Letter from the incoming ICC President 2017 - Hamit Köksel

Dear friends and colleagues,

I am honoured to start serving as the new President of ICC for 2017-2018.

Over the last decade, ICC has continued healthy growth and overcoming challenges under the exceptional leadership of the Past Presidents and ICC’s Secretary Generals. I take this chance to thank the previous ICC Presidents, in particular Dr. Fengcheng Wang and Dr. Joel Abecassis who have offered their hard work to serve our Association. Special thanks should go to the Secretary General, Ms. Michaela Pichler, who has made outstanding contributions to the progress of ICC since she has started, and to the fantastic ICC team at the Headquarters in Vienna. I would also like to congratulate Dr. Stefan Wagener from Canada as the incoming ICC President Elect. ICC is looking forward to new accomplishments with this new team in 2017 and beyond.

For the near future in 2017-2018, ICC will continue to focus on the following priority areas to address future challenges effectively

  • Developing internationally accepted standard methods for grains and grain based products is still one of the primary objectives of the ICC. This will require speeding up the revision of some existing ICC standards and the development of new methods. A number of new working groups are already established. Additional working groups will be initiated soon, in which we will be committed to constituting an efficient international participation. We would like to include the best experts around the world and become more effective in terms of method standardization and validation. We will focus on standards for regional foods, whole grains, alternative grains, and new testing methods for all cereals, pseudo-cereals and pulses.
  • As a global organization responsible for all aspects of cereal foods, our Association will continue to take an active part in designing and coordinating research projects on cereal-based issues, similar to the highly successful MoniQA and HealthGrain projects. At the same time ICC will attempt to actively link various initiatives of international consortia, the European Commission, and other related bodies to ICC and its members. We wish ICC to strengthen its position as a widely respected leader in food quality, safety and security, as well as technology innovation within the next couple of years.
  • We would like to focus on cooperation and collaboration, increase opportunities for more members and young individuals to participate in the ICC activities to contribute to the advancement of cereal science and technology. With these strategies, we aim to strengthen the global reach by building relationships of trust and respect between countries and promote total food quality and safety, and global food security.
  • One of the ICC’s main objectives is to enable everyone within the cereal chain to benefit from ICC support, not only emphasizing ICC's leadership but also increasing the number of our members worldwide. We believe that involvement of further members in the Association and participation of more individuals, institutions and countries in the ICC family will help us to meet the challenges faced globally. Efforts shall be made to offer more opportunities to all nations for realization of scientific and technical cooperation, as well as disseminating information through specialised programs and events.
  • A better connection among the members of ICC will be ensured through the organisation of regular international conferences. Therefore I would like to mention some of the upcoming ICC conferences in 2017-2018: Global Miller's Symposium in Hamburg, Germany, 20-21 April 2017; 1st ICC Asia-Pacific Grain Conference in Xiamen, China, 21-24 May 2017; 6th International Whole Grain Summit in Vienna, Austria, 13-15 November 2017; 4th Latin America Cereals Conference in Mexico City, Mexico, 11-14 March, 2018; 7th International Dietary Fibre Conference in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, 4-6 June 2018. I hope to see you all at one or more of these events.
  • Above all, I think ICC should also fight against world hunger problem. There are currently around one billion people in the world that are starving. It hurts to think about all of those people, as well as refugees and children who are worrying about when they will get their next meal. Considering these facts, the role of cereals and pulses for feeding the world is more important than ever. By raising awareness, showing the facts courageously, and teaching how to grow/manufacture different foods, we, as the ICC family, can help bringing world hunger to an end.

I believe that it is time to sit back and take a look at the world around us with bigger issues than our own interests, our own association, and our own borders, issues to which as members of ICC we are uniquely positioned to contribute. If we work together, we can make a difference and help build a better world for all.

I look forward to working with you all and best wishes for 2017!

Hamit KÖKSEL

ICC President 2017-2018