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Joel Abecassis, President of the ICC International Association for Cereal Science & Technology

Joël Abécassis, INRA Montpellier New President of the ICC International Association for Cereal Science & Technology
Joel Abecassis from INRA, France, was elected ICC President Elect by the ICC National Delegates, and the Representatives of the ICC Regions and ICC Corporate Members unanimously. Joel Abecassis will start his term as ICC President Elect on 1 January 2011 and will succeed Marina Carcea from INRAN, Italy, as ICC President in 2013. The new President-Elect will be finally appointed at the ICC General Assembly, which will take place during the II Latino-American ICC Conference in Santiago di Chile in April 2011.

Joel’s view for ICC

The World is now facing at least four main challenges :
  • A food challenge: satisfying the quantitative and qualitative food needs of the growing world population.Such a task bears on the control of health situations and the setting of conditions of healthy eating in order to narrow pathologies such as denutrition, malnutrition and overnutrition.
  • An environmental challenge: dealing with the deterioration of our natural resources (soil, water, air), the lossof biodiversity, and global warming.
  • An energy challenge: with the gradual depletion of fossil fuels and the generalisation of energy consumption patterns over the world, the emergence of an economy of renewable carbon within the frame of sustainable development can be foreseen.
  • A social challenge : we need to cope with unequal standards of living and levels of development in the World.
Cereals, as the basis of our diet and our civilisations, are the first to be affected by these changes. Major breakthroughs are expected in this field, whether they be related to research, innovation, or renewing ways of production and transformation. Confronted by these leading and systemic challenges that can be tackled only through a global vision, the role of ICC, the world organization in the science and technology of cereal grains, will become crucial. ICC’s activities, though already central in terms of international collaboration and of normalization, will have to be widened to three main directions :
  • Structuring

ICC is a worldwide organisation. Therefore, it must act as to enable everyone from the cereal supply chain –from breeding, production, transformation and utilisation - to benefit from its support. Such structuring should reinforce the ICC’s leadership and increase the number of its members. The active measure aiming at having more institutional bodies join the ICC must continue and extend. This structuring will be all the easier to support since the ICC’s input to each of its members will be great.
  • Programming

ICC has successfully become involved in the scientific coordination of international reseach programs. MoniQA, and soon PlantLibra, are good exemplifications of projects in line with this approach. Confronted to the awaiting challenges, the ICC’s expertise and know-how will have to be summoned according to a strategic plan in keeping with the expectations of the cereal chain. Initiating and coordinating vast transnational programs should intensify the ICC’s predominant role worldwide as well as its contribution to the decisions made regarding the cereal sector.
  • Cooperating

ICC, like any other international organisation, must try to tighten the relations between its members and with other organisations so as to share the knowledge and the information available in the world. Within ICC, it implies revivifying working groups to reinforce the ICC’s authority in terms of normalisation of materials and methods for cereal products analysis. Efforts of cooperation also demand a larger collaboration with other structures, especially AACC in order to better coordinate efforts in supporting the cereal sector, and other world organisations to better insert ICC in the network of international food and agricultural organisations.

I am confident that, by pooling our efforts, we will succeed in taking up all of these challenges.

See also

More about Joel Abecassis :

Joint Research Unit for Polymer Science and Emerging Technologies ( )
Writing: CEPIA
Creation date: 16 December 2010
Update: 16 December 2010
Joint Research Unit for Polymer Science and Emerging Technologies
INRA Montpellier