History of MIOA
History of MIOA
The Market Information Organization of the Americas is a cooperation network, made up of government institutions or those institutions delegated by the Government, whose main functions and objectives are the collection, processing, analysis and dissemination of information related to markets and agricultural products.
The idea of creating this network was conceived and supported by the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). This idea was born based on one of the main objectives of the AMS, which is to facilitate the efficient commercialization of agricultural products, both in national and international markets. A fundamental goal in this effort is the creation of market transparency; that is, all market participants have access to the same reliable and unbiased market information. This transparency allows buyers and sellers of agricultural products to make judicious marketing decisions and identify market opportunities. AMS has worked for years to gain access to information from key international markets for its clients or users. In many cases, this involved providing technical assistance in countries with emerging markets. Although these efforts have been very successful, the budget and limited staff of the AMS, as well as other needs of the Agency, have restrained the assistance programs from being broader. The Agency gained access to international market information through bilateral talks, negotiations and agreements. Given the number of key business partners, particularly from the Americas, AMS has sought ways to multiply its efforts, and focus on developing some consistency in the terminology and methodology among the cooperating countries.
The best strategy for gaining access to information on markets in several countries was to establish an informal organization of market information specialists from several nations, such as the National Association of Market News of the United States. An organization as such would create an excellent way, not only to have additional access to international market information, but also to create a forum to standardize the methodology, terminology and technology used by various market information programs. Given that the AMS had existing relationships with several countries in North, Central and South America, it was decided that the initial effort to establish such an organization would focus on the countries of the Americas. Due to the above, AMS conceived and organized the formative meeting of the Market Information Organization of the Americas in Oakland, California from August 19 to 23, 1999. Thirteen countries participated in this meeting and strongly supported the concept of forming an organization to facilitate the timely exchange of market information among the countries of the Americas. These countries were: Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Mexico, Panama, Peru, United States and Venezuela. The group created an initial plan of action and established several working groups or committees. The countries agreed to meet within a year to formalize the creation of the Organization. The Associate Administrator of AMS-USDA, Eric Forman, was the President until the organization met again at the inaugural meeting held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, from June 11 to 13, 2000.
Eighteen countries of the Americas attended the inaugural meeting in Brazil, the travel costs of the majority of the delegates were sponsored by the AMS-USDA with the financial support of the Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS). The countries represented at the meeting were: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, United States, Uruguay and Venezuela. During the inaugural meeting in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the MIOA delegates approved the Rules of Procedures and formally established the Organization. As indicated in the newly established Rules of Procedures, an Executive Committee was elected for a period of two years. Additionally, a series of key work groups were established to begin the work of the Organization. A leader was designated for each working group, and delegates from the countries volunteered to help in the work of the different groups formed. The objective of each group was to work in specific areas in the interim time between the Rio de Janeiro meeting and the next meeting. The working groups established at the meeting in Rio de Janeiro were: Technical Assistance and Training; Development of the OIMA Website; Resource Folder of the Participating Countries; Legal structure for MIOA; Standardization of Terminology; and Future Financing Options. Chile offered to host the next annual meeting in the city of Santiago, and the proposal was accepted by the Organization. However, due to unforeseen events, the meeting in Chile was canceled. The inaugural meeting of MIOA was very productive, since the Rules of Procedures were approved, officers were elected, working groups were established and a site was selected for the next meeting. The most important thing was perhaps the creation of working groups to contribute to the progress of the Organization. The benefit of the association of market information specialists from the countries of the Americas was immediately evident through the identification of counterparts within the countries of the Hemisphere, and through the rapid exchange of market information, ideas and experiences.