Friday, February 28, 2020

28th February ,2020 Daily Global Regional Local Rice E-Newsletter

February 27, 2020 By Meghan Grebner Filed Under: CropsHuman InterestNews

The chair of USA Rice says the organization is encouraged by the Administration’s game plan on trade.
California rice producer Charley Mathews says Chief Ag Negotiator Gregg Doud provided an update on the Phase One trade agreement with China during the industry’s recent Government Affairs Conference.  “Rice is a relatively small commodity,” he says.  “But we were recognized through that whole process.  And at the end of the day, we have a deal that benefits large segments of agriculture – including rice.”
He says Doud also discussed future trade negotiations with the United Kingdom, the EU, Kenya, and Japan.
Mathews tells Brownfield they’re hoping for some additional progress on the next round of trade talks with Japan.  “We have an existing WTO agreement with Japan,” he says.  “It’s great for business.  What we’re really after is better access in the marketplace.  We tend to have difficulty getting our product to the consumer in Japan.  The issue this go-round is not about tonnage.  It’s about getting meaningful access.”
More than 100 rice industry representatives have been in Washington, DC meeting with members of Congress and agency offices during the 2020 Government Affairs Conference. 
AUDIO: Charley Mathews, Jr – chair USA Rice
N. Korean rice sellers raking it in thanks to skyrocketing prices
Small-scale rice sellers are resorting to purchasing rice from local farms to keep up with the demand
2020.02.26 4:00pm
The rise of North Korean rice prices have led to massive profits for rice wholesalers who acquired rice from China before the closure of the Sino-North Korean border in late January, Daily NK has learned.
The dearth of Chinese rice due to the border shutdown led rice prices to skyrocket up to between KPW 6,000 to KPW 6,500 initially. Now, however, prices have now settled back down to between KPW 5,500 and KPW 6,000 in parts of the country.
North Korean commodity prices stayed relatively stable despite international sanctions and such a steep rise in prices over such a short period is the first observed in 10 years.
“The rise in rice prices due to the coronavirus means that merchants have had to find any way possible to acquire more rice,” a Ryanggang Province-based source told Daily NK today.
“Small-scale rice sellers typically sell about 50 kilograms of rice per day in markets in Pyongsong. Now that they have no more Chinese rice to sell, they are purchasing rice from local farms to sell in the markets,” the source said.
Large rice wholesalers, meanwhile, are reportedly making large profits from the increases in price all over the country.
“There are five large-scale rice wholesalers in Hyesan and they have about 10-18 tons of rice imported from China,” the source said. “They had acquired the rice to sell for Lunar New Years, Jeongwol Daeborum [celebrating the first full moon after Lunar’s], and Kim Jong Il’s birthday on February 16 and are now selling it in the markets.”
The wholesalers are making “unimaginable” sums of money, the source added.
“The donju [North Korea’s wealthy entrepreneurial class] are selling rice they obtained [before the shutdown of the border] at expensive prices and are making more money off their rice than usual,” one source said.
The wholesalers in Hyesan have reportedly released only some of their stocks of rice into the markets as part of efforts to keep prices high. Nonetheless, Daily NK sources reported that rice prices have fallen slightly as the supply of rice continues to increase in the markets.
Rice sellers in markets in Hyesan reportedly have typically made profits of KPW 300 to 400 off the sale of one kilogram of rice, which means they have been able to make profits of up to KPW 15,000 to KPW 20,000 when they sell 50 kilograms on a given day.
With the price of rice skyrocketing by at least KPW 1,000, rice sellers in the city are now making twice as much, sources said.
The price of one kilogram of rice in Hyesan Market cost KPW 5,700 today, which is a decrease of about KPW 700 from Feb. 19 and Feb. 20.
Please direct any comments or questions about this article to

Adani Wilmar aims to shake off edible oil tag with new Fortune brand logo

Despite operating now in 5 categories - edible oil, pulses, rice, wheat flour and sugar - over 90% consumers still associate Fortune brand with the cooking medium

Vinay Umarji  |  Ahmedabad 
Description: Palm oil, edible
Representative Image
In another step to establish itself as a foods brand rather than just an edible oil player, Adani Wilmar Ltd (AWL) has acquired a new logo for its 'Fortune' brand.
Despite operating now in five categories including edible oil, pulses, rice, wheat flour (atta) and sugar, over 90 per cent of consumers still associate the Fortune brand with edible oil, said Angshu Mallick, deputy chief operating officer of Adani Wilmar citing a survey.
"In less than two decades, Fortune brand has evolved from being the number one cooking oil brand to be among the fastest growing foods brands in India. The new visual identity is to convey this transformation to our customers. The new logo reflects modern aesthetics while keeping intact the Fortune brand’s core philosophy," Mallick said. The new logo, therefore, sports a flower blossom in the place of the alphabet 'O' in Fortune.
According to Mallick, its purpose is to inspire consumers to be adventurous with Fortune foods, to go on a journey of exploration, to discover a world of dazzling flavour and be empowered by fresh challenges.
"The transformation of Fortune’s visual identity is also aimed at defending its position in strong markets, strengthening its position in other markets, and to continue to be relevant to younger households, the millennial generation, through the values they believe in," he added.
Launched in 2000 as brand 'Fortune' with three offerings including Fortune Soyabean Oil, Fortune Sunflower Oil, and Fortune Cottonseed Oil, it became one of the largest selling cooking oil brands in India in just 18 months. Fortune entered the foods segment in the year 2013, with the launch of besan, followed by the launch of Soya Chunks in 2014, Basmati rice in 2015, and Wheat Flour in 2017. The ready-to-cook Khichdi was launched in 2019.
Currently, Fortune offers a range of oils spanning across soya, sunflower, mustard, groundnut, cottonseed, rice bran, and Fortune Vivo Pro Sugar Conscious Oil. Brand Fortune has also been extended to food categories such as wheat flour, Basmati rice, pulses, soya chunks, besan, and the recently launched ready-to-cook Khichdi.
On the back of the new logo, the company expects to grow its foods business from contributing just 10 per cent to the revenue currently to around 30 per cent in next 3-5 years.
The company has also roped in creative agency Ogilvy even as the new packaging design as well as the expanded foods offerings, shall be communicated through a 360 degree campaign featuring Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar and spanning TV, press, outdoor, mobile, digital, social and in-store.

Adani Wilmar to strengthen food play with offerings in packaged staples

Meenakshi Verma Ambwani  New Delhi | Updated on February 26, 2020  Published on February 27, 2020
Adani Wilmar Ltd is looking to strengthen its food play with the launch of a slew of value-added offerings across various categories in the branded packaged staples segment starting with sulphurless sugar.
The edible oils major on Wednesday also launched a new logo for its brand Fortune and has revamped the packaging of its entire product portfolio, in a bid to strengthen its appeal among millennial consumers.
The company entered the packaged staples segment with the launch of besan in 2013 and has now expanded the brand’s presence to wheat flour, pulses, basmati and non-basmati rice, besides ready-to-eat khichdi.
“India is a huge consumption story and the penetration of branded packaged staples is very low. We have a leadership position in the edible oils space. We want to now focus on becoming a strong national player in the wheat flour, pulses, besan and rice categories,” said Angshu Mallick, Deputy CEO, Adani Wilmar Ltd.
Talking about the strategy to foray into packaged sugar segment, he said, “Our foray in the packaged sulphurless sugar category in in line with our strategy to offer value-added offerings to consumers. We will initially launch this product in the Eastern region and gradually expand it to pan-India level.”

Distribution strategy

Over the next one year, the company will look at launching 5-6 value-added offerings such as multi-grain atta, fortified rice, khaman dhokla besan among others in the packaged staples segment, Mallick said. This expansion is also being backed by a strong rural distribution push besides expanding the presence of its product portfolio to smaller towns and cities.
“In the key eight States, we are ramping up distribution in villages with population of up to 10,000 people. We are also looking at expanding the distribution for our entire portfolio of wheat flour, pulses, non-basmati rice and besan in rural and semi-urban regions,” Mallick added.
Meanwhile, talking about the impact of the ongoing slowdown, Mallick said that factors such as liquidity crunch in general trade and softer consumer sentiment has adversely impacted the FMCG industry. “We are seeing consumers opting for smaller packs and cutting down on frequency of purchases. Growth in January and February has also been impacted due to uncertainty around coronavirus,” he added.


Support The Hindu BusinessLine's new online ad-free experience by subscribing now.

Joining forces to fighting rice diseases in India

Biology: HHU signs Memorandum of Understanding
A large proportion of India's farmers live from growing rice, and 70% of them have farms that average smaller than 0.4 hectares - that's roughly half the size of a football field. Even a single infection can directly endanger their livelihood. Also, in many parts of Asia diseases like bacterial blight in rice are countered by spraying antibiotics and extremely dangerous pesticides that are not approved here in Europe. This means that we urgently need efficient solutions to safeguard the livelihood and the health of the farmers in India.
Prof. Dr. Wolf B. Frommer's working group at HHU has been researching for years on strategies and measures to combat such plant diseases. Together with researchers from the Philippines, Colombia, France and the US, they have found ways to overcome at least one of the diseases, bacterial blight in rice, efficiently and without the use of pesticides. Now these researchers want to make their tools accessible to researchers in Asia and Africa in particular. They also want to help countries dependent on rice-growing by making their resistant rice varieties available to smallholder farmers.
The Memorandum of Understanding that has now been signed opens up new avenues for applying these findings in India too, a country where huge swathes of land are affected by the disease. Researchers in India are world leaders in resistance research and in developing resistant rice varieties. The methods and materials developed in India complement the findings from HHU's research to date. The new partner, ICAR, pools India's research and development competency in relation to rice. It is an independent organisation within the Indian Ministry for Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, headquartered in New Delhi. The organisation encompasses 101 research institutes and 71 agricultural universities.
HHU and ICAR have agreed to carry out joint research and development projects, where HHU will learn from the vast experience of ICAR. In return, HHU will make its knowledge and technology available to ICAR.
The collaboration includes an exchange programme for students and scientists that is already in operation. Research findings will be published jointly, and agreement has also been reached on how the research findings will be marketed to benefit smallholder farmers in India. Prof. Frommer had this to say: "For me and my colleagues, this collaboration is a significant step that will hopefully allow us to attempt - together with the scientists and growers at ICAR - to use fundamental discoveries to help smallholder farmers in India."
HHU President Prof. Dr. Anja Steinbeck, who signed the Memorandum of Understanding on behalf of HHU on 26 February 2020, said: "This collaboration is a significant milestone for our university. It opens the door to a close working relationship. It will see us merge competencies in order to tackle essential challenges. I am happy to know that HHU researchers can make an important contribution to providing practical help to India's population."