Pictured is an important delegation representing the Ecuador rice milling industry led by Juan Pablo Zuniga, President of CORPCOM, the rice milling organization of Ecuador. The importance of rice to the diet of Ecuadoreans cannot be overstated due to a per capita consumption of 100 pounds per year. Since 1997 Ecuador has been self-sufficient and many years produced a surplus of rice; however weather related conditions have changed production efforts like many markets including the United States. Recent imports of milled rice from Uruguay are being used in order to maintain stability with consumption demands.
The delegation spent the week meeting with farmers, merchants, exporters, FGIS, research, and others in order to gain an understanding of how rice is grown, handled, and marketed in the U.S. The USRPA has maintained a strong relationship with both CORPCOM and Ecuador rice producers since its formation in late 1997 with visits over the years and participation in conferences and meetings in Guayaquil, the main port city on the Pacific coast and the center of the country’s rice production.
Next week’s Rice Advocate will have more details of the group’s visit from St. Louis through to New Orleans.