were the key focuses of the Summit, and are among the pillars of the U.S.-China agricultural relationship.
Many people in China view food self-sufficiency as equivalent to food security. However, the Council believes that trade can help provide more food security by ensuring adequate supplies of low cost food to the low-income consumers in China.
"The definition of food security is changing. In the past the emphasis has been on providing sufficient food for adequate intake of calories to maintain effective energy levels. But increasingly the emphasis is on adequate intake of micronutrients, in addition to calories, to maintain effective energy levels and overall mental and physical health," said Dr. Bryan Lohmar, USGC director in China, during the Summit.
"The Council is proud of the role it has played in the modernization of China's hog industry over the last 30 years," said Dr. Lohmar. "The Council established China's first feed mill producing modern pre-mixes in 1984 and ultimately donated that mill to the provincial Agriculture Bureau. The Council has sponsored hundreds of participants in technical and market study tours and seminars over the last three decades, and been a reliable partner providing information to help China's feed and livestock producers improve their operations, and trading and processing companies negotiate the market."