More than $110 million worth of business was conducted during the five-day U.S. Grains Council Buyers’ Conference in Athens, Greece, last month.
The conference brought more than 110 of the largest grain and feedstock importers from the Middle East, Africa, Europe and South Asia to Greece. Ten expert speakers and 10 export-capable agribusinesses participated in the program, offering presentations on topics ranging from the economic advantages of importing feed grains to the nutritional benefits of U.S. DDGS and sorghum.
“We were with people that buy our product on a yearly basis - our buyers are here,” said Wayne Cleveland, executive director of the Texas Grain Sorghum Producers, who participated in the conference. “All those questions we get about grain sorghum - quality, economics - the people asking are here, so we spent a copious amount of time answering their questions.”
Attendees participated in one-on-one consultations on the last day of the conference. Expert nutritional and technical consultants delivered information and suggestions to end-users, providing the tools to make informed decisions on DDGS and sorghum use in processing feed.
The conference allowed time not only to answer an array of questions, but also for networking between U.S. sellers and overseas buyers. These face-to-face interactions are a critical component of the Council’s work to promote U.S. coarse grains and related products.
The Athens conference follows a similar buyers conference in 2017. The regional buyers conferences are part of the Council’s work to maximize the U.S. competitive advantage, develop strong ties to industry and facilitate opportunities to make or negotiate sales.
“At the end of the day, these conferences are put on to facilitate business,” said Reece H. Cannady, USGC manager of global trade. “We see events like these as a great use of our funds; the return on investment speaks for itself.”