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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 and July to promote all six classes of U.S. wheat in an ever more complex world grain market.

Sub-Saharan Africa. Flour milling executives from Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania and Liberia traveled to Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas in June to get the latest information about hard red winter (HRW) wheat quality and value. The delegation experienced each part of the supply chain by visiting the Port of Corpus Christi and local grain elevators, participating in wheat harvest, meeting with USDA officials and discussing wheat quality at the Kansas Wheat Innovation Center. Also in June, another delegation from Nigeria and South Africa attended a two-week milling short course at the IGP Institute in Manhattan, Kan. Read more about these activities here and here.

South Asia. In June, the USW Singapore and Manila Offices led a week of Procurement and Mill Profitability Workshops in Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines. Funded by the Washington Grain Commission (WGC), the activities included three full-day workshops focused on commodity price analysis to guide purchasing strategies and increase mill profitability.

Philippines. A delegation of four leaders from the Philippine flour milling industry traveled to Oregon, Washington D.C. and Washington state in June to meet with state wheat commissions, producers and grain traders, and visit a port loading facility and an FGIS dockside laboratory. In the U.S. capital, the team discussed various trade policy topics, including issues related to Turkish flour imports. Read more about this delegation here.

Ecuador and Chile. In June, a delegation of four millers from Ecuador and Chile traveled to Nebraska, North Dakota and Oregon to gain a better understanding of the wheat marketing and the supply chain. The delegation’s travel included visits to HRW and soft white (SW) producing area, an export elevator, FGIS laboratory and meetings with wheat producers and grain exporters.

Haiti. USW staff traveled to Haiti in June to meet with Haitian millers, wheat importers, the U.S. Embassy and the Haitian Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MCI) to discuss and review the status of possible dumping of Turkish wheat flour exports to Haiti and how it negatively affects the local wheat milling industry. Industry sources estimate Haitian Turkish flour imports have reached nearly 40,000 tons annually, and are entering the country at an understated price on the invoice value presented to Haitian customs. Read more about this activity here.

Taiwan. USW collaborated with the Lien Hwa Flour Mill and Chia Nan University in June to host a noodle making contest using flour from U.S. wheat classes. The contest was divided into two groups for machine-made noodle and hand-made noodles. After making their noodles, participants had to include them in a creative dish for the judges. 64 participants entered the contest.

Korea. In June, USW sponsored a Baking Product Development Course for Korean millers at the Wheat Marketing Center (WMC), Portland, Ore., that focused on U.S. wheat flour blending research.

Japan. A delegation of Japanese mid-level mill managers traveled to Oregon, Washington and North Dakota in July to learn more about this year’s crop and better understand the U.S. wheat supply chain.

Honduras. USW conducted baking seminars and in plant consultations with leading Honduran bakeries in July which focused on using new technological advancements. USW Baking Consultant Didier Rosada was interviewed on a live television program for 40 minutes that was disseminated through Facebook to consumers across the country.

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By Amanda J. Spoo, USW Assistant Director of Communications

Global demand for wheat food grows stronger every year, making exports vitally important to U.S. wheat farmers. As the export market development organization for the U.S. wheat industry, U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) works to help wheat buyers, millers, bakers, wheat food processors and government officials understand the quality, value and reliability of all six U.S. wheat classes. USW relies on its successful working relationships with world-class educational partners that, through courses, workshops and seminars, enhance the technical and trade service assistance to help separate U.S. wheat from its competitors. One of those partners is AIB International (AIB) in Manhattan, Kan.

AIB was founded in 1919 as a technology and information center for bakers and food processors. Its mission is to empower the global food industry to elevate their food safety and grain-based production capabilities. AIB’s staff includes experts in baking production, experimental baking, cereal science, nutrition, food safety and hygiene. While most of its training occurs at its United States headquarters office, both AIB’s physical and virtual overseas offices are involved in coordinating its food safety services as well as public and private training on location.

“AIB has evolved as a company, but that educational piece of our mission has remained at the core of everything we do,” said Brian Strouts, AIB Vice President of Baking and Food Technical Services.

In 2018, USW is sponsoring participants from Japan, China and Hong Kong at AIB courses focused on variety breads and rolls, and baking science and technology. USW Technical Specialist Dr. Ting Liu recently completed the Baking Science and Technology Resident Course, an intensive, 16-week residency held twice a year that combines science, hands-on lab work and baking tradition. Liu shares her first-hand experience at the course in the story (The AIB Baking Science and Technology Course: A Pathway to Success) below.

Participants learn how key ingredients function and interact in baked products, which processes are critical to finished products, sound manufacturing practices and how to manage the production process. The course is accredited by the Kansas Board of Regents, so participants who pass it also receive 60 IACET (International Association for Continuing Education and Training) continuing education units.

“This course is the capstone of our baking training programs and holds quite a bit of weight in the industry because of its historical significance,” said Strouts. “This most recent class to graduate was class 192, and the true value of this certificate is the knowledge of the students who came before them in classes 1 through 191, and what that experience means to them individually and to their organizations.”

AIB also offers an extensive database of online resources, webinars and guides, both free and for purchase. This includes several resources focused on helping bakeries address key elements of the U.S. Food Safety Modernization Act.

USW recognizes the value of sending both its own staff and U.S. wheat customers to AIB for training. Strouts explained that the key component of AIB’s relationship with USW is the international perspective from the participants that USW sponsors.

“Our courses — especially one as long at the Baking Science and Technology Course — is an immersion of its participants, their cultures and individual experiences,” said Strouts. “That value is intangible.”

Learn more about AIB and its programming and services at www.aibonline.org.

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The U.S. Congress is at the beginning of a long process to gain enactment of a new Farm Bill due by the end of the current fiscal year on Sept. 30, 2018. As a member of the Agribusiness Coalition for Foreign Market Development and the Coalition to Promote U.S. Agricultural Exports, U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) provides information to the coalitions and to the National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) needed to present priorities to U.S. legislators.

Last week, two events happened that potentially affect the work USW does to help its overseas customers gain value from purchasing U.S. milling wheat.

First was a letter sent from Rep. Dan Newhouse of Washington State and 43 co-signing members of Congress voicing strong support for USDA’s Market Access Program (MAP) and Foreign Market Development Program (FMD) as the process of writing a new farm bill begins in earnest.

The bipartisan request to House Agriculture Committee Chairman Michael Conaway of Texas and Ranking Member Collin Peterson of Minnesota urged reauthorization of both programs and incorporation of elements from H.R. 2321, the Cultivating Revitalization by Expanding American Agriculture Trade and Exports Act (CREAATE Act), which would phase in increases in annual funding for both programs.

The letter referenced the dramatically increased competition U.S. agricultural exports now face, supported by increasingly rich government-sponsored marketing from some of the top U.S. agricultural competitors.

The letter also explained that MAP and FMD dollars are matched by private-sector contributions from state and national checkoffs and small agriculture businesses. In 2014, those contributions made up 70 percent of all money invested by organizations participating in the programs and operating marketing efforts overseas. In today’s complex trade environment, promoting U.S. wheat and other agricultural products has never been more important. This is most successfully accomplished with robust global presence, which is supported through MAP and FMD.

Also last week, the first House version of the 2018 Farm Bill proposes a slightly different structure for export market development programs. It consolidates the programs into the “International Market Development Program” that includes Foreign Market Development, Market Access Program, Emerging Markets Program and Trade Assistance for Specialty Crops components. This consolidated program would maintain a budget baseline for the FMD component and provides continued funding for FMD and the MAP component at their current annual levels. The U.S. House Agriculture Committee passed this version of the Farm Bill, which will be debated by the full House.

More about the MAP and FMD component programs and the public-private partnership they represent is at www.agexportscount.org.

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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 January and February to promote all six classes of U.S. wheat in an ever more complex world grain market.

Hong Kong. In February, the management of Hong Kong’s restaurant, hotel, resort and supermarket retailing scenes turned out in force to welcome the new USDA Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) Agricultural Trade Officer, Alicia Hernandez. Hernandez will lead the trade promotion office that covers the agricultural import markets of Hong Kong and Macau. The Consul General hosted a reception at his residence, which featured a U.S. Food and Beverage Showcase event. Long-time baking consultant Heinz Fischer, who created pastries for the event, USW Assistant Regional Vice President Jeff Coey represented U.S. wheat farmers. In addition to undertaking baking demonstrations, Fischer is a mainstay of the USW sponsored Sino-American Baking School in Guangzhou, with a branch-training center in Hebei province, North China.

Panama. In February, USW Technical Specialist Marcelo Mitre attended the 41st Annual International Association of Operative Millers (IAOM) Latin American Regional Millers’ Conference and Expo in Panama City, Panama. Mitre met with representatives of several mills in the Mexico-Central American-Caribbean region. Technical presentations covered a variety of industry topics, as well as a panel discussion on “challenges of the milling industry in the next decade.”

South Korea. In February, USW Country Director Chang Yoon (CY) Kang and Food/Bakery Technologist Shin Hak (David) Oh carried out trade and technical service for two snack food manufacturers in Korea, including one that has applied research done at the Wheat Marketing Center (WMC) Whole Wheat Cookie /Cracker course in 2016. USW staff provided an updated world supply and demand report and forecast for 2018, and encouraged manufacturers to test new U.S. wheat blend formulations to enhance their biscuit and whole grain product quality.

The Philippines. In February, USW Manila Baking Consultant Gerry Mendoza presented as a guest lecturer for a Filipino milling company’s baking course. His presentations on yeast performance and cake science reach 20 participants from both small bakeries and large industrial bakeries. Mendoza also conducted a one-day seminar workshop for 22 participants at the Filipino Chinese Bakery Association Research and Training Center as one of the many regular seminars offered by the Philippine Society of Baking.

South Asia. In January, USW Vice President for Overseas Operations Mark Fowler traveled to USW’s offices in Singapore, Manila and Hong Kong to meet with several customers and members of the grain trade, as well as to conduct supervisory discussions on activities in the region.

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By Matthew Weaver, Capital Press; Reprinted with Permission

Most U.S. wheat farmers will never meet Roy Chung, but during the last four decades he’s played a vital role in selling the wheat they grow. As the bakery consultant for U.S. Wheat Associates based in Singapore, Chung meets with customers around Asia to show them how to use U.S.-grown wheat in the cakes, cookies, crackers and noodles they sell. U.S. Wheat is the overseas marketing arm of the industry.

His hard work pays off. The countries Chung visits in south Asia — Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam, Myanmar and Sri Lanka — purchase about 4.4 million metric tons of wheat worth $1.1 billion each year, according to U.S. Wheat. That’s more than 16 percent of all U.S. wheat exported each year.

Chung’s secret: He tells buyers they will not find another, more sincere farmer-owned wheat organization anywhere in the world. U.S. wheat may not be the cheapest option, he says, but it offers the best value.

“In business, all people want to make money; our motivation is to assist them (making) money while getting the satisfaction of selling our products to them,” Chung said. “Hard work and sincerity never fails.”

Industry leaders light up when they talk about Chung.

“It’s in his soul,” said Mike Miller, the U.S. Wheat chairman, a member of the Washington Grain Commission board and a Ritzville, Wash., farmer. “This is who he is. He doesn’t do it for any other country. He’s trying to do it so we can sell more wheat at a better price.”

Chung’s “unparalleled” knowledge of wheat starch properties and how they perform in a food product leads people to seek out his expertise. He helps companies design production lines and new products, said Dana Herron, a Connell, Wash., seed dealer and grain commission board member.

“We would be 20 years behind in marketing and sales if there’s no Roy Chung,” Herron said.

Getting his start. Kah Hee “Roy” Chung, 63, has worked for U.S. Wheat for more than 40 years.

Before that, he assisted in his father’s bakery in Malaysia. Chung was home during college vacation and helping his father, who immigrated from China to Malaysia during World War II, when a consultant from Western Wheat Associates asked to use the bakery for a product demonstration. Western Wheat later merged with Great Plains Wheat to form U.S. Wheat Associates.

“My father was generous in allowing his competitors into the bakery to observe the demonstration as well,” Chung said.

Chung’s father did not speak English and the consultant was working alone, so Chung served as his assistant and interpreter for the event. Months later, he received an offer to join Western Wheat, but declined, as he was not yet finished with school. He was studying production engineering at the Ungku Omar Polytechnic in Malaysia.

Western Wheat waited two years for Chung to complete his education, and he was interviewed by Tom Mick, who would later become CEO of the Washington Grain Commission. Mick hired him to join WWA.

“He has a unique ability to teach people how to make a superior end-product and at the same time reduce costs that would make it profitable,” said Mick, who is now retired.

Mick said Chung could “pull miracles,” convincing reluctant bakers to change wheat or flour sources.

“I think (Chung is) one of the greatest hires I’ve ever been involved with,” Mick said. “To the wheat producer, he is a godsend.”

Selling U.S. wheat. If a buyer is new to U.S. wheat, Chung goes back to basics. He explains the difference in U.S. wheat classes, their uses and the suitability of different classes for the products they make in each country.

He likens this to teaching them the ABCs before turning the letters into words, then the words into sentences.

“For the more experienced buyers, it gets even more exciting if you can string sentences to make paragraphs,” Chung said. “And then paragraphs to make a chapter and eventually chapters into an entire book.”

U.S. Wheat employees, he said, show a company the possibilities they can get from the wheat American farmers produce.

“We will provide examples of how others are making money from the wheat that they buy from the U.S.,” he said.

Chung says he is always sincere in his approach and communication.

“Don’t bring the buffalo to the river to make it drink if the buffalo is not thirsty,” he said.

If a buyer is similarly sincere, U.S. Wheat will hold his or her hand all the way and show them how to extract value in any market, Chung said.

“He’s made those companies so much money using Pacific Northwest soft white wheat, he is highly respected,” Herron said. “People listen to his every word, because he has their best interest at heart.”

Teaching bakers. U.S. Wheat cooperates with United Flour Mills in Thailand to offer specialized baking courses at the mill’s baking and cooking school in Bangkok. Chung was instrumental in offering the first course. The program has continued for 38 years.

“U.S. Wheat finds value in educating young bakers to see and feel the differences in quality when compared to wheats of other origins,” Chung said. “The lasting impression we impart to these bakers (stays) for their entire lives.”

Many bakers trained at the school move on to the upper ranks of their organizations, helping their company expand and securing a stable supply of U.S. wheat.

“I like to say that I impart knowledge that will enable my students to make good judgment,” Chung said. “More importantly, I leave them to pursue their careers in a more passionate way knowing that I, as a representative of U.S. Wheat, will always be there for them. I am sincere when I make this offer.”

As a result of working with Chung, when mills go to grain purchasers with their specifications for U.S. wheat, they know what they want and how to ask for it, Miller said.

“He’s actually helped raise them in the wheat world,” Miller said. “He can go into their mill, they know exactly what he’s talking about.”

And they listen.

“When they hear Roy’s in the house, it’s like Paul McCartney just showed up,” Miller said. “They flock to him. He engages them, he remembers their names, asks them how they’re doing, ‘Have you addressed this problem?’ or they ask him, ‘Hey, we have this.’ They trust him. He’s no-nonsense. He stands behind his work.”

An ‘encyclopedia’. Chung worked closely with Vietnamese flour millers and bakeries to help them understand the uses of U.S. wheat, said Dinh Xuan Quang, technical manager of Vietnam Flour Mills. It took a long time because U.S. prices were higher than those of competing countries.

“Now, in Vietnam, the cookies and cake industry can’t live without soft white wheat,” Quang said.

Wilma Bocaya, vice president of Jollibee Foods Corp., a fast food bun manufacturing company in the Philippines, attended Chung’s course in 1994, after a colleague attended the year before. Her company sends students every year.

“When we met Roy in 1993, we only had 105 Jollibee stores,” Bocaya said. “This number has now grown into more than a thousand in the Philippines.”

The company is expanding its baking operation this year to support further growth.

“Suffice it to say that the technical support we got from U.S. Wheat through Roy as consultant or as course instructor enabled us to provide products that meet our customers’ expectations,” Bocaya said.

Wantana Thongthai, president of United Flour Mills Food Center Co. Ltd., and operator of the baking school, has known Chung since 1988. The company feels strongly that U.S. wheat quality best matches its needs, she said.

“Through my tenure at UFM, I have not met a consultant more knowledgeable in his trade than Mr. Chung,” she said. “He is known among us as ‘the walking baking encyclopedia.’”

Changing times. With the internet, many customers are more knowledgeable and demanding, Chung said. Few countries produce generic flour for breads, cakes and cookies, and most bakeries use specialized flour for specific products.

“We must justify these sales with scientific facts and examples of how this basic information has been used to produce more specialized flours for specialized products,” Chung said.

U.S. Wheat must keep re-educating itself technically to sell wheat at an advantage, Chung said.

“If we fail to do that, we will be just another generic seller, and worse still, a residual seller,” he said.

Chung said it’s not currently possible to retire, since there are few people with his technical expertise in the industry. He’d like to leave his customers in good hands, he said.

He hopes to leave the U.S. Wheat office with a younger team of technical staffers who would work “as passionately and sincerely with our customers as I have.”

If U.S. Wheat hired someone he could begin to train this year, he said, he could see retiring in five years.

Miller, the U.S. Wheat chairman, knows at some point Chung will want to slow down.

“I don’t know if you can replace that type of historical knowledge and energy with one person,” he said. “I bet you’d have to do it with two.”

That could be a good thing for wheat farmers, Herron believes.

“If we had a couple more Roy Chungs, we wouldn’t have to worry about competition overseas,” he said. “He makes that big of a difference.”

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As 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 September and October to promote all six classes of U.S. wheat in an ever more complex world grain market.

Asia. USW scheduled several meetings and wheat grading and flour milling seminars for Rob Bundy, Quality Assurance Specialist with the Federal Grain Inspection Service (FGIS), during a temporary duty (TDY) assignment to Southeast Asia in September. Throughout his trip, Bundy made stops with USW staff in China, Singapore, Myanmar, the Philippines, Taiwan and Japan. He discussed U.S. wheat grading procedures and documentation with hands-on grading exercises, wheat classes and characteristics as well as the FGIS review and appeals processes.

China. USW worked with a flour mill to help sponsor the Savor USA Home Baking Competition held in China via the online platform, WeChat, where contestants could submit recipes and food photographs. USDA’s Agricultural Trade Office (ATO) in Shanghai created the competition to bring together U.S. ingredient providers and Chinese customers, and capitalize on increasing interest in home baking. USW chef consultant Heinz Fischer demonstrated U.S. wheat flour performance with a live baking demonstration at the competition’s award ceremony.

United Arab Emirates (UAE). In October, USW participated in the 28th Annual International Association of Operative Millers (IAOM) Middle East and North Africa (MEA) Conference and Expo 2017, in Dubai, UAE. As a founding organization of the IAOM MEA, USW has maintained an active role in the annual event. Vice President of Overseas Operations Mark Fowler and Regional Vice President Ian Flagg are currently members of the IAOM MEA Leadership Council.

Philippines. Also in October, USW staff conducted two baking workshops entitled “The Korean Way of Bread Making,” to help Philippine bakers diversify product offerings and production techniques. The workshops focused on Korean baking processes and formulations, including several Korean pan bread and baguette styles.

Mexico. Colleagues from USW Mexico City conducted a Transportation and Logistics Workshop in Mexico, Sept. 11 to 13 for wheat buyers and executives from U.S. and Mexican railroads. Forty-five participants, attended the workshop to learn more about vital information and technology used to facilitate U.S. wheat shipments to Mexico via rail.

Belgium. USW participated in the 57th European Commodities Exchange, Oct. 12 to 13, in Brussels, Belgium, which attracted 3,000 professionals involved in grain trade and processing from 56 countries. Visitors to the USW booth received updates on U.S. wheat quality data and marketing and were invited to USW’s upcoming Crop Quality Seminars.

Costa Rica. USW conducted an on-site Contracting for Wheat Value Seminar with a leading Costa Rican flour miller in September. USW Consultants Dr. Bill Wilson from North Dakota State University and Shawn Thiele from the IGP Institute helped lead the seminar with a focus on how to increase U.S. wheat value by making appropriate adjustments to purchasing specifications and production methods. Staff from the mill’s purchasing, quality control and production departments learned how to maximize the value gained from quality attributes such as lower moisture content and maximizing flour extraction rates through proper tempering times.

Colombia. The Servicio Nacional de Aprendizaje (SENA) is Colombia’s largest technical institute that prepares students for technical service jobs, including bakers. USW Consultant Didier Rosada conducted a five-day seminar for SENA instructors from the bread baking department, with the goal of providing improved baking methods to incorporate into the regular SENA curriculum. The seminar also provided a chance to discuss the characteristics and end uses of U.S. wheat classes.

Chile and Bolivia. USW Consultant Jay O’Neil traveled to La Paz, Bolivia, and Santiago, Chile, to conduct purchasing seminars for wheat buyers. He focused on the U.S. wheat production and marketing systems, U.S. grain standards, purchasing contracts and negotiations, futures markets and ocean freight. USW covered wheat classes and their use, and in Bolivia, a local grain trader led a discussion on the current Bolivian market.

Ecuador. USW and milling consultant Andrea Saturno, traveled to Quito, Ecuador, to conduct two technical milling seminars, Oct. 17 to 20. The first seminar for a private mill focused on the control elements critical to maintaining efficiency and quality. The second seminar for ASEMOL, the Ecuadorian Milling Association, included an introduction to wheat cleaning, tempering, quality control, mill performance, new developments in milling science and the best application of U.S. wheat classes for different end products. An FGIS official joined the seminar to discuss the U.S. grain grading system and different buying strategies, and led a hands-on activity to identify grain damage.

South Korea. Wheat import managers and wheat flour quality control managers from flour mills in Korea participated in a Contracting for Value Workshop at the Wheat Marketing Center (WMC), Aug. 19 to 26, in Portland, Ore. During the workshop, the participants also visited the EGT export facility in Longview, Wash., met with several grain traders and toured an Oregon wheat farm. In the WMC lab, participants saw several functional test demonstrations and participated in WMC product evaluations on a variety of end products.

Indonesia. In August and September, USW’s milling and baking specialists provided in-plant consultations for four of Indonesian flour milling companies on the island of Java, and sanother milling company in Medan on the island of Sumatra. The consultations focused on contracting for U.S. wheat value, best practices to improve end product quality, baking tests, troubleshooting technical issues and concerns, assessing potential opportunities and increasing the use of solvent retention capacity (SRC) tests to analyze flour streams.

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The West African nation of Angola is making good progress in its desire to improve food security for a rapidly growing population, currently estimated at 24.5 million people. The Angolan government believes that building its own food processing capacity will help reduce the cost of importing food, while creating jobs for the Angolan people and preserving foreign exchange. Angola annually imports an estimated 800,000 MT of processed wheat flour from various origins.

The country was not always dependent on flour imports. With support from state wheat commissions and USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) export market development programs, USW introduced HRW wheat to Angolan milling companies in the 1990s through the USDA PL 480 Title 1 monetization program. The Angolan milling industry processed a significant volume of HRW, and Angolan bakers very much liked the quality of the HRW flour to make popular baguettes and Portuguese-style bread. When the Title 1 program ended in 2001, donated supplies of U.S. HRW were no longer available, so the Angolan government turned to subsidizing imported flour.

Economic conditions and the government’s new focus created an opportunity to begin increasing flour milling capacity. To build on its prior experience in Angola, USW invested funds from the FAS Market Access Program (MAP) for a part-time consultant to provide timely and accurate information about U.S. HRW to Angolan flour millers, bakers, grain traders and government officials.

Early in 2016, under the FAS Quality Samples Program (QSP), USW coordinated the shipping of a HRW wheat sample to an Angolan mill, and a HRW flour sample to a bakery. Analysis of the samples all showed the HRW wheat and flour met industry standards and produced good quality products. The milling managers said they would strongly consider HRW for import, given competitive prices and expanded storage.

In a separate QSP activity, USW’s local representatives and staff from its West Coast Office in Portland, Ore., worked through the North American Millers’ Association (NAMA) to purchase and mill HRW wheat and ship the flour to an Angola food processing company to demonstrate its use in pasta production. U.S. Ambassador Helena M. La Lime and representatives from USW and NAMA celebrated the arrival of this shipment in a ceremony at the processing company in late February 2017. Amb. La Lime highlighted the great potential U.S. wheat has in supporting Angola’s milling and food industries and said the United States “supports Angola’s efforts to diversify the economy through industrialization and increased local production of consumer goods.”

In September 2017, USDA reported that an Angolan buyer had purchased 27,500 MT (almost 992,000 bushels) of HRW, the first U.S. wheat exported to the West African nation in many years.“I believe U.S. wheat farmers would be proud to know that their wheat has the potential to help improve economic conditions in Angola,” said USW Regional Vice President Ed Wiese. “Through trade service, technical support and training funded by wheat farmers and USDA, our organization tries to build lasting relationships with our valued customers around the world. And, assuming prices remain competitive in the changing world wheat trade, we hope that our support will lead to increased demand for HRW to produce great bread, pasta and other wheat food products for the Angolan people.”

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As 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 just some of the ways USW was working in June and July to promote all six classes of U.S. wheat in an ever more complex world grain market.

Thailand. USW Baking Consultant Roy Chung, from the USW Singapore Office, conducted the annual 3-week Cookie and Cracker short course for 24 participants from across the South Asia region. As usual, there were more applicants than available spots. Participants noted that the course helps in applying new technology in their operations, developing new snack foods and other products and improving production processes, formulations and end product quality by using U.S. SW and SRW wheat classes instead competing origin wheat.

Morocco. The USW Casablanca Office continues to use the Quality Sample Program (QSP) for the Moroccan Milling Training Center (IFIM) in Casablanca. The milling school tests all classes of U.S. wheat and conducts blending activities. Through the USP program, USW arranged for procurement and shipping of three containers of HRS and SRW wheat for the milling school. Over the next few months, USW will lead many promotional and training seminars to showcase U.S. wheat quality and functionality to millers and end-product manufacturers from Morocco and neighboring countries.

Philippines. USW Baking Consultant Gerry Mendoza, from the USW Manila Office, conducted a short course on Bakery Operations Management at the Filipino Chinese Bakery Association Training Center in cooperation with the Philippine Society of Baking. Mendoza focused on increasing knowledge of four key elements that every bakery owner or manager must fully understand to help increase operational efficiency and profitability: ingredients, equipment, recipes and process.

Mexico. USW Technical Specialist Marcelo Mitre, from the USW Mexico City Office, worked with USW Baking Consultant Didier Rosada to conduct a series of baking seminars in Mexico City and Toluca. USW designed the seminars to help bakeries adapt to growing demand and requirements for tastier and healthier bread products, which supports consumption growth. Management for both bakeries confirmed their interest in launching some variations of these products in selected stores, as they realize there is a market for the quality end-products demonstrated in the seminars.

Jamaica. Technical Specialist Mitre worked with USW Baking Consultant Bernard Bruinsma to conduct two baking seminars in Kingston. The seminars focused on the entire baking process and allowed participants to test how their practices affect the quality of the end-product.

Ecuador. The USW Santiago Office and USW Baking Consultant Didier Rosada worked with bakery personnel in Quito, Ecuador. Rosada demonstrated using U.S. wheat flour blends to make par-baked bread that can be frozen and distributed. He also helped formulate new baked goods that will appeal to consumers and identify appropriate U.S. wheat flour blends for existing and newly formulated products.

Indonesia. USW Regional Vice President Matt Weimar, and Assistant Regional Vice President Joe Sowers, both from the South Asia region, traveled to Jakarta to meet with key members of the wheat foods industry, including procurement managers and decision makers at key flour mills. Discussions focused on world and U.S. market analysis and quality information and learning more about the Indonesian market and its wheat quality needs.

China. USW and the Wuxi Buhler Company conducted a week-long milling seminar at the Wuxi Buhler Milling Training Center for millers. Together, USW Technical Director Peter Lloyd, from the USW Casablanca Office, and Buhler Milling Technician Vincent Shao focused on flour milling technology, wheat cleaning and tempering equipment, mill maintenance and management, laboratory testing and the solvent retention capacity (SRC) method of flour performance testing. The participants have the opportunity to further practice milling HRW wheat at Buhler’s test flour mill.

Taiwan. USW cooperated with the De Lin Institute of Technology to host a noodle cooking seminar for nutritionists and cooks from school lunch centers and catering companies in New Taipei City. The seminar participants designed 12 noodle meal packages, two kinds of steamed breads and one Chinese pastry for school lunch programs. This experience demonstrated different flour performance for making healthy Chinese foods.

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Bakers around the world consider flour produced from U.S. wheat to be consistently high quality and versatile. That reputation is earned largely because wheat farmers grow excellent crops (supported by quality data from USW) the crops are delivered through the most efficient grain handling system in the world, and because USW invests trade service, technical support and more to serve the world’s wheat buyers and wheat food processors.

One of those technical experts is Bakery Consultant Roy Chung who, from a base in Singapore, has represented U.S. wheat for almost 40 years. He has consistently added value to U.S. wheat imports by introducing quality bread processing to the milling and baking industry across South Asia in conjunction with his USW colleagues and training program collaborators.

The association of such expertise and service with U.S. wheat’s reputation overseas is so well regarded that leading French yeast and fermentation products company Lesaffre asked Chung and USW to collaborate on an innovative publication called “Sandwich Bread in Words. A Glossary of Sensory Terms.” Lasaffre describes the booklet, published in January 2017, as a tool “to formalize a common vocabulary about sandwich bread, drawing on different cultures and incorporating a repeatable assessment method … to create a bridge to connect experts with consumers.”

Lasaffre’s baking ingredients and flour produced from HRS and HRW wheat classes are ideally suited for the high quality “sponge and dough” system bread products that Chung describes in the book: “The internal characteristics, like flavor, grain, texture, taste, mouthfeel … will determine if the customer returns for another loaf. The vested interest of the baker is to make the best possible looking and tasting product with the best ingredients available.”

Didier Rosada confirms that consumers around the world are looking for better tasting, more natural bread. He is a globally respected master baker and vice president of operations at Uptown Bakers, where he produces quality baked goods for food service and retail stores in Maryland, Washington, D.C., and Virginia. He is a frequent consultant with USW, particularly in Latin America.

“Baking is changing in a good way,” Rosada said. “At my bakery, my process is as natural as possible, with long fermentation time, like it used to be done, to bring back the flavor profile of a good bread, the keeping qualities and texture, etc. And the classes of wheat that we have in the U.S. are perfect for that. I am using a flour that is almost 100 percent hard red winter or sometimes combined with hard red spring wheat.”

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The wide range of classes and functional characteristics of U.S. wheat allows customers to produce flour for almost every end-product. Part of USW’s value-added mission is to help strengthen milling, storage and handling and wheat food industries through technical courses and service activities that demonstrate the quality, value and reliability of U.S. wheat.

To fulfill that mission, USW currently works closely with several experienced and respected risk management, milling and food processing consultants from around the world.

“Every wheat market that USW works in has a unique line up of end-products and changing consumer preferences, so engaging consultants who are experts in their field has become an essential part of promoting U.S. wheat,” said Erica Oakley, USW Program Manager. “We are proud of the work our current group of consultants have done and will continue to do. We also see the interest in our services growing, so we welcome the chance to hear from additional consultants who may be interested in helping provide the assistance and training that will benefit our customers.”

USW is currently seeking recommendations for consultants with expertise in the following areas:

  • Cookies and crackers
  • Pastries
  • Pasta (durum and non-durum)
  • Milling
  • Asian noodles
  • Wheat procurement and risk management

For more information or inquiries, please contact Erica Oakley at eoakley@uswheat.org.