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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.

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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 is a crucial part of that effort to help reduce the cost of importing processed wheat flour, maize meal and cooking oils, while creating jobs for the Angolan people, lowering consumer food expenses and preserving foreign exchange.

Angola currently imports an estimated 800,000 MT of processed wheat flour from various origins to produce popular baguettes and Portuguese style bread, but the country was not always dependent on flour imports.

“U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) introduced HRW wheat to Angolan milling companies in 1993 through the USDA PL 480 Title 1 monetization program,” said Ed Wiese, USW Regional Vice President for Sub-Saharan Africa. “The industry processed many thousands of MT of HRW every year until 2001 when the Title 1 program ended. And Angolan bakers told me they very much liked the quality of the HRW flour to make baguettes and Portuguese-style bread.”

When monetized U.S. HRW was no longer available, the Angolan government turned to subsidizing imported flour. Recently improved economic prospects and the government’s new focus created an opportunity to begin increasing flour milling capacity. To build on its legacy of success, USW hired a part-time consultant to provide timely and accurate information about U.S. HRW to Angolan flour millers, bakers, grain traders and government officials. Funding for this trade service comes from USW’s partnership with USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service export market development programs.

In 2016, Wiese met with representatives of an Angolan flour mill that plans to expand its capacity beginning in 2017. Wiese proposed a way to demonstrate the value and utility of U.S. HRW to that mill’s staff and customers. Under the USDA/FAS Quality Samples Program (QSP), USW arranged for 100 MT of HRW from the state of Kansas to be shipped to the Perdue export terminal in Norfolk, VA, loaded into five shipping containers and ultimately delivered to the mill in late January 2017.

A separate QSP shipment of U.S. HRW flour recently arrived at an Angola food processing company, intended to demonstrate the usefulness of HRW in pasta production. The current U.S. Ambassador to Angola, Helena M. La Lime, and representatives from USW and the North American Millers’ Association celebrated the arrival of this shipment in a ceremony at the processing company on Feb. 28. Africa Today reported that 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.”

“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 Wiese. “Through trade service, technical support and training, 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 Vice President of Overseas Operations 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 January and February to promote all six classes of U.S. wheat in an ever more complex world grain market.

Egypt. USW Regional Vice President for Middle East and North Africa Ian Flagg attended a meeting with officials from the General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC) in Cairo, Egypt, to introduce USW and discuss the advantages of U.S. wheat in the government’s food procurement activities.

Haiti. USW Consultant Dr. Rebecca Regan and USW Mexico City Office Technical Specialist Marcelo Mitre traveled to Haiti to conduct laboratory equipment training for staff at a local flour mill. The training included helping the mill staff consider how to match rheological and baking tests to specifications for their flour and semolina production.

Taiwan. USW cooperated with the Department of Health of Taipei City Government and Taipei Bakery Association (TBA) to conduct a promotional activity providing healthy bakery products prepared by 20 bakeries to more than 5,000 school children from 46 primary schools. The holiday bakery products focus on healthy ingredients to introduce school children to better dietary choices and to promote healthy bakery products using U.S. wheat.

Mexico. In February, USW Mexico City regional office staff had a series of meetings with the Mexican National Bakers’ Association (CANAINPA) to discuss how USW can collaborate with the Mexican baking industry in the future. CANAINPA recently modernized its baking school, with equipment provided by the Mexican baking industry.

Israel. Regional Vice President Ian Flagg and Regional Marketing Director Rutger Koekoek traveled to Israel to conduct a Crop Quality Seminar for the Israeli milling industry, grain trade and officials. They provided information about HRW crop quality and the most recent supply and demand estimates and other market insights. The event was organized together with the Manufacturers Association of Israel, which hosted the event including the meeting room and coffee break. The twenty participants included employees of five different milling companies representing eighty percent of the total annual Israeli milling volume.