The International Grains Council (IGC) is an intergovernmental organisation that seeks to:
These objectives are sought by improving market transparency through information-sharing, analysis and consultation on market and policy developments. Grains, rice and oilseeds market conditions are monitored on a daily basis, through circulation of daily reports and maintaining web-based information services, and the Council formally exchanges information at Market Conditions Committee meetings and Council sessions. The annual IGC Grains Conference is a public forum for discussion, and an opportunity to bring international buyers and sellers, industry representatives and policymakers together.
Market information on grains, rice and oilseeds is made available on the public website and by subscription. In particular, the IGC's Grains and Oilseeds Index (GOI) is available on a daily basis via the public website, together with supply and demand balances and forecasts for a range of countries and commodities. More detailed market commentary, analysis and statistics can be accessed through subscriptions to weekly or monthly reports and data services (see Subscriptions). The IGC also provides daily export price quotations, and market reports, together with access to its extensive databases, to its member governments.
In October 2012, the IGC joined the Secretariat of the Agricultural Market Information System (AMIS). The initiative was established at the request of the Agriculture Ministers of the G20. It covers four crops (wheat, maize, rice and soyabeans) and aims to promote food market transparency and the coordination of policy action in response to market uncertainty.
The IGC holds two regular Council Sessions each year, either in London or, by invitation, in member countries. Its functions are:
To oversee the implementation of the Grains Trade Convention, 1995;
To discuss current and prospective grain market developments;
To monitor changes in national grain policies and their market implications.
Although voting procedures are provided, the Council has always reached its decisions by consensus. Each member is designated as an importer or exporter on the basis of its average trade in grains, rice and oilseeds. The operations of the Council are financed by annual contributions from its members, which are proportionate to their share of world trade in grains, rice and and oilseeds. The budget in fiscal 2017/18 (Jul/Jun) was set at £1.79 million. The Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson are elected annually, the posts alternating between exporting and importing members.
Chairperson 2017/18: Ms. Silke Boger, Head of Unit, DG Agriculture and Rural Development, (Arable crops and olive oil), European Commission, Brussels
Vice-chairperson 2017/18: Mr. Takashi Hiranaka, Counsellor (Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries), Embassy of Japan, London
The IGC provides administrative services to the Food Assistance Committee, which consists of all the parties of the Food Assistance Convention (FAC)