On July 1 Mr. Paulo Bertolini assumed the Presidency of MAIZALL, the International Alliance of Maize Grower Associations of Argentina, Brazil and the United States. He took over from Chip Councell of Maryland, who retired from the Board.
Paulo Bertolini is a corn grower in the Southern Brazilian state of Parana. He is also part of a family business that runs a beef cattle operation, produces limestone for agricultural purposes and grain storage equipment and which processes grain for human and animal consumption. Paulo, a train veterinary, is a founding member of Abramilo, the Association of Brazilian Corn Growers and had joined the MAIZALL Board in 2019.
During a brief ceremony at the June 29 Board meeting of MAIZALL, Paulo thanked Chip for his leadership and service and welcomed the challenge of taking on the MAIZALL Presidency when the role of growers is as important as ever. “With a growing population and the need for us to produce more food sustainably, the voice of the farmers needs to be heard. We can only meet our challenges if we have access to established and new technologies that are based on scientific risk assessments.” Paulo added that, unfortunately, several countries have adopted regulations that ignore such assessments and have become, or risk becoming, obstacles to trade. “The pandemic has shown how vital food security is for people worldwide. Therefore, together with our partners in Argentina, Brazil and the U.S. we must continue to urge governments, legislators and regulatory agencies around the world to speed up the approval of new agricultural technologies such as biotechnology. “
The MAIZALL Board thanked Chip Councell for leading the alliance during one of the most challenging periods in our history. Councell – who is a past U.S. Grains Council (USGC) chairman and 10th generation farmer from Maryland – closed his term as President at the end of June. While COVID-19 meant he presided over the organization in a difficult year, he said he feels lucky and privileged to have served his fellow farmers in this role. “As we travel around the world, I think farmers are the same. We start out each year with a hope and a prayer for a successful crop,” Councell says.
Under Councell’s leadership, MAIZALL has adapted to COVID-19 limitations by hosting regular virtual meetings with staff and stakeholders, as well as being active in the United Nations Food Systems Summit process. As the world is slowly emerging from the pandemic, many of these platforms and methods will continue to be used for the remainder of this year, but MAIZALL will look to participate in some international meetings in person when possible.