A.B.A. calls for bakers to take concerns to Washington

by FoodBusinessNews.net Staff
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WASHINGTON — The American Bakers Association is calling for bakers to come to Washington on March 12 and meet with Agriculture Secretary Ed Schafer and senior White House officials regarding the current wheat situation.

"Extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures," said Robb MacKie, president and chief executive officer of the A.B.A. "With the critically low reserves and severe conditions in the wheat markets, the American Bakers Association is calling on all bakers to come to Washington and demand action by U.S.D.A. and Congress. A.B.A. has repeatedly urged the White House, U.S.D.A. and Congress to provide meaningful relief to alleviate the growing wheat crisis. Unfortunately those calls have gone unheeded. Now is the time for all bakers, from all organizations, to join A.B.A. in coming to Washington to deliver this important message personally."

The A.B.A. also is arranging meetings with various senators and representatives so bakers can discuss the situation with them and ask Congress to evaluate ethanol production. The organization is seeking approval of a previous request for an early-out of non-environmentally sensitive acreage from the Conservation Reserve Program.

"We alerted U.S.D.A. a year ago that wheat was going to be in short supply, and now three of the five wheat categories are extremely short," Mr. MacKie said. "This is raising such serious domestic food security issues that A.B.A. is requesting that U.S.D.A. curtail wheat exports until bakers and other domestic users are guaranteed the supplies they need. Other countries are stockpiling their strategic grain reserves; the United States should do the same until U.S.D.A. can ensure adequate supply."

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