PRESS RELEASE: Letter from the incoming ICC President 2015 - Fengcheng Wang

Dr. Fengcheng Wang

Dear Colleagues,

It is a great pleasure for me to start serving as the new President of ICC for 2015-2016. I feel very honoured to take over this role, along with its corresponding responsibilities.

Over the past ten years, ICC has continued healthy growth and expansion and conquering challenges under the outstanding leadership of the Past Presidents and ICC's Secretary General, to achieve ICC's mission – that of being the pre-eminent international association in the field of cereal science and technology. It is committed to international cooperation through the dissemination of knowledge, conducting research, and developing standard methods contributing to advance innovation, improve food quality, food safety and food security for the health and well-being of all people in the world.

In this regard, I wish to thank my predecessors as ICC President, in particular Joel Abecassis, Marina Carcea, and John Taylor who have contributed much of their time and efforts for the well-being of the Association and from whom I learned so much to become familiar with all the work for my growing involvement with ICC. Special thanks should go to the outgoing Secretary General, Dr. Roland Poms, who has made outstanding contributions to ICC growth and visibility for 10 years of serving the Association, and to the great ICC team at the Headquarters in Vienna. A capable successor, Mag. Michaela Pichler, has been appointed as the new Secretary General of ICC, beginning her post as of 1 January 2015. I would also like to congratulate Dr. Hamit Köksel from Turkey as the incoming ICC President Elect. ICC is looking forward to continuing success with this new and young working team to serve our organisation.

Where do we want to be and how are we going to get there? ICC will place more focus on the following several priority issues to address future challenges more effectively by taking advantage of the Association especially for the near future in 2015-2016:

  • A major objective established at the founding of ICC was to develop internationally accepted standard methods to facilitate the trade of cereal grains and products within and between countries, and this is still a fundamental aim of the Association. We shall strengthen ICC's position with international standardisation work for cereals and methods to help facilitate and promote food quality and safety in light of recent developments. This will require acceleration of the revision of many "older" ICC standards and the development and standardisation of new methods. More attention shall be paid to cereals other than wheat, especially to rice, maize, oats, rye, buckwheat, barley, and sorghum, as well as some regional foods, which are also important cereal crops and foods globally. Accordingly, a number of new study and working groups will be established and initiated, in which we will be committed to constitute an efficient international participation, including the right experts and young professionals in particular, from various companies, institutions, and nations.

  • As a global organisation responsible for all aspects of cereal foods, ICC shall increase commitment of its unique expertise in response to the challenges in the cereals world and the world demand for a safe, sustainable, sufficient, nutritious and thus high quality cereal food supply. In the past years, ICC has been successful in winning bids to play active roles in major EU-funded collaborative research projects. Our Association will continue to take an active part in designing and coordinating more international working teams and research projects, similar to the highly successful MoniQA and HealthGrain projects on cereal-based issues, and to create more opportunities for young scientists to participate in these ICC activities. At the same time ICC will endeavour to actively link various initiatives and activities of international consortia, international organisations, the European Commission, and other relevant EU and non-EU bodies, to ICC and its member countries and institutions. In the cereal field, we wish ICC to become a widely respected leader in food quality, safety and security, as well as technology innovation as a strategic plan for the next couple of years.

  • Within ICC, working and study groups will need to become more effective to reinforce ICC's authority in terms of standardisation for cereals and methods, and more task forces and working groups shall be established and activated to strengthen the Association's scope of activities and meet new challenges, and thus promote the aims of ICC. Being consistent with ICC's strategy, new working groups will mainly focus on validation and standardisation, cooperation and collaboration, international collaborative research projects, regional conferences and events, membership, and strategy development, including various starting topics of Asia-Pacific, Africa, South-Central America, regional cooperation, food safety, food security, whole grain, standards for Asian and other regional foods, alternative grains, and non-wheat testing methods, as well as the AACCI and ICC harmonisation initiative. This would increase opportunities for more members and young individuals to participate in the ICC activities to contribute to the advancement of cereal science and technology and the strengthening of the Association. These collaborative including developing nations will also help to strengthen the global reach by building relationships of trust and respect between countries and promote total food quality and safety, and food security, especially in developing countries.

  • Increasing membership is always a priority target for ICC. One of our main objectives is to enable everyone from anywhere of the cereal chain to benefit from ICC support. This will emphasize ICC's leadership and increase the number of its members worldwide. To involve further members in the Association, enhancing the participation of more institutions and countries, especially from Asia, Africa, South and Central America, and Eastern Europe in the ICC family, will help meet the challenges faced by developing countries as well as by more developed countries. Efforts shall be made to offer more opportunities to developing nations for promotion and implementation of scientific and technical cooperation, as well as disseminating information and knowledge through providing specialised programs and events. It should also be of great interest to attract the world's foremost processing companies, product manufacturers and equipment manufacturers to work together with ICC as corporate members to contribute to the advancement of cereal technologies. Our science and research can support them by providing new cutting-edge technology, and the assessment of consumer needs will offer us more practical research topics.

A better liaison between the members of ICC will be ensured through the organisation of regular international conferences around the globe. Therefore I would like to place a list with the upcoming major conferences in 2015 here: the 3rd ICC Latin American Cereal and Grain Conference and ICC Jubilee Conference - 60 Years of ICC, Curitiba, Brazil, 29 March - 1 April 2015; DF15 - 6th International Dietary Fibre Conference, Paris, France, 1-3 June 2015; World Expo ICC Conference, Milan, Italy, 1-3 July 2015; 5th MoniQA International Conference, Porto, Portugal, 16-18 September 2015; and ICC Luncheon at AACCl Annual Meeting, Minneapolis, MN, USA, 21 October 2015; as well as the most important one, 15th ICC Cereal and Bread Congress, in Istanbul, Turkey, 17-21 April 2016. We hope to see you at one or more of these conferences.

I look forward to working with you all and best wishes for 2015!
Fengcheng Wang
ICC President 2015-2016