ARLINGTON, Virginia — For more than 54 years, U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) has provided trusted information about supply, quality and functionality of U.S. wheat and useful technical service to millers and the broader wheat foods industry in the Republic of the Philippines. This work, supported by farmers and export market development program funding administered by USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS), has created a strong preference for U.S. wheat in this Southeast Asian nation.
To help sustain that preference, USW has invited four influential Philippine journalists to the United States June 9 to 18, 2016, to learn more about U.S. wheat quality improvement, production and marketing. Ric Pinca, executive director of the Philippine Milling Association and Joe Sowers, USW assistant vice president and regional director for South Asia, who is based in Manila, will lead the team on visits to the Pacific Northwest (PNW) and Washington, DC.
“The Philippines is still a developing country so food can be a very sensitive issue,” Sowers said. “Cost and outside influences get attention, sometimes in ways that do not reflect the real situation, and Filipinos have questions about why so much U.S. wheat is imported. We want to show these influential reporters that our production and marketing systems are transparent and benefit the wheat food industry and consumers in the Philippines.”
In the PNW June 8 to 14, the reporters will follow the path U.S. wheat takes from the breeders’ field trials to a bulk vessel bound for an overseas port. USW’s West Coast Office in Portland, OR, in cooperation with the Oregon Wheat Commission, the Washington Grain Commission and the Idaho Wheat Commission will demonstrate how U.S. wheat quality and functionality is maintained from breeding and production through transportation. The reporters will also watch Federal Grain Inspection Service (FGIS) officials independently certify that U.S. wheat meets buyer specifications before it is loaded for export.
In Washington, DC, June 15 to 17, USW headquarters staff will review the world and U.S. wheat supply and demand situation and how U.S. prices are determined. The reporters will meet with representatives from the domestic and export grain trade as well as USDA officials to discuss how the activities of several agencies benefit buyers. Policy developments, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership, are also on the agenda. Finally, the team will learn more about the U.S. milling and wheat foods industries and discuss such common issues as wheat food safety and nutrition before departing for the Philippines on June 18.
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 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. Its activities are made possible through producer checkoff dollars contributed by 18 state wheat commissions and cost-share funding from USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service.
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Nondiscrimination and Alternate Means of Communications
U.S. Wheat Associates prohibits discrimination in all its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, gender, marital or family status, age, disability, political beliefs or sexual orientation. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact U.S. Wheat Associates at 202-463-0999 (TDD/TTY – 800-877-8339, or from outside the U.S.- 605-331-4923). To file a complaint of discrimination, write to Vice President of Finance, U.S. Wheat Associates, 3103 10th Street, North, Arlington, VA 22201, or call 202-463-0999. U.S. Wheat Associates is an equal opportunity provider and employer.