UK – After leaving the European Union, the United Kingdom has joined the International Grains Council (IGC), an intergovernmental organisation with the objective of furthering international cooperation in grains trade.

The UK had been a member of the IGC as part of the EU, but in 2016 British voters chose to break away from the EU, a decision commonly referred to as Brexit.

After several years of negotiations, the EU and UK reached a trade deal on Dec. 24 and the UK officially left the EU on Jan. 1.

Its exit from the EU necessitated a formal request to join the IGC which has since been granted and the UK designated as an importing member of the Council.

IGC in a statement said; “The Council looks forward to the United Kingdom’s continued active participation in the IGC’s activities”.

Apart from seeking to further international cooperation in grains trade the IGC also has the mandate to promote expansion, openness and fairness in the grains sector; and contribute to grain market stability and enhance world food security.

The IGC membership currently comprises a respectable number of members from almost all parts of the globe.

Africa is represented in the body by Algeria, Morocco, Egypt, Côte d’Ivoire, Kenya, South Africa, and Tunisia while European Union, UK, Norway, Switzerland, and the Russian Federation, the Vatican City represent Europe.

Other members of the organization include; Argentina, Australia, Cuba, India, Iran, Iraq, Japan, Kazakhstan, , Korea (Rep), Oman, Pakistan, , Saudi Arabia, Serbia (Rep), Turkey, Ukraine, and the United States.

With its roots tracing back to 1927 when the International Economic Conference (Geneva) was first held to consider worldwide distress in agriculture, the IGC has been monitoring grains, rice and oilseeds market conditions and providing information to member countries.

The IGC also provides daily export price quotations, and market reports, together with access to its extensive databases, to its member governments.

With grains and rice being the major staple foods of most countries worldwide, the reports and insights provided by the IGC council prove very vital especially in shaping national food policies of respective governments.

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