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Rice exporters seek joint stand for UK moot: Code of practice for Basmati
Major exporters of brown rice have asked the government to seek the views from the stakeholders before making any commitment in the upcoming meeting on the first draft of code of practice for Basmati rice in London. The first draft would be discussed in a meeting of Grain and Feed Trade Association (GAFTA), London scheduled for November 13. It was feared that the draft might affect Pakistan's export of brown rice to the United Kingdom and other European countries. They requested the government to call a meeting of the brown rice exporters on November 10 or 11 to seek their views so that Pakistan's Commercial Counsellor is properly briefed on the issues involved before the GAFTA meeting took place at London. The other bodies participating in GAFTA such as British Rice Millers, British Retail Consortium, the Rice Association (UK), Federation of European Rice Millers and All India Rice Exporters Association seem to be planning and coordinating very well to further their common and respective causes. Pakistan's interests obviously did not coincide with theirs, they added. Spokesman for the Brown Rice Exporters Group (BREG) and an expert on rice issues, Zahid W. Khawaja said the subject requires indepth study and agreement by all the members of rice exporters association of Pakistan (REAP) and especially those who export Brown Rice to the European Union and are liable to be immediately affected if any adverse commitment is made at GAFTA. Talking to Dawn on Saturday he said coordination is also needed between the trade, ministry of commerce, ministry of agriculture and livestock, agriculture department, Punjab, Rice Research Institute, Kala Shah Kaku and NIBGE-Faisalabad. "This is necessary so that we could jointly consider the scientific area, the trade area and then converge the entire process towards Pakistan's interest," he remarked. He further said "we need to develop a logical defence and a clear strategy to assist our on-the-spot negotiators for prompt and correct responses that are completely in line with Pakistan's long-term interests." According to the spokesman, the Indian lobby is once again reviving the true-line differentiation strategy in a well- coordinated way working behind the scenes. "We should also bear in mind that while GAFTA is presently UK specific, it may eventually be intertwined with control mechanisms that evolve at the EU level after the rice reforms under way over there are completed", he said. He said that India has started growing GMO Basmati withhigher yields and GMO products are immensely unpopular among the consumers of EU, which he said could easily be exploited. An Indian department of biotechnology also indicated that our Basmati-385 is better than their Pusa or Ranbir Basmati. Prices of Indian Basmati rice have reportedly crashed to unprecedented levels in the current crop. He said these were the developments, which might help rice exporters to export more to EU markets this year.
MGR Archive 11.11.2003
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Russia Rapan $ 700
USA Jupiter Rice $630
USA Calrose #1 $830
USA Calrose #1 Paddy $480
EU Prices Baldo €660
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