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CropWorld North America 2012 Kicks Off

CropWorld North America 2012 Kicks Off

27 March 2012

GLOBAL - CropWorld North America 2012 kicked off today in Charlotte, North Carolina, USA, with speakers addressing policy challenges, new technologies, regulatory issues as well as sustainability and food security, reports Sarah Mikesell, TheCropSite senior editor, live at the conference.

Keynote speaker, Bryan Dierlam (pictured above), Director of Federal Government Relations at Cargill, offered an overview of current policy challenges and opportunities to ensure a safe, sustainable and secure food supply for global consumers.

Mr. Dierlam illustrated the effects of higher disposable income on the food supply by showing that Chinese meat consumption has grown six-fold in 30 years. Global meat (pork beef, broiler) consumption in 1981 was 108 million tons and China was 11 per cent of the total consumption. In 2011, global meat consumption has risen to 237 million tons and China is now 29 per cent of the total.

He also noted that infrastructure repairs to the US lock-and-dam system are an imperative for the US to remain competitive.

Ernesto Brovelli, Senior Manager of Sustainable Agriculture in the Environment and Water Resources Department at The Coca-Cola Company, spoke to attendees about recruiting talent from the agricultural sector.

Mr. Dierlam also shared the top 10 countries that the FAO has indicated offer potential arable land expansion opportunity. Those countries being: Brazil, Russia, US, Australia, DR Congo, India, Sudan, Argentina Bolivia and Mozambique. According to the FAO, these countries represent 55 per cent of the total estimated potential world acreage increase.

Speaking on the topic of recruiting and retaining talent in the agriculture sector, Ernesto Brovelli, Senior Manager of Sustainable Agriculture in the Environment and Water Resources Department for The Coca-Cola Company, said most corporate agriculture positions are not held by those with agriculture degrees because of an insufficient labor pool or because the existing labor pool is not attracted to corporate jobs. He also said there is strong competition among people without agricultural degrees for agricultural positions.

Tim Burrack and Bill Horan, both farmers in Iowa, USA, spoke about what farmers need to meet future food demand.

Offering US grower perspectives, Tim Burrack and Bill Horan, both farmers from Iowa, told attendees that the world's farmers are central to meeting the food gap challenge. And in order to meet the challenge, they will need access to technology, adequate infrastructure and an efficient and stable regulatory system.

Mr. Burrack and Mr. Horan are both part of Truth about Trade & Technology, a farmer-led non-profit organization that supports freer trade. For more, go to

CropWorld North America 2012 provides industry with a platform to debate and discuss the critical issues surrounding the crop production industry within North America and beyond.

Sarah Mikesell, Senior Editor

Sarah Mikesell, Senior Editor

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