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As U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) President Vince Peterson often says, at any given hour of the day there is someone, somewhere, talking about the quality, reliability and value of U.S. wheat. Wheat Letter wants to share some of the ways USW was working in June to promote all six classes of U.S. wheat in an ever more complex world wheat market.

Mexico. The USW Mexico City Office hosted the Mexico Wheat Trade Conference in Cancun, Mexico. Mexican millers, representing more than 85% of total Mexican milling capacity, attended the conference, as well as Mexican government officials, U.S. farmers from 13 states, U.S. grain trade representatives, and representatives from the four railroads serving the Mexican market including BNSF, Ferromex, Kansas City Southern-Mexico and Union Pacific. The program included messages from USW Chairman Chris Kolstad and USW President Vince Peterson, thanking the Mexican milling industry for their business and many years of close friendship, as well as presentations and discussions on the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), price risk management, rail transportation, ocean freight, contracting for wheat value and more. Read the full article about the conference here.

https://youtu.be/tvytAcIROE4

Jamaica. USW Technical Specialist Marcelo Mitre and Assistant Regional Director Stephanie Bryant-Erdmann accompanied Bakery Consultant Kirk O´Donnell to Jamaica to conduct two, 2-day seminars in partnership with a local mill. The seminars—attended by a combined 57 participants from four countries representing the baking, milling and distribution sectors—focused on the quality and versatility of U.S. wheat, baking technology, ingredient functionality, traditional fermentation methods, puff pastries and shelf life.

USW Bakery Consultant Kirk O´Donnell at a seminar in Jamaica. Photo Credit: JF Mills

A participant a the baking seminar in Jamaica. Photo Credit: JF Mills

Brazil. Accompanied by USW Marketing Manager, Casey Chumrau, and Technical Specialist, Andres Saturno, a delegation of Brazilian flour milling managers who are responsible for quality control in their wheat purchases, traveled to Kansas, Ohio and Texas. During its travels, the delegation met with the Federal Grain Inspection Service (FGIS), milling companies, analysis laboratories, wheat breeding facilities and visited wheat farms.

The 2019 USW Brazilian Trade Delegation visits Texas A&M University. Photo Credit: Texas Wheat

The Philippines. The USW Manila and Seoul offices hosted a Korean Bakery Workshop in Seoul, South Korea, for Philippine bakers and millers to learn about Korean products, formulations and production methods to help the industry take advantage of growing opportunities and improving processes in the Philippines. The workshop took place at the Korean Baking School (KBS) under the direction of a Grand Master Baker and was facilitated by KBS program staff, along with USW Food Technologist, David Oh, and Country Director, CY Kang.

USW Korean Bakery Workshop in Seoul, South Korea.

Taiwan. USW collaborated with Chia Nan University (CNU) of Pharmacy and Science to host a full-day 2019 CNU Symposium on Chinese-style Steamed Breads for baking and catering professionals, souvenir development companies and culinary faculty and students. The symposium including hands-on training on how to make fermented steam bread and buns, as well as presentations on quality control of steamed bread, an introduction to wheat flours used for steamed breads and wheat flour inspection and milling.

2019 CNU Symposium on Chinese-style Steamed Breads

China. Together, USW and the Wheat Marketing Center (WMC) hosted a Contracting for Wheat Value Workshop (CFWC) for Chinese buyers and technical officials. This workshop highlighted the strengths of U.S. wheat production and its reliability and high quality. Participants also had the opportunity to travel to visit Padget Ranches in Oregon’s Sherman County. Darren Padget is a wheat farmer and current USW Vice Chairman and invited the workshop participants for a farm tour and dinner barbeque with several local farmers and neighbors.

Contracting for Wheat Value Workshop participants visit Darren Padget’s farm in Oregon’s Sherman County.

*Header Photo Caption: Contracting for Wheat Value Workshop participants visit with a farmer in Oregon’s Sherman County.

Italy. USW Regional Marketing Director Rutger Koekoek spoke at the Romacereali Conference on the outlook for durum wheat for North America and North Africa. The conference is a popular event for the Italian cereal sector organized by the Rome Chamber of Commerce. Its 200 participants primarily work in the Italian durum milling, durum trading and pasta processing industries.

Sub-Saharan Africa. Accompanied by USW Assistant Regional Director, Chad Weigand, and Marketing Specialist, Olatunde Omotayo, a delegation of milling and procurement staff representing companies from Nigeria, South Africa, Senegal, Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire spent 10 days traveling to Washington D.C., North Dakota and Kansas to learning more about the excellent quality of hard red winter (HRW), hard red spring (HRS) and durum supplies available, as well as the promise of more exportable supply of hard white (HW) and the logistical advantages of purchasing from the United States

The 2019 USW Sub-Saharan Delegation at the Kansas Wheat Innovation Center. Photo credit: Kansas Wheat

Nigeria, South Africa and Kenya. USW Vice President of Global Technical Services, Mark Fowler, and IGP Institute Associate Director, Shawn Thiele, conducted on-site milling consultations and hands-on technical training in four flour mills in Nigeria and three flour mills in South Africa. During their visits, Fowler and Thiele gave recommendations for improving milling operations and flour quality for HRW, HW and soft red winter (SRW) flour. They also spoke at the African Milling School (AMS) in Kenya about U.S. wheat classes and milling for U.S. wheat for the AMS Apprenticeship Program

 

Mark Fowler (L) and Shawn Thiele (R) inspect flour at a mill in Nigeria.

USW and IGP staff at a mill for training in Nigeria.

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By Mark Fowler, USW Vice President of Global Technical Services

[Editor’s Note: This is the second in a series of articles designed to help flour millers transition efficiently and effectively from old to new crop wheat.]

Delivering a homogeneous mix of wheat to the mill is critical to optimize mill performance and assure consistently high-quality flour products for end-user customers. Blending wheat prior to conditioning and milling is a necessary part of this process and is even more critical as the farmers who grow your grist are harvesting their new wheat crop.

To maximize product quality and cost, both the miller and the baker are rewarded by processing a consistent wheat blend. Consistency is the most critical flour quality characteristic for large bakeries.  Delivering a consistent product during harvest and new crop transition can be a challenge. However, a well-defined and implemented plan can assure a successful transition for both the miller and the baker.

Mark Fowler (L), USW Vice President of Global Technical Services, and Shawn Thiele (R), Associate Director; Flour Milling and Grain Processing Curriculum Manager at IGP Institute, recently conducted technical support in several Nigerian flour mills.

Flour extraction, or yield, is the main measure of efficiency of the milling process.  Differences in the physical attributes of wheat such as moisture, kernel size and density do change the mill balance and may lower extraction rates, flour output and ultimately lower profitability for the miller. Careful blending of new and old crop wheat is the best defense against these risks.

How much and how soon to incorporate new crop wheat into the mill grist is an important consideration during the harvest transition. In most cases, existing inventory constraints make this decision for the miller. In my experience, an optimal blending plan is to incorporate new crop into the mill grist at a rate of 10 percent in the beginning and gradually increase the blend, ideally over four to six weeks. The transition can be longer depending on the availability of new crop wheat and storage capacity in the mill. The most important thing is to lay out a blending plan as you tender for your first delivery of new crop wheat.

Blending old and new crop wheat always provides other benefits to the flour miller. Blending wheat based on quality characteristics such as protein content or water absorption allows the miller to provide the baker flour that meets their desired quality characteristics. And blending wheat of various classes or origins purchased at different prices also helps the miller meet customer demand at the best possible variable cost.

In the next post in this series, we will address the potential changes to flour quality characteristics due to new crop wheat and blending to meet flour quality characteristics expected by our customers. As always, U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) technical experts are available to answer any question our customers may have by contacting their local USW office, or by sharing a question in our new “Ask the Expert” section of our website at https://www.uswheat.org/market-and-crop-information/ask-the-expert/.

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Originally printed in Dakota Gold, June 2019, Volume 35, No. 3; Reprinted with permission from the North Dakota Wheat Commission

In May, Dr. Senay Simsek, Professor and Wheat Quality Specialist with North Dakota State University (NDSU), traveled to the Philippines and Indonesia with U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) to meet with millers and end-users of U.S. wheat. The objective of the visits and seminars was to provide technical assistance to mills to improve their efficiency to produce flour that meets their local needs. USW staff included Peter Lloyd, Andres Saturno Eguren, Ivan Goh, Joe Sowers and Matt Weimar.

The seminars and technical visits to the mills were intense, and included presentations on Cereal Chemistry at the Mill, Biochemistry Behind Solvent Retention Capacity (SRC), and Food Safety in the Mill and Understanding Mycotoxins. These presentations are likely baffling to any that don’t have a cereal chemistry or cereal science degree, so it may be hard to understand how this type of activity helps U.S. wheat producers.

Wheat milling and baking with flour may seem like simple, straight forward tasks, but in reality, getting the correct flour from various classes and grades of wheat that corresponds into the end-use products consumers want is a complicated task.

“Dr. Simsek presents information to overseas millers and bakers that gives them an advantage in producing superior products,” says Joe Sowers, USW Regional Vice President for the Philippines and Korea. “The Philippine wheat foods industry is expanding very quickly, creating a huge demand for training and information. Dr. Simsek’s specialized expertise of HRS [hard red spring] is incredibly useful for the Philippine millers and bakers. She offers a depth of knowledge in cereal chemistry useful to the most experienced miller and baker while still accessible to newer entrants to the industry.”

All of the seminars, meetings and trainings were arranged by U.S. Wheat Associates.

Over a century of investment in HRS breeding has yielded an ideal raw material for Philippine baked goods while nearly 60 years of market development work has helped make it the largest foreign market in the world for the class. In 2018/19, the Philippines imported 68 million bushels of HRS, a historic record for any country in the world. Total U.S. sales of all wheat classes to the Philippines were almost double that at 120 million bushels.

Sales of HRS into Indonesia are not quite as robust due to a strong U.S. dollar and low flour prices. However, successes by USW in familiarizing the milling industry with the U.S. marketing system and gaining confidence in U.S. grain inspection protocols have led to average annual total wheat sales exceeding 35 million bushels, up nearly five-fold from the previous 5-year average. HRS sales last year were about 7 million bushels.

Matt Weimar, USW Regional Vice President for South Asia sees potential for growth of HRS sales. “We are optimistic that current economic and demographic trends will increase disposable income and consumer interest in higher quality end products, which often involve using HRS,” says Weimar. “Also, the Indonesian industry is quite different from others. The bread baking industry is dominated by thousands of small entrepreneurs, which represent about 65% of the bread market and their mixing equipment isn’t ideal for handling HRS.”

USW is working diligently through training programs such as this and targeted short courses to show customers the benefits of using U.S. wheat. Programs carried out by USW helps U.S. producers gain and maintain a foothold in some of the most competitive wheat markets in the world.

Header Photo Caption: Dr. Simsek (middle) discusses bread quality in Indonesia.

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Name: Gerardo “Gerry” S. Mendoza

Title: Baking Consultant

Office: USW South Asian Regional Office, Manila

Providing Service to: Republic of the Philippines and Korea

Regional Profile: Southeast Asia, particularly the Philippines, has become one of the most important export markets in the world for U.S. wheat. The Philippines is the second-largest market for all classes of U.S. wheat and has been the largest importer of soft white (SW) and hard red spring (HRS) wheat since 2013. A robust population and income growth are driving increased demand for wheat-based foods. The growing middle class has an increased ability to pay for high-quality products, while end-product manufacturers and consumer preferences give U.S. wheat classes a strong advantage. U.S. wheat farmers have invested for nearly six decades in training Philippines millers and end-product manufacturers, helping the wheat foods industry achieve world-class sophistication and expertise. Given the quality and diversity of U.S. wheat supplies, USW’s focus on increased technical service and assistance is paying dividends as the region’s demand for wheat continues to grow.


There is one thing that everyone who crosses paths with Gerry Mendoza agrees on: he is just a really positive, nice guy.

“One of Gerry’s greatest assets is a positive attitude and sincere willingness to do whatever it takes to carry a project to completion,” said Joe Sowers, USW Regional Vice President for the Philippines and Korea, of his Filipino colleague.

While his attitude may come naturally, Mendoza’s interest in baking started in high school when his family got an oven with a gas range.

“I started messing around with the equipment by baking simple cakes (batter type) that were manually mixed,” said Mendoza. “Eventually, I moved on to kneading dough to make pizza and apple strudel.”

Gerry Mendoza was born into a large family in Baliuag, Bulacan, an agricultural town 50 kilometers north of Manila, known for growing rice, corn, and other vegetables. The town is also famous for its baked product “Pandesal,” a traditional Filipino breakfast bread typically consumed after rice. Once at Adamson University in Manila, he received a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering.

“My decision to take up industrial engineering was highly influenced by my peers rather than a first choice,” said Mendoza. “I became quite interested in the food processing industry to the point that my final engineering feasibility study was about a chicken processing plant.”

A Love for Baking

Upon finishing school in 1982, Mendoza started in real estate housing development and then as a medical sales representative for a pharmaceutical company, where he says is where he gained his sales and account servicing skills. For a short time, during economic unrest in the Philippines under martial law, Mendoza spent a few years with a small craft bakery that produced traditional Filipino breads and cakes. A few years later, Mendoza returned to the bakery industry and never looked back.

For the next 25 years, Mendoza used his baking, engineering, and sales backgrounds in the bakery industry to sell and promote baking ingredients, supplies, and equipment used to produce bakery goods. During his tenures with Bakels Philippines Inc. and AB Mauri Philippines, he identified new markets, helped expand product portfolios, and developed and executed technical services that included product development programs, baking seminars, product demonstrations, recipe application development, and technical sales training.

Ultimately, one could say his combined interest in playing badminton and baking led Mendoza to U.S. Wheat Associates (USW). Sowers first met him in 2012, when he (Gerry) was running a World Bread Day badminton tournament fundraiser for the Philippine Society of Baking.

“His enthusiastic personality, strong character, and high esteem within the baking community and other industry partners led us to invite Gerry to join USW in 2016, and ever since, he has been an absolute pleasure to work with,” said Sowers. “He came to USW with more than 30 years of experience in baking and allied industries, a background that gives him a profound ability to provide relevant advice and actionable solutions to Philippine mills and end-product manufacturers.”

Committed to Customers

As a USW Baking Consultant, Mendoza’s primary responsibility is providing technical assistance and training to commercial bakeries.

“I saw this (USW) as an opportunity for me to share my baking knowledge and skills that I have nurtured and developed for most of my professional life,” said Mendoza. “Ultimately, I saw it as an opportunity to continue my passion for baking.”

That passion and Mendoza’s wealth of knowledge are what resonates with customers.

“It has always been great working with ‘Sir Gerry,’ as part of our common goal of sharing baking knowledge,” said a bakery owner in the Philippines. “By sharing his expertise with our fellow bakers in the Philippines, we are now more equipped to face the different challenges of a more globalized and competitive baking industry.”

“He guided us through our SRC (solvent retention capacity) project,” said a milling quality control manager. “From the first time we did the streaming, he joined us, collecting flour samples from each stream in the mill. It’s a very tiring process, but he was there with us until we finished collecting almost 50 samples.”

Meant to Teach

After spending many years as a regular resource speaker at the Asian Baking Institute and Philippine Foremost Milling Corporation’s Basic Commercial Baking Course, conducting lectures on different ingredients such as yeast, bread improvers, and chemical leaveners; as well as continuing to regularly conduct baking science short courses for the Philippine Society of Baking—where he serves as an officer and instructor—Mendoza has developed his natural affinity for teaching and mentoring. 

“He teaches and discusses baking in a manner that even a newcomer can easily grasp. He answers all questions [precisely], showing patience and even baking his signature ‘Madeleine’ bread for us,” said a chief operating officer for a large mill in the Philippines. “When we were organizing a baking seminar together, I found Gerry’s coordination and attention to detail excellent.”

“Working with Mr. Mendoza is really inspiring because of his approach to teaching from years of experience,” said another milling executive. “With his extraordinary way of being organized and systematic, his guidance and encouragement helps deliver excellent results for companies.”

Every customer who shared their experience working with Mendoza—the badminton player who also enjoys bike riding, karaoke, and cooking and baking at home—noted his kindness and love for working with bakers.

“He is very approachable, and you can easily feel his sincerity and general concern with whatever you are discussing,” said a chief operating officer for a large mill in the Philippines. “He displays passion in educating people with what he has mastered in his career.”

Mendoza enjoys being able to provide technical assistance and services to the thriving Philippine baking industry.

“My direct contact with millers, bakery owners, operators, and bakers through technical training and baking workshops gives me the opportunity to highlight the value of using flour made from U.S. wheat,” he said.

Another manager said, “Gerry is very easy to work with. He is very approachable, not hesitant to share his knowledge, and very quick when asked for data. He always assures us that he is always available and will always accommodate our inquiries and request. He has never failed us, and he knows how to deal pleasantly and effortlessly with everyone he meets.”

Sowers added, “Gerry Mendoza has a natural affinity for presenting information in a classroom setting or running a baking workshop in an interesting and engaging fashion. He is very creative in designing training activities and enthusiastically carries them out. I think that is why so many customers here want Gerry to put on workshops – and, of course, because he is such a nice guy.”


By Amanda J. Spoo, USW Director of Communications

Editor’s Note: This is the fourth in a series of posts profiling U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) technical experts in flour milling and wheat foods production. USW Vice President of Global Technical Services Mark Fowler says technical support to overseas customers is an essential part of export market development for U.S. wheat. “Technical support adds differential value to the reliable supply of U.S. wheat,” Fowler says. “Our customers must constantly improve their products in an increasingly competitive environment. We can help them compete by demonstrating the advantages of using the right U.S. wheat class or blend of classes to produce the wide variety of wheat-based foods the world’s consumers demand.”


Meet the other USW Technical Experts in this blog series:

 

Ting Liu – Opening Doors in a Naturally Winning Way
Shin Hak “David” Oh – Expertise Fermented in Korean Food Culture
Tarik Gahi – ‘For a Piece of Bread, Son’
Marcelo Mitre – A Love of Food and Technology that Bakes in Value and Loyalty
Peter Lloyd – International Man of Milling
Ivan Goh – An Energetic Individual Born to the Food Industry
 Adrian Redondo – Inspired to Help by Hard Work and a Hero
Andrés Saturno – A Family Legacy of Milling Innovation
Wei-lin Chou – Finding Harmony in the Wheat Industry

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By Mark Fowler, USW Vice President of Global Technical Services

[Editor’s Note: This is the first in a series of articles to help flour millers transition efficiently and effectively from old to new crop wheat.]

As U.S. wheat farmers finally start harvesting their 2019 winter wheat crop, flour millers around the world turn their focus toward the quality characteristics of the new crop. Each year, millers must remember that wheat is a natural product, so its “millability” (how efficiently wheat can be turned into wheat flour) and quality are affected not only by the predominant and new varieties, but also the growing conditions for the wheat you are buying.

As a former commercial flour miller and milling instructor, I considered this as an ideal time to think about what impact the potential changes in the crop may have on the techniques required to transition new crop wheat on to the mill.

Mark Fowler (right), USW Vice President of Global Technical Services, is a former commercial flour miller and milling instructor at Kansas State University’s IGP Institute, here with millers in Taiwan.

To minimize changes to key quality characteristics their end users need to make a variety of bread and other products from wheat flour, millers will face the challenge of blending new crop with old crop wheat during the initial transition period. Blending wheat to maintain protein percentage and flour functionality characteristics gets the most attention as a matter of course. However, millability is affected by several quality characteristics. Moisture, test weight, kernel size and kernel hardness are just a few of the factors that millers must evaluate during this time of transition to optimize the quantity (extraction rate) and quality of the flour they will produce.

As U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) reports on the progress and quality of the 2019 U.S. wheat harvest over the next several weeks, our team of technical experts will provide a series of insights to help our flour miller customers prepare for integrating new crop wheat along with some interpretation of the potential impact of wheat quality results for the millers and end users. We will review such topics as wheat and flour blending, cleaning, tempering and conditioning and end use functionality.

Understanding the impact of the new wheat supply and preparing to make the necessary changes is the key to a successful crop transition. As always, USW technical experts are available to answer any question our customers may have by contacting their local USW office, or by sharing a question in our new “Ask the Expert” section of our website at https://www.uswheat.org/market-and-crop-information/ask-the-expert/.

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As U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) President Vince Peterson often says, at any given hour of the day there is someone, somewhere, talking about the quality, reliability and value of U.S. wheat. Wheat Letter wants to share some of the ways USW was working the past few months to promote all six classes of U.S. wheat in an ever more complex world wheat market.

Brazil. During President Bolsonaro’s meeting with President Trump in March, the Brazilian president announced the implementation of the tariff rate quota (TRQ) that would allow 750,000 MT of non-Mercosur wheat into Brazil tariff free, something USW has pushed for years to be implemented. Soon after the announcement, USW offered support to Brazilian buyers and any purchasing information they may need to consider U.S. now and in the future. When realized, this change will give U.S. wheat farmers the chance to compete fairly for a sizable part of Brazil’s import needs every year.

The Philippines. With funding provided by the Washington Grain Commission, USW organized a team of research and development managers from the Philippine milling industry to take part in an End Products Collaborative in March at the Wheat Marketing Center in Portland, Ore. Recent expansion in the ASEAN milling industry has increased competition and created a need for millers to differentiate their flour products. This activity helps identify the best U.S. wheat options available.

Members of the Philippine Milling Industry participate in an End Products Collaborative at the Wheat Marketing Center.

During the End Products Collaborative the participants visited with the Wheat Marketing Center Board of Directors.

Malaysia. In March, USW South Asia Regional Vice President Matt Weimar conducted two days of trade servicing for a mill in Malaysia, which also has operations in Vietnam and Indonesia. In the past two years, this mill has doubled imports of U.S. wheat to Malaysia alone. Weimar gave a seminar on the World and U.S. Supply and Demand as of March 2019 and shared the value of utilizing additional information resources from USW and USDA.

South Korea. USW Baking Consultant Roy Chung and Food and Bakery Technologist Shin Hak (David) Oh visited Seoul in March to conduct a pre-mix seminar and workshop to demonstrate the versatility of U.S. wheat in a wide range of end products. Workshop participants enhanced their understanding of ingredient functionality and chemical leavening systems while experimenting with new product formulations in pre-mixes.

Participants of the Pre-Mix Seminar with the instructors in black: (L) USW Food and Bakery Technologist Shin Hak (David) Oh; (R) USW Baking Consultant Roy Chung.

Taiwan. In April, USW Regional Technical Director Peter Lloyd spoke at a milling seminar attended by members of the Taiwan Millers Association and faculty members of the China Grain Products Research & Development Institute (CGPRDI). Lloyd’s program focused on hard and soft wheat milling, solvent retention capacity (SRC) and SDS testing methods and their application in the mill, and profitability in the milling industry.

Milling Seminar Participants at the China Grain Products Research & Development Institute (CGPRDI).

China. To meet industry demand for deeper knowledge of techniques in frozen dough production, USW is collaborating with the Sino-American Baking school (SABS), Lesaffre Yeast and Square Technology Group Co., Ltd., to hold three sessions of frozen dough technology courses this year for millers and bakers. During the first session in March, USW Technical Specialist Ting Liu and Asian Products/Nutrition Technologist Shu-ying Yang spoke on the importance of choosing the correct flour for frozen dough by showing how freezing affects gluten functionality.

Panama. USW sponsored a wheat buyer from Panama to attend the IGP Institute Grain Purchasing Short Course in April. The course focused on contract specifications, financing grain imports, grain grading, ocean transportation, discussions of the cash and futures markets and included a visit to an export facility in Portland, Ore.

Spain, Portugal and Morocco. In March, a USW Board Team including farmers from Montana, Nebraska and Wyoming traveled to Spain, Portugal and Morocco to visit customers, millers, government officials and more to listen and learn more about those markets and how they utilize U.S. wheat. Read more about those visits here.

Visiting IFIM and touring the training mill, where the USW Board Team saw equipment sponsored by U.S. Wheat Associates. (L to R): Al Klempel (Montana), Kent Lorens (Nebraska) and Casey Madsen (Wyoming).

Morocco and Tunisia. In April, USW hosted a delegation from Morocco and Tunisia focused on grain storage and management that was part of the USDA Cochran Fellowship Program traveling to Kansas and Texas. This program provides short-term training opportunities to agricultural professionals from middle-income countries, emerging markets, and emerging democracies. Read more about this delegation here.

The Cochran Fellowship Program delegation from Morocco and Tunisia stopped by the Kansas Wheat Innovation Center where they toured its greenhouse and research facilities. The team was escorted by USW Milling & Baking Technologist Tarik Gahi, pictured far right. (Photo Credit: Kansas Wheat)

Italy. USW Regional Marketing Director Rutger Koekoek recently visited Italy for several meetings with the grain trade, milling companies and a leading pasta processor to discuss the advantages of U.S. hard red spring (HRS) and durum crop quality and functional performance in products for the Italian market.

Wheat Research. USW recently worked with CGIAR to create a fact sheet and other support materials promoting the benefits of U.S. investment in global wheat research collaboration.

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Name: Carlos Marcelo Mitre Dieste

Title: Technical Specialist

Office: USW Mexican, Central American and Caribbean Regional Office, Mexico City

Providing Service to: Barbados, Belize, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Leeward-Windward Islands, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Suriname, Trinidad-Tobago, Venezuela

Regional Profile: The combination of economic growth, consolidation, increasing urbanization, and a steadily growing population is a catalyst for rising wheat food product consumption in this region. For example, the evolution of franchising, fast foods, convenience stores, snack foods, dual-income households, and more demanding consumers has led to the establishment of new products, better quality, more uniform standards, and a larger overall market for bread but also for Asian-style noodles, cookies, crackers, and pasta. Given the quality and diversity of U.S. wheat supplies and the comparative geographic advantages, USW’s focus on increased technical service and assistance is paying dividends as the region’s demand for wheat continues to grow.


Growing up in Mexico City and Monterrey, Mexico, young Marcelo Mitre’s experiments in his family kitchen firmly established his interest in food and, eventually, a career in the science of food production.

“I have always loved to eat, and as a kid, I would try to make every recipe I saw in newspapers or on TV shows, and my Mom has many funny stories about my early attempts in the kitchen,” Marcelo said. “But eventually, I was making cakes at home and selling them at my high school.”

Although he wanted to continue exploring his interest, Marcelo did not initially see options to do professional studies in the food sector, so he enrolled as a Marketing major at Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey (ITESM).

“Then, during a function at school near the end of my first semester, I bumped into this small program called ‘Food Industry Engineering,” he recalled. “When I looked at the academic curriculum, the laboratory courses looked very interesting, and I immediately switched my major.”

A Framework for a Career

Marcelo’s undergraduate experience framed his work today as a Technical Specialist with U.S. Wheat Associates (USW), serving flour milling and wheat food processing organizations in Mexico, Central America, Venezuela, and the Caribbean. Internships at a large brewing company, a meat packing plant, and a frozen food manufacturer gave him experience in different food industries. He also considers his ITESM Professor of Cereal Science, Dr. Sergio Serna-Saldivar, as his mentor.

“After graduating, I continued working at the frozen food products company in Mexico,” Marcelo said, “then Dr. Serna suggested I apply for a master’s program studying cereal science with Dr. Lloyd Rooney at Texas A&M University. My master’s thesis was Barley Tortillas and Barley Flours in Corn Tortillas. We chose the topic because tortillas are the staple food in Mexico, and I wanted to see if we could increase the health benefits and textural characteristics of tortillas.”

Technical Specialist Marcelo Mitre earned a master’s degree with a thesis on improving tortilla nutrition. He continues to promote flour tortilla nutrition and quality improvement using U.S. wheat.

Post-graduate experience in commercial food research and development and technical sales continued Marcelo’s path toward his responsibilities at USW. At Sage V foods in Texas, he developed rice products. At Illinois-based Continental Custom Ingredients, Inc., Marcelo represented the company’s stabilizers, emulsifiers, and ingredient systems with Latin American food customers. He eventually opened a laboratory in Mexico City for that company, later acquired by Tate and Lyle.

“I liked the combination of R&D and sales a lot,” Marcelo said. “I am a very hands-on person, and technical sales gave me the opportunity to interact with the clients and understand their needs. I also liked being in the laboratory using what I learned from the clients to help develop solutions for them.”

The Right Fit for USW

In 2009, Marcelo returned to the United States to work at a cooking fats and oils company in Miami, Fla. At the same time, USW Regional Vice President Mitch Skalicky was searching for the right individual who could serve in a wide-ranging technical position.

“All the candidates I had interviewed were either not qualified or did not fit the profile we needed,” Skalicky said. “I asked a contact at ITESM to let us know if they had a potential candidate. Not long after, Dr. Serna made the connection that brought Marcelo to USW. In Marcelo, we saw a highly intelligent person, having graduated from one of the top universities in Latin America, with a very strong background in engineering, technology, and food science.”

Several things about the job with USW attracted me,” Marcelo said. “It was a chance to continue doing hands-on work across the very active flour and wheat foods industry based in Mexico City but still traveling throughout the region and internationally. Mitch and others explained that this was a not-for-profit organization representing U.S. wheat farmers with a very low turnover of people. That told me this would be a nice work environment.”

Based on customer needs and the annual regional activities plan, Marcelo is responsible for activities that range from helping flour mills blend flour from different U.S. wheat classes to improve product quality and reduce costs, to conducting cookie and bread baking seminars for food processors, alone or with consultants, to pasta production courses across the region.

Baking instruction and quality evaluation with customers in Mexico, Central America, Venezuela, and the Caribbean is a crucial part of Mitre’s work.

“Marcelo represents the very positive and strategic support we get from U.S. Wheat Associates,” said an executive with a large flour milling company in Honduras. “We know we can count on him to guide us or give us suggestions on how to address a challenge, and we bring him to visit our clients to find ways to improve their processes or products.”

Another regional flour milling executive said Marcelo is a very important link to information about U.S. wheat quality and processing.

A baking company manager in Guatemala also testifies to Marcelo’s technical baking knowledge and how he applies it in workshops to demonstrate the benefits of U.S. wheat flour. The manager added: “I can attest that Marcelo is a responsible person who is committed to his work, is very organized, and has excellent people skills.”

A Balanced Approach

Marcelo said long-distance running, which was something he started in high school “to lose weight,” taught him to balance work, social life, sleep, and training for five marathon races, running four of them in less than three hours!

“There are no excuses if you fail to do one of the four,” he said, “because you will be the only one affected. You become very organized in your life because every minute counts in your schedule.”

“Marcelo has shown an exceptional work ethic combined with the ability to learn quickly, adapt to a diverse set of circumstances and respond in a very flexible way to any challenge,” Skalicky said. “He has the interpersonal skills to work with both management as well as production and quality control staff.”

“It is a pleasure to work with U.S. Wheat Associates, and for the U.S. farmers we represent,” Marcelo said. “The people in all our offices are very friendly, and you can contact anyone, anywhere, about any question, and they will share information without hesitation. Most important,” he added, “our work is focused on giving our customers freely, without obligation, the information and skills they need to improve their products and businesses. And we feel very good about being able to do that!”

Mitre’s work and enthusiasm takes him all over the region, working with various customers and groups.


By Steve Mercer, USW Vice President of Communications

Editor’s Note: This is the third in a series of posts profiling U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) technical experts in flour milling and wheat foods production. USW Vice President of Global Technical Services Mark Fowler says technical support to overseas customers is an essential part of export market development for U.S. wheat. “Technical support adds differential value to the reliable supply of U.S. wheat,” Fowler says. “Our customers must constantly improve their products in an increasingly competitive environment. We can help them compete by demonstrating the advantages of using the right U.S. wheat class or blend of classes to produce the wide variety of wheat-based foods the world’s consumers demand.”


Meet the other USW Technical Experts in this blog series:

 

Ting Liu – Opening Doors in a Naturally Winning Way
Shin Hak “David” Oh – Expertise Fermented in Korean Food Culture
Tarik Gahi – ‘For a Piece of Bread, Son’
Gerry Mendoza – Born to Teach and Share His Love for Baking
Peter Lloyd – International Man of Milling
Ivan Goh – An Energetic Individual Born to the Food Industry
 Adrian Redondo – Inspired to Help by Hard Work and a Hero
Andrés Saturno – A Family Legacy of Milling Innovation
Wei-lin Chou – Finding Harmony in the Wheat Industry

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Name: Peter Lloyd

Title: Regional Technical Director

Office: USW Middle Eastern, East and North African Region, Casablanca Office

Providing Service to: North Africa and the Middle East


Peter Lloyd’s eyes lit up the moment he saw the MIAG pilot flour mill and baking lab at Mennel Milling‘s Fostoria, Ohio, plant.

Lloyd, who was with U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) colleagues gathering information on new U.S. wheat export opportunities, said: “there is no end to that plant’s potential in soft wheat product development.”

That is strong praise coming from someone who has designed, serviced, and visited more flour mills worldwide than he can count. Lloyd’s USW title of Regional Technical Director does not do justice to his global responsibilities. Based in USW’s office in Casablanca, Morocco, Lloyd travels the world to conduct technical support that helps prove the value of U.S. wheat in the customer’s mill.

“I believe the work I do and that my USW colleagues and consultants do brings the greatest value where it makes the most difference — on the bottom line profit for a supply chain manager, miller or baker,” Lloyd noted. “A clear knowledge of the customer’s business is also vitally important to opening the door to U.S. wheat farmers as valued suppliers.”

Peter Lloyd; Marcelo Mitre, Technical Specialist, USW/Mexico City; Dr. Byung-Kee Baik, Acting Research Leader, USDA-ARS, Wooster, Ohio; Brad Moffitt, Director of Market Development and Membership, Ohio Small Grains Marketing, Program; Tarik Gahi, Milling & Baking Technologist, USW/Casablanca. February 2016 at the USDA-ARS Soft Wheat Quality Laboratory, Wooster, Ohio.

A Storied Career

Just a thumbnail of Lloyd’s professional credentials would be enough to open that door, starting with his British father’s successful flour milling career that took him from Liverpool to Kenya, where Lloyd was born. Intrigued by his youthful visits to mills with his father, Lloyd decided to follow him into the business in 1977.

Milling engineering training and working with Henry Simon in the United Kingdom and South Africa built the foundation for Lloyd to become a mill manager in Botswana in his mid-20s. He returned to the UK with the Simon Group in an engineering sales position in 1986 that, along with his emerging knowledge of high technology applications, led to a job with the United Milling Systems division of the Carlsberg Research Center in Denmark. Lloyd eventually started his own consulting business that continued his work in Africa.

“Then, in 1991, I saw an advertisement in World Grain magazine for the post of Dean of the new Egyptian Milling School in Cairo from an organization called U.S. Wheat Associates,” Lloyd recalled.

Peter Lloyd, left, discusses soft red winter wheat variety development with Dr. Clay Sneller, Associate Professor, Dept. Horticulture and Crop Science, The Ohio State University, Tarik Gahi, USW/Casablanca and Dr. Byung-Kee Baik, Director, USDA-ARS Soft Wheat Quality Laboratory, Feb. 2016, Wooster, OH.

Per its agreement with its Egyptian business partners at the time, USW had management responsibilities for the school’s development and first two years of operation. Lloyd applied for and eventually earned the position where he directed construction and curriculum development — and discovered a love of teaching. Moreover, he was impressed by USW’s approach to export market development.

“Building trust is crucial, and I think USW’s biggest asset is not having sales objectives. We give advice based upon its merit only,” Lloyd observed. “From U.S. wheat farms to the school in Cairo, we were truly committed to forging a long-term partnership with overseas customers, offering technical assistance without a commercial profit motive.”

USW’s substantial funding for the school ended in 1994, and Lloyd moved on to a technical support position in Egypt with the Australian Wheat Board (AWB), which was, at the time, a fully governmental organization. After the organization was privatized, Lloyd said the drive to meet sales goals, and quarterly returns did not match his values. A return to consulting in the Middle East, including for USW, opened an opportunity to join the Wheat Marketing Center (WMC) in Portland, Ore., in 1996.

L-R: Nihal Habib, formerly with USW/Cairo; Peter Lloyd; Hoda Moawad, formerly with USW/Cairo; two Egyptian grain officials; Tarik Gahi, USW/Casablanca, at a USW Buyers Conference in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, 2013.

“Working with the director Bob Drynan (who had also worked for USW and the California Wheat Commission), wheat growers, the grain trade, and the researchers at USDA and Washington State University was one of the most enjoyable periods in my career,” Lloyd recalled. “Perhaps most significant in terms of my future work with USW was the interaction with Asian millers and bakers to learn about the product quality and diversity in their markets.”

An Invaluable Resource

After personal choices drew him back to the UK and consulting work in 1998, Lloyd answered another call from USW to help address some challenges at the new IFIM Milling School in Casablanca. That role grew into a longer-term opportunity to implement a Miller Outreach Program with the goal of building professional expertise and a greater understanding of U.S. wheat quality and value in North Africa and the Middle East through the IFIM school.

“That was very rewarding, but I recognized I needed to get reacquainted with the latest mill operations and moved to a technical milling position in Dubai for two years,” Lloyd said. “In 2005, I returned to USW to run the Tunisian Outreach Program and served in Tunis until 2009. During this time, we expanded the technical assistance role from Tunis to many of the other USW offices in Asia, the Middle East, and North Africa, as well as supporting the opening of new markets in Libya and Algeria at that time.”

Though much has changed in the last ten years, including his move to USW’s Casablanca, Morocco, office, Lloyd’s work with USW in North and South Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and occasionally Latin America and Europe in support of U.S. wheat export market development continues today.

Peter Lloyd providing technical support at a Colombian flour mill, October 2009.

“Our objective remains the success of the people we support,” he asserted. “Why? Because successful millers and bakers are most likely to buy what we have to offer: high-quality wheat from high-quality farmers to produce high-quality flour for high-quality products.”

The beneficiaries of his work agree.

“Peter Lloyd has been an invaluable resource for us for the better part of 10 years, giving advice ranging from mill cleanliness and fumigation to more complex topics like milling economics and flour customization,” said an executive with a large flour milling company in the Philippines. “We cannot thank him enough for all his help. He is a true encyclopedia of flour milling.”

A Chinese milling executive said Lloyd’s efforts helped his team better understand the processing characteristics of the individual classes of U.S. wheat.

Peter Lloyd, current President Vince Peterson, and customers at USW Middle Eastern Grain Buyers Conference, Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, 2009.

“His constructive opinions on our production process have helped us be more efficient in milling U.S. wheat and helped improve the competitiveness of our flour products,” the executive concluded.

“USW is so lucky to have such a talented, charismatic individual like Peter on our staff,” said USW Regional Vice President Ian Flagg, who directs export market development activities in North Africa, the Middle East, and Europe. “Not only is Peter a great technical asset, he is completely committed to our mission to return value to the farmers we represent and their customers, and that is what he does all over the world.”

“I am doing exactly what I want to be doing at this point in my career with and for some of the nicest people on Earth,” Lloyd said. “Our customers welcome us to their offices, listen to what we have to say, and trust us. Then coming back months later and finding that we helped them improve their business is very rewarding. And the U.S. wheat farmers we work for represent values I hold in the highest esteem: honesty, integrity, human decency, hard work, a love of the land, and a deep respect for our Creator.”

He also remains very upbeat about the global wheat industry.

“End products are made from flour, not whole wheat kernels, so the growth of the milling and food processing industries are inextricably linked,” Lloyd noted. “As much as any foodstuff, wheat-based products have a prominent place in shopping baskets in every country of the world, and for every income group for the foreseeable future — and there are more and more shoppers every day.”

Peter Lloyd visits Mennel Milling, Fostoria, Ohio, Feb. 2016

Peter Lloyd visits Mennel Milling, Fostoria, Ohio, Feb. 2016


By Steve Mercer, USW Vice President of Communications

Editor’s Note: This is the second in a series of posts profiling U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) technical experts in flour milling and wheat foods production. USW Vice President of Global Technical Services Mark Fowler says technical support to overseas customers is an essential part of export market development for U.S. wheat. “Technical support adds differential value to the reliable supply of U.S. wheat,” Fowler says. “Our customers must constantly improve their products in an increasingly competitive environment. We can help them compete by demonstrating the advantages of using the right U.S. wheat class or blend of classes to produce the wide variety of wheat-based foods the world’s consumers demand.”

Header Photo Caption: Peter Lloyd’s presentation at the 2015 USW Crop Quality Seminar, Cairo, Egypt


Meet the other USW Technical Experts in this blog series:

 

Ting Liu – Opening Doors in a Naturally Winning Way
Shin Hak “David” Oh – Expertise Fermented in Korean Food Culture
Tarik Gahi – ‘For a Piece of Bread, Son’
Gerry Mendoza – Born to Teach and Share His Love for Baking
Marcelo Mitre – A Love of Food and Technology that Bakes in Value and Loyalty
Ivan Goh – An Energetic Individual Born to the Food Industry
 Adrian Redondo – Inspired to Help by Hard Work and a Hero
Andrés Saturno – A Family Legacy of Milling Innovation
Wei-lin Chou – Finding Harmony in the Wheat Industry

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Name: Kong Song “Ivan” Goh

Title: Biscuit/Bakery and Noodle Technologist

Office: USW South Asia Regional Office, Singapore

Providing Service to: Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Republic of the Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Vietnam

Regional Profile: Rapidly rising disposable income and urbanization in South Asia are opening markets for baked goods, biscuits, cakes, and other foods that require more types of higher-quality flour. As the milling and wheat foods industries rush to increase capacity, USW is helping them improve and expand product lines using high-quality soft white (SW) for cake, biscuit, and confectionery flour, and U.S. hard red winter (HRW) and hard red spring (HRS) for bread flour. USW also conducts baking seminars to introduce new products with higher profit margins using flour milled from U.S. wheat.


Common Roots

From far southern Myanmar and southwest Thailand, the Asian continent continues south as the Malay Peninsula to include Western Malaysia and Singapore near its southern tip. Northwest of Kuala Lumpur is the Malaysian state of Malacca. This area has gained a certain notoriety among South Asian wheat food producers as the source of valuable technical support from long-time U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) Baking Consultant Roy Chung and now USW Biscuit/Bakery and Noodle Technologist Ivan Goh.

“Roy and I were born in the same hometown in Malacca,” Goh said. “Roy’s father ran a bakery, and my story starts with my family, too. My mum earned a living by selling bite-size snacks called Kuih-muih and fried spring rolls called Popiah. I was nine years old when I started helping her make and sell her food. My interest in cooking and food preparation grew from there. In fact, most of my family members are in food-related work.”

Goh went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in Food Science and Technology from the University of Putra Malaysia, and his talent landed him two job offers even before he graduated in 2012. He said because he is “not a shy person who can do routine jobs,” he chose a technical service position with FFM Berhad in Port Klang, Malaysia, that would expose him to as many parts of the flour milling and baking industries as possible.

“The knowledge I gained there has been very valuable,” he said. “I especially enjoyed the opportunities in technical troubleshooting and handling customer complaints.”

He added that the company always taught its colleagues to appreciate the people who helped them in their work, an experience that would prove important to Goh’s next career opportunity.

An Introduction to USW

USW first crossed paths with Ivan Goh when Roy Chung conducted a USW baking workshop at FFM Berhad in 2014. In 2015, the company sent Ivan to one of the popular USW baking courses Chung developed and led with the UFM Baking & Cooking School in Bangkok, Thailand. USW Regional Vice President Matt Weimar was also there to identify potential candidates to fill a vacant technical position in USW’s South Asian Region.

“Ivan Goh was one of the individuals who stood out in terms of their work and leadership,” Weimar said. “He also impressed Roy, so we decided to follow his career path until it was the right time to invite him to work for our organization.”

That opportunity emerged early in 2018, and Goh has been representing U.S. wheat farmers in the South Asian region since last March.

“The wheat foods industry is rapidly expanding in the region, and we knew Ivan’s experience in quality assurance and control was ideal to help flour mills, bakeries, cookie/cracker, and confectionery processors better understand the quality, value, and use of U.S. wheat flour,” said Weimar. “We set up an active development schedule for Ivan. It started with Ivan shadowing Roy at the USW baking classes at UFM, then on an extended technical service visit with Roy to several flour mills and baking customers in Indonesia.”

On the Road

Goh, who is fluent in several languages spoken in the region, participated with millers from the Philippines, Indonesia, and Vietnam in a USW Contracting for Value workshop and joined Weimar as co-host of a regional trade team that visited Washington state, Idaho, and Montana last August. That schedule keeps Goh mostly away from a home office in Kuala Lumpur and the USW South Asia regional office in Singapore. But he is very excited about the opportunity.

“Roy Chung is a legend as a teacher and technical resource in this region,” Goh said. “I never imagined that one day I would be his colleague. Another thing that impressed me is that USW is the only wheat organization that invites overseas millers to evaluate the quality of every U.S. wheat crop and sincerely listens to their feedback. That must be part of the working culture because I am also free to voice my opinions.”

Late in 2018, there was additional, extensive training for Goh as a student in Class 193 of the 16-week Baking Science and Technology Course at the AIB Institute in Manhattan, Kan.

“Our goal is to help customers improve their product lines and manage cost risks, so the course further strengthened my confidence in helping large-scale bakeries,” Ivan said. “In addition, seeing the performance and benefits of using flour from U.S. wheat classes firsthand will help me demonstrate how customers can get the most value possible from those flour products in their own bakeries.”

“Ivan received a medal as the fourth-ranked student in the class and was recognized with one of the Bakery Equipment Manufacturers Association awards recognizing ‘Excellence in Laboratory Leadership Performance,” Weimar said. “The relationships he developed with his fellow students will also be very valuable in the future.”

Weimar noted that Ivan Goh has had a very productive first year with U.S. Wheat Associates, adding “we are proud of Ivan’s progress, and we look forward to many more successful technical support activities to come. That is a commitment to our South Asian customers and the U.S. wheat farmers we are proud to represent.”


By Steve Mercer, USW Vice President of Communications

Editor’s Note: This is the first in a series of posts profiling U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) technical experts in flour milling and wheat foods production. USW Vice President of Global Technical Services Mark Fowler says technical support to overseas customers is an essential part of export market development for U.S. wheat. “Technical support adds differential value to the reliable supply of U.S. wheat,” Fowler says. “Our customers must constantly improve their products in an increasingly competitive environment. We can help them compete by demonstrating the advantages of using the right U.S. wheat class or blend of classes to produce the wide variety of wheat-based foods the world’s consumers demand.”


Meet the other USW Technical Experts in this blog series:

 

Ting Liu – Opening Doors in a Naturally Winning Way
Shin Hak “David” Oh – Expertise Fermented in Korean Food Culture
Tarik Gahi – ‘For a Piece of Bread, Son’
Gerry Mendoza – Born to Teach and Share His Love for Baking
Marcelo Mitre – A Love of Food and Technology that Bakes in Value and Loyalty
Peter Lloyd – International Man of Milling
 Adrian Redondo – Inspired to Help by Hard Work and a Hero
Andrés Saturno – A Family Legacy of Milling Innovation
Wei-lin Chou – Finding Harmony in the Wheat Industry

As U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) President Vince Peterson often says, at any given hour of the day there is someone, somewhere, talking about the quality, reliability and value of U.S. wheat. Wheat Letter wants to share some of the ways USW was working the past few months to promote all six classes of U.S. wheat in an ever more complex world grain market.

Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia. In October, USW organized a Maghreb cake course, the first of its kind in Morocco, for quality and research and development participants representing biscuit and cake manufacturers in Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia. The course focused on how to best utilize U.S. soft red winter (SRW) and soft white (SW) wheat and the use of solvent retention capacity (SRC) analysis to measure flour quality and functionality. A practical, hands-on session allowed participants to test different cake recipes with a variation of flour types and ingredients. Participants also were given an overview of biscuit, cake and wafer industrial production lines and discussed the importance of ingredient quality in minimizing breakdowns in a cake line.

Indonesia. The Federal Grain Inspection Service (FGIS) and USW Singapore Office conducted a week of hands-on wheat grading workshops for flour milling companies in Indonesia in mid-September. Barry Gomoll, Grain Marketing Specialist from FGIS’s International Affairs Division, traveled with Matt Weimar, USW Regional Vice President, to meet with more than 100 personnel from four major Indonesian milling companies. The workshops focused on an overview of FGIS and wheat grading procedures, as well as world and U.S. supply and demand, 2018 U.S. wheat quality and USW online resources.

South America. More than 450 participants from 30 countries, including Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru, attended the 2018 Latin American Industrial Millers Association (ALIM) conference in Puerto Varas, Chile, Nov. 11 to 14. USW President Vince Peterson presented insight into the global wheat market situation and the current U.S. political situation, while Regional Director Miguel Galdós from the USW Santiago Office spoke on current trends in industrial bread production. Multiple USW staff, USW Vice Chairman Doug Goyings and representatives from the Kansas Wheat Commission and Washington Grain Commission also attended and took the opportunity to meet in person with many U.S. wheat customers.

Mexico. In October, USW Baking Consultant Didier Rosada traveled to Mexico City, Mexico, to conduct a baking seminar with one of Mexico’s largest bakeries. With assistance from USW Technical Consultant Marcelo Mitre, Rosada introduce nice different products and instructed the bakery on different uses of pre-ferments in an industrial environment. The pair also took the opportunity to visit a few smaller, artisan bakers, to learn more about the segment and help the customers troubleshoot various challenges.

Korea. USW Food/Bakery Technologist Shin Hak (David) Oh presented at a Whole Wheat Flour Seminar, hosted by Korean Master Bakers Association (KOMBA) and Korea Flour Mills Industrial Association (KOFMIA) for bakers in the Seoul area. Oh shared results of his recent research which focused on alternate flour blend formulations for baguettes using U.S. wheat to improve product quality at a competitive price.

Taiwan. In November, members of the USW staff and Washington Grain Commission representative Mike Carstensen attended the 56th anniversary celebration for the China Grain Products Research & Development Institute (CGPRDI) in Taipei. The celebration included the dedication of a new baking training center building and the 2018 Creative Chinese Fermentative Baking Contest, co-sponsored by CGPRDI and the USW Taipei Office. USW Specialist Dr. Ting Liu was invited to speak and gave a presentation on “Sprouted Wheat – A New Trend in Grain Products.” CGPRDI is a leader in training programs for baking and Chinese traditional food products as well as grain research, technical service and analysis in Taiwan. Carstensen and the USW team participated directly in each activity.

USW Transitions. Chad Weigand recently started his new position as Assistant Regional Director in Sub-Sahara Africa, based in Cape Town. Weigand joined USW in 2009 as Market Analyst before transferring to Mexico City as Assistant Regional Director, Mexican, Central American and Caribbean Region, in 2011. He earned a bachelor’s degree in international relations and business administration from the University of San Diego and a master’s degree in international affairs from Columbia University. Weigand spent two years in the Peace Corps as an agribusiness specialist in Ecuador and completed an internship with the Office of Trade Programs at USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service.

Current USW Market Analyst Stephanie Bryant-Erdmann will replace Weigand as Assistant Regional Director in Mexico City early in 2019. Claire Hutchins joined the export market development organization as Market Analyst Dec. 3, 2018, in the Arlington, Va. Headquarters Office.

Bryant-Erdmann joined USW as Programs Manager in 2014. She grew up working on her family’s Nebraska cattle ranch and earned a bachelor’s degree in agricultural education at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and a master’s degree from Cornell University’s Institute for Public Affairs. She also had an internship at the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Trade Information Center where she helped create educational materials for U.S. organizations looking to export products and services.

Hutchins was raised on an irrigated wheat, soy and alfalfa farm in the high desert near Fruita, Colo. She earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Chinese language, history and art history from the University of Pennsylvania, worked on small farms on the East Coast and recently completed a master’s program in agricultural economics at Utah State University. Hutchins also worked as a Government Affairs Intern at Syngenta’s Washington, D.C., office.