The National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) sent a letter to the House Agriculture Committee concerning the Grains Standards Act that is up for reauthorization at the end of September. NAWG believes there must be a mechanism in place to ensure that the flow of trade is not disrupted and urges Congress to reject attempts that would undermine the current system of inspections.
“The sort of disruption to our export system that occurred last year at a United Grain facility in the Pacific Northwest cannot be allowed to occur again. Vessels were not loaded, barges could not deliver, the rail transportation system slowed down and our foreign customers began to question our ability to deliver on contracts,” states the letter.
“Our overseas customers have come to trust the current system. It is vital that we remain the world’s reliable supplier of wheat,” said NAWG President Brett Blankenship, a wheat grower from Washtucna, Wash. “It is essential that we keep the federal government in charge of inspections and grant more oversight to ensure inspections are taking place when they need to be. NAWG urges Congress to maintain a close oversight role over FGIS to ensure that the agency is following appropriate statutory obligations when disruptions occur at our ports.”
NAWG supports legislation requiring FGIS to take whatever actions are necessary to immediately restore official grain inspection and weighting service wherever and whenever it is disrupted.
Click here for the full letter.