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grain barge river elevator DarcyMaulsby /iStock/Thinkstock.
This barge on the Mississippi River in eastern Iowa is taking on a load of grain, either corn or soybeans, from area farms.

Association launched to support commodity sector’s modernization

Group seeks to accelerate existing initiatives underway and ultimately work to reduce costs and increase efficiency.

Motivated by a desire to evaluate and accelerate digitization opportunities in the global agricultural commodity industry, a new organization, called the Global Commodity Technology Association (GCTA), has been launched. The international, not-for-profit association’s mission is to support stakeholders along the supply chain who are focused on enhancing the efficiency of their internal trading processes and standardizing post-trade execution.

“Commodity trading remains a manual industry that is nearly completely reliant on paper processes for contracting, invoicing and payments. To remedy this, we need stakeholders from across the supply chain to collaborate on priorities and solutions to bring the physical trade into the digital age,” said financial services industry veteran David Lehman, who has been name managing director of GCTA. “We’re excited about the GCTA’s potential to accelerate some of the existing initiatives underway and ultimately work to reduce costs and increase efficiency.”

Throughout his more than 30 years in the industry, Lehman has played key roles in commodity market research and education at some of the world’s leading derivatives marketplaces. Prior to forming his own firm, he was managing director of research and product development at CME Group. In that role, he helped lead the development of new financial and commodity products for the exchange, managing large global research teams and overseeing contract specifications for all products. He also held multiple senior roles, including chief economist, at the Chicago Board of Trade before its acquisition by CME Group. He began his career at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, where he helped develop the agency’s automated large trader surveillance system.

Membership in GCTA is now open to participants in the global commodities supply chain involved in ocean-bound agricultural trade. This includes growers, processors, logistics providers and trading houses, who will form a working group to support the industry’s ongoing efforts to usher in efficiencies brought about by digitization. Association membership will be limited initially to selected entities in order to create a small but functional cross-representation of the industry’s interests.

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