U.S. government officials, rice industry members, USA Rice Federation and US Rice Producers Association staff met last week with representatives of the Federation of the Central American Rice Industry (FECARROZ) to discuss concerns associated with U.S. paddy rice shipments to Central America.  The participants agreed to establish a working group of eight members, four from each side to address quality concerns. The U.S. rice industry representatives will include The Rice Company, ADM Rice, Bunge and Russell Marine. FECARROZ will be represented by one producer and three millers from Central America.

The working group is expected to meet in Houston during the FECARROZ Board meetings, Dec. 14-16, to evaluate proposed changes and improvements to trade.

FECARROZ requested regular updates on developments emanating from USA Rice Federation's Marketability and Competitiveness Task Force, since some of the issues being addressed could directly affect Central American millers.

The overall outcome of the meeting was viewed as productive and quite positive by the U.S. attendees.