Taiwan Goodwill Mission Returns to the United States and Will Sign Letters of Intent for Wheat Purchases
August 26, 2015
ARLINGTON, Virginia — As part of a biennial Agricultural Trade Goodwill Mission to the United States to purchase grains and other agricultural products for the people of Taiwan, the Taiwan Flour Millers Association (TFMA) will be in Washington, DC, Sept. 16, 2015, to sign a letter of intent to purchase U.S. wheat in marketing years 2015/16 and 2016/17.
TFMA imports wheat on behalf of all 20 Taiwanese flour mills and has been a loyal customer of U.S. wheat producers for many years. U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) President Alan Tracy and current TFMA Executive Director Shin-Yao Lin, chief executive officer of Top Food Flour Mill in Taipei, Taiwan, will co-sign the letter.
Delegates from TFMA will start their visit to the United States as honored guests of the Idaho Wheat Commission at the Lewiston Roundup Rodeo Sept. 12. The entire mission’s visit to Washington, DC, includes a welcome reception at the U.S. Department of Agriculture and a reception Sept. 15, 2015, with the signing ceremony the next day at the U.S. Capitol. Taiwan industry representatives will also sign letters of intent with U.S. Grains Council and the American Soybean Association. The entire delegation will also call on members of the U.S. Congress and policy makers in the executive branch.
After completing formal activities in Washington, DC, the flour millers continue their part of the mission Sept. 17 with visits to Kansas, Montana and Washington to meet with state wheat commission and government representatives before returning to Taiwan Sept. 23
Tracy said the U.S. wheat industry always looks forward to this event and appreciates the long history of mutually beneficial trade relations with the Taiwan milling and wheat foods industry.
“U.S. wheat farmers have maintained a trade office in Taipei since 1966,” Tracy said. “We are proud of that and also quite proud that USW Country Director Ron Lu has been a faithful part of that service for more than 33 years. We want to thank our customers at TFMA for importing significantly more U.S. wheat than the 1.7 million metric tons in the agreement signed in 2013.”
USW is the industry’s market development organization working in more than 100 countries. Its mission is to “develop, maintain, and expand international markets to enhance the profitability of U.S. wheat producers and their customers.” USW activities are made possible through producer checkoff dollars managed by 18 state wheat commissions and cost-share funding provided by FAS. USW maintains 17 offices strategically located around the world to help wheat buyers, millers, bakers, wheat food processors and government officials understand the quality, value and reliability of all six classes of U.S. wheat.
2015 Taiwan Goodwill Mission – TFMA Delegates
Mr. Shin-Yao Lin, Team Leader
Executive Director, Taiwan Flour Millers Association
CEO, Top Food Flour Mill
Mr. Ching-Lien Lai,
Special Assistant to General Manager, Tung Yang Flour Mill
Mr. Yu-Min Cho,
Manager, Hsin Chu Flour Mill
Mr. Brian Lin Suphananonta,
Assistant to Chairman, Chiao Thai Hsing Flour Mill
Mr. Ronald L. J. Lu,
Country Director, Taiwan, U.S. Wheat Associates
U.S. Wheat Farmers and Taiwan Work Together to Introduce Healthy Bread Products
The Republic of China, known as Taiwan, is on average the sixth largest market for U.S. wheat, purchasing 14.2 million metric tons (520 million bushels) since 1998 worth an estimated $3.27 billion. In each of the past two marketing years, Taiwan’s flour millers purchased about 1.0 million metric tons (MMT), or nearly 37 million bushels, of U.S. wheat currently valued at about $250 million. Significant hard red spring (HRS) imports reflect a need for strong gluten flour for breads, rolls and frozen dough products as well as for blending with hard red winter (HRW) to make traditional Chinese flour foods and noodles. Soft white (SW) imports, including Western White (a blend of SW and up to 20 percent club), help meet growing demand for cake, cookie and pastry flours.
With an office in Taipei, USW includes Taiwan as part of its North Asia region. USW works directly with end users and importers to help them strengthen commercial links with U.S. export companies through trade serving and technical assistance activities in the region and by facilitating visits to the United States, like the Goodwill Mission taking place this month.
USW Country Director Ron Lu and his staff have an excellent working relationship with Taiwan Flour Mills Association (TFMA) and the Taiwan baking industry. That relationship is a foundation of trust that gives TFMA the confidence to consistently rely on U.S. wheat farmers to supply more than 80 percent of Taiwan’s total wheat imports each year.
Founded in 1958, TFMA imports wheat on behalf of all 20 currently operating Taiwanese flour mills and includes members from academia, industry, government and research institutes. USW, TFMA and CGPRDI, the China Grain Products Research & Development, have long collaborated to develop new wheat foods and help train bakers to introduce these products to local markets.
For example, in 2012, USW began cooperating with TFMA, CGPRDI, food manufacturers and local school officials to introduce healthy noodles and steamed breads made with whole wheat flour into primary school lunch programs around Taiwan. As a result, in 2013, an additional 15 primary schools were added to the program and a nutritionist for one of the school lunch preparation centers has written a formulation booklet to distribute to other center nutritionists.
In May 2015, USW held a joint press conference with Chia Nan University in Tainan as part of a strategy to introduce healthy wheat foods to consumers. The university made several healthy wheat foods, including whole wheat and barley breads (supported in part by the U.S. Grains Council), whole wheat steamed bread, healthy pastries and healthy cookies for the media to taste. Professors at the university explained the advantages and benefits of these low GI (glycemic index) products to human health.
U.S. Wheat Sales to Taiwan
1,000 Metric Tons
(June - May)
Data current through August 20, 2015
One metric ton = 36.74 bushels
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