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European Team Checks Out Northern and Desert Durum Crops
August 21, 2013
ARLINGTON, Virginia — European flour millers and food processors seek out the highest quality wheat each year to produce their premium pasta products. That is why U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) is bringing a European trade team to the United States Aug. 24 to 31 to demonstrate how U.S. durum – the hardest of the six U.S. wheat classes – matches their needs.

The team’s seven members are procurement and technical managers of the leading Italian, German and Portuguese durum millers and pasta processors, all of which import most of their wheat directly. During visits to North Dakota, Montana, Arizona and California, the team will learn about 2013/14 northern and Desert® durum crop outlook and research. Farmers in both the Northern Plains and Southwest grow durum, although there are distinct characteristics between the varieties grown in each region. In each state, the team will hear from wheat researchers, tour grain elevators and visit with farmers in the field.

“The team is looking for information on advances in wheat breeding, improved gluten strength and reduced cadmium uptake and sustainability,” said Marketing Specialist Rutger Koekoek, based in the USW Rotterdam Office, who will accompany the team. “The program for this team will provide an up-to-date, firsthand picture of U.S. durum wheat quality and boost their confidence in the reliability and value of the U.S. grain marketing system.”

The European durum trade team is sponsored in part by the Montana Wheat & Barley Committee and the Arizona Grain Research & Promotion Council and funding from market development programs administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service. USW also collaborated with the North Dakota Wheat Commission and California Wheat Commission on this team.

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 19 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.

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2013 European Durum Trade Team - Team Members

Mr. Frank Haack
Procurement Manager Kampffmeyer Milling Group, Germany

Mr. Hubertus Kissler
Procurement Manager Pfalzmühle Mannheim, PMG Premium Mühlen Gruppe GmbH & Co. KG, Germany

Mr. Marco Silvestri
Development and Quality Research Manager, Barilla G. e R. Fratelli, Italy

Mr. Michele de Sortis
Quality Control Manager, DEIS s.r.l. De Sortis Industrie Semoliere, Italy

Mr. Marco Percossi
CEO, Intergrain s.r.l., Italy

Mr. Dante Piemontese
Purchase and Sales Director, Tamma Ind. Alimentari di Capitanata s.r.l., Italy

Mr. Rodrigo Cerejeira
Industrial Deputy Director, Cerealis Produtos Alimentares S.A., Aguas Santas, Portugal

Mr. Rutger Koekoek
Marketing Specialist, Rotterdam, U.S. Wheat Associates

U.S.-EU Partnership in Wheat

The USW European regional office in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, is responsible for carrying out activities in all countries of the European continent, Israel and the former Soviet Union. The region includes a sub-office in Moscow, Russia.

Western Europe is a stable market for imported durum wheat for both quality and quantity purposes, importing an average of 350,000 metric tons, but it has potential to grow. The current European Union (EU) margin of preference market access provision has allowed high protein spring wheat and durum to enter duty free zero for several years. In addition, new market access through a bilateral Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership negotiation should provide U.S. wheat producers new opportunities in this market.

USW works directly with EU end-users and importers to help them deepen commercial links with U.S. export companies through trade servicing and technical assistance activities in Europe and by facilitating visits to the United States, like the one taking place this month. Active membership in regional and international trade and industry organizations is also important to link prospective wheat buyers to the right exporters.

USW programs like the Overseas Varietal Analysis (OVA) help assure that new varieties correspond well to EU quality requirements. Under OVA, international millers and bakers test new varieties and state wheat commissions use the results to develop recommended variety lists for farmers and set quality targets for U.S. wheat breeders, leading to increased demand for U.S. wheat.

U.S. Durum and All Wheat Sales to the European Union

1,000 Metric Tons
Crop Year
(June - May)
All U.S. Wheat
One metric ton = 36.74 bushels

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