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Day to day operational aspects of the storage sector have become more and more complex, which underlines the increased political importance of an international association such as Unistock Europe. Over the years, major changes have taken place with respect to the agribulk handled by Unistock Europe members. Grains were the dominant commodity some 30 years ago; the operational problems related to transshipment, handling and storage of agribulks are now gaining importance.

"There is a growing need to exchange views and practical experiences with respect to health and environment problems (dust emissions, noise, air pollution, safety, use of toxic products, liability, GMO questions etc.). Other issues with an international dimension such as the International Maritime Organization’s works on cargo residues, loading and unloading operations, safety and training of workers. Unistock Europe finally carefully follows the developments of Food & Feed Safety assurance schemes so as to ensure that tailor-made and relevant certification requirements are developed for port terminal operators."

Herein Unistock Europe proved to be an ideal platform for its members, to discuss their common problems and solutions.

The development of the EU into a community of 28 member States requires a professional entry at European Commission level. By having its proper seat in the European Commission’s Advisory Group on Cereals, Oilseeds and Proteins, Unistock Europe provides such an entry. The association attends the meeting of the Advisory Committee as an expert on storage matters.

Those meetings are held four times a year and are prepared by a COCERAL preparatory meeting. Thus a structural form of contact with the authorities at the highest level is secured, allowing a professional representation of the grain storage sector’s interests.

Other issues of international character and bearing such as professional responsibility, quality control, ISO 9000 standards and various code of practice (GMP, Good Trading Practices) are also of major importance to the members of Unistock Europe.