soybean field

U.S. Soy Grower Leaders Participate in Farmer-to-Farmer Biotech Mission in Europe

U.S. Soy grower leaders traveled to Europe from March 20-27 to visit farms and attend industry meetings in Dublin, Paris, Brussels and Normandy to support the Biotech: Farmer-to-Farmer Project.  Delegates included United Soybean Board (USB) director Doug Winter, USB director Woody Green and American Soybean Association (ASA) director Kevin Scott.  USSEC consultant David Green escorted the team.
The trip had two main goals.  The first goal was to meet with farmer leaders in France, the UK and Ireland to exchange information on innovative and modern farming practices and to gain support on the need for science to be the guiding force in the introduction of new technologies. The second goal was to brief EU officials and stakeholders in each region, particularly in Brussels, on the negative consequences to the free-flow of trade through excessive delays in approving crops enhanced through biotechnology.  Part of this program element included Mr. Scott taking part in a panel discussion on the Transatlantic Trade & Investment Partnership (TTIP) that was held in Paris at a French think tank.
In Normandy, the group met with local farmers and an influential member of the French senate before visiting a farm, a local beef producer’s farm and an innovative dairy cooperative before returning to Paris to attend a meeting at the U.S. Embassy with representatives from the Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) and to participate in the TTIP seminar.  In Brussels, the team met with Europabio, the European Association for Bioindustries, which is Europe’s largest and most influential biotech industry group, in addition to meeting with the EU farmers’ association, several European commission representatives and FAS.  The delegation next traveled to London, where they met with FAS and food agencies before touring a farm in Hertfordshire.  Finally, in Dublin, the group met with farmer leaders and the director general of the Irish Grain & Feed Association before returning to the U.S.
Next week’s Soy News will provide the farmers’ perspectives on their trip and biotech in the EU.