Malatya Haber Grain inspections to resume at Port of Vancouver
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Grain inspections to resume at Port of Vancouver

A tentative agreement has been reached in a long-running labor dispute between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) and Pacific Northwest Grain Companies. The agreement is expected to clear the way for federal grain inspection service to resume at the United Grain Corporation (UGC) export terminal at the Port of Vancouver.

In early July, police escorts were removed for WA state grain inspectors who provided the federal grain inspection service required for all grain shipped for export and who had been crossing a picket line to enter the UGC facility. This action effectively shut down one of the largest grain export terminals in the Pacific Northwest and caused a negative ripple effect further down the supply chain, including to Montana grain producers during their busy harvest and delivery season.

Montana Grain Growers Association (MGGA) President Matt Flikkema said, “Shutting down a major PNW export terminal that directly sources grain from Montana growers is unacceptable.”

Flikkema added, “We would like to thank Congressman Steve Daines and Senators John Walsh and Jon Tester for recognizing the potential impact on Montana producers and for working with us to press USDA on finding solutions to restoring inspection service at the port.”

In a press release, congressman Daines said, “Montana farmers should not be stuck in the middle of a dispute taking place in another state. Not only will their ability to sell grain from this year’s harvest be affected, but our reputation among trading partners as a reliable source of high-quality grain could be damaged.”

MGGA will continue to work with our congressional members and with USDA to ensure a plan is in place that will keep the grain supply chain open in case of future disruptions to federal grain inspections.

Date: 8/25/2014


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