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.

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U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) works on behalf of U.S. wheat producers to help the world’s wheat buyers, millers, bakers, wheat food processors and government officials understand the quality, value and reliability of all six classes of U.S. wheat.

 

The U.S. grain marketing system is a consistently reliable and transparent resource, but it can be a bit complicated for new and, sometimes, experienced buyers to navigate. That is why USW focuses so much of its activity on trade service, keeping buyers and processors informed about crop quality and prices, and how to use the grain marketing and inspection system to protect value and better manage price risks.

 

This is a crucial effort giving buyers and users the ability to specify the qualities necessary for almost every end-use product from among the six classes grown across the country. Our dedicated staff is well equipped to help individual customers get the best value possible. They are backed by a wide range of support posted on the USW website at www.uswheat.org. “Working with Buyers” is a very informative section of the site and provides, in effect, a primer on U.S. wheat classes and grade factors, the basic “language” of the U.S. wheat marketing system and other resources available to international wheat buyers.

 

The opening page of Working with Buyers describes the basic services USW provides, including: trade servicing to answer questions and resolve issues in purchasing, shipping or using U.S. wheat; technical assistance to help strengthen milling, storage, handling and end-product industries; market information and analysis that may affect imports, and projections for future wheat production and consumption; and promotion to expand consumer awareness and appreciation for wheat foods.

 

 

 

All six U.S. wheat classes are profiled next in the section, along with a map showing their general production areas. Milling and processing characteristics and examples of wheat foods made with flour from each class round out this page.

 

There is a glossary of terms that help the buyer better understand the U.S. grain marketing and grading system. Wheat grades reflect the physical quality and condition of a sample and thus may indicate the general suitability for milling. Terms such as test weight, vitreous kernels and defects are included in this information along with “non-grade” data terms including dockage, protein, ash and kernel size and weight. Representative terms associated with flour and dough performance have their own sections. Baking evaluations, with annual results summarized in the USW Crop Quality reports, are also explained.

 

Still another section of this resource pulls together the other information to explain “How to Buy” U.S. wheat. It covers the U.S. wheat supply chain, production and grain shed regions and notes on who supplies wheat, and how it is transported, to the export elevators. Quality assurance through the Federal Grain Inspection Service is detailed along with the contracting process and financial arrangements.

 

 

Finally, a Resources section of Working with Buyers includes links to several other relevant materials. Here you can learn how wheat and flour testing is done, how USW collects and analyzes almost 2,000 annual crop quality samples and more.

 

This combination of reliability and quality provides excellent value to U.S. wheat customers. And the U.S. wheat marketing system can work effectively for buyers and end-product users. When USW representatives are, briefly, not available, we hope you will remember to look online for the Working with Buyers resource.

 

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Seventy-nine people participated in the 2018 edition of the biennial U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) North Asia Marketing Conference (NAMC) Aug. 26 to 28 in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia.

Top management from leading milling companies in Japan, Korea and Taiwan, as well as U.S. wheat producers, state wheat commission staff and industry partners gathered to discuss current market factors and trends, U.S. wheat industry activities and the 2018 U.S. wheat harvest. Topics from 21 different speakers included the Global Wheat Outlook, Producing More and Better Wheat in More Sustainable Ways, The Trump Trade Agenda, and The Southeast Asian Milling Industry.

Quality improvement was a reoccurring theme at this year’s conference.

“We want customers to know that we are continuing research and work toward quality improvement,” said Mark Fowler, USW Vice President of Overseas Operations, whose presentation focused on why U.S. wheat remains the best choice for North Asia customers. “It is something that U.S. wheat farmers believe in and continue investing in.”

USW Vice President and West Coast Office Director Steve Wirsching provided insight to how U.S. wheat quality continues to improve and was joined by Arron Carter, wheat breeder and Washington State University associate professor, in a discussion on plant breeding innovation. Carter also expanded on these topics in a popular, second presentation on how U.S. farmers are producing more and better wheat in more sustainable ways.

USW President Vince Peterson addressed the current trade policy climate, its current and future impact on the market and discussed what U.S. wheat industry is doing to support its customers.

“We understand and share our customer’s concerns on trade policy affecting the region,” said Fowler.

U.S. participants also provided a wide-ranging look at the supplies and quality of U.S. hard red winter (HRW), hard red spring (HRS) and soft white (SW) wheat classes during the conference.

Additional guest speakers and topics included: Kenji Takihara, Executive Officer, Nisshin Seifun Group, providing a Japan market outlook; Kuen-Ho Shih, President, CGPRDI, highlighting the development and prospect of the Taiwanese market; Chang Kyoon Park, Chairman, KOFMIA, providing a Korea market outlook; Michael Drury, Chief Economist, McVean Trading and Investments, LLC, discussing the U.S. market environment; Jeff McPike, Manager of Global Marketing, McDonald Pelz Global Commodities, highlighting mega trends in world grain markets and North American grain logistics infrastructure; Joong-Ho Ahn, Senior Managing Director, PanOcean, providing an overview of the world ocean freight market; Collin Watters, Executive Vice President, Montana Wheat & Barley Committee covering North American Grain Logistics Infrastructure; Matt Weimar, USW Regional Vice President, discussing the Southeast Asian milling industry; and Joe Sowers, USW Regional Vice President, providing a global wheat outlook.

“This conference is always an excellent opportunity to meet with buyers and millers from collectively the largest U.S. market,” said Glen Squires, CEO, Washington Grain Commission (WGC). “It allows us, the state wheat commissions, and U.S. Wheat Associates to hear and discuss important issues and to showcase efforts underway to better serve them as customers in providing high quality wheat.”

In addition to the wheat buyers from milling companies at the conference, U.S. wheat producers from seven states either attended or provided financial support for the conference. USW thanks the Idaho Wheat Commission, the Oregon Wheat Commission and the Washington Grain Commission for their sponsorship and additional participants from the Kansas Wheat Commission, Montana Wheat & Barley Committee, North Dakota Wheat Commission and Ohio Small Grains Marketing Program for their support to make the conference a continued success. Additional funding was provided by USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service.

“It is important for us to be present and engaging with our customers and serve as a reliable resource,” said Fowler. “But it also means taking the time to listen to their needs and input.”

USW has posted presentations from the 2018 North Asia Marketing Conference on its website here: https://www.uswheat.org/marketing/2018-north-asia-marketing-conference/ 

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When U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) launched its new website in July, we introduced a new section that includes expanded information about its 16 office locations and the countries they serve.

A world map highlighting each of USW’s offices is available under “Office Locations,” and allows viewers to select the office or region of the world about which they would like to know more.

On these individual pages viewers will find:

  • Basic wheat market statistics for the countries that each USW office serves.
  • Highlights of recent wheat industry activities related to the region.
  • A contact form for each USW office.
  • Wheat industry news related to the region.

“We are excited to offer this section of the website as a new resource for our customers and stakeholders,” said Mark Fowler, USW Vice President of Overseas Operations. “As the global wheat market changes, U.S. Wheat Associates will continue providing helpful resources for its audience that reflect the high quality and reliable performance of U.S. wheat.

For more information about USW and its mission click here.

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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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Almost 100 people from 16 countries participated in the 2018 edition of the biennial U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) Latin American & Caribbean Buyers Conference July 18 to 20 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  Apprehension about a growing number of trade policy issues as the conference started was quickly replaced by enthusiasm for the abundance of opportunities available from the 2018 U.S. wheat harvest and USW’s tradition of service.

 

Change was the overall theme of this year’s conference and was apparent from the start with the introduction of the newest USW South American Region colleagues: Miguel Galdos as the next Regional Director and Andres Saturno in a new regional position as Technical Specialist. Regional Vice President Alvaro de la Fuente has announced plans to retire in October and USW recognized his 41 years of service at the conference.

 

USW President Vince Peterson added perspective to the theme with a presentation illustrating the changing dynamics of the global wheat trade and increased competitiveness from Russia and other non-traditional importers into the region. Mark Fowler, Vice President of Overseas Operations, then highlighted how expansion of technical service will increase value for our U.S. wheat customers in the Mexican, Central American and Caribbean region and in the South American region.

 

“The service we provide combines with the variety and quality of the six classes of U.S. wheat available to remain the best choice for our customers in Latin America,” said Fowler.  “As the market becomes more competitive and our customers strive to differentiate their products to their customers, our ability to provide the technical service and product development assistance becomes even more vital for them and the farmers we represent.”

USW Vice President of Overseas Operations Mark Fowler.

 

Galdos provided an overview of the Latin American and Caribbean baking industry while Marcelo Mitre, Technical Specialist, USW/ Mexico City, and Casey Chumrau, Marketing Manager, USW/Santiago, shared several examples of how technical support has benefitted USW buyers and wheat food processors. U.S. participants also provided a wide-ranging look at the supplies and quality of U.S. hard red winter (HRW), soft red winter (SRW), hard red spring (HRS), soft white (SW) and durum during the conference.

 

Ambassador Rubens Barbosa (second from right), President of Abitrigo, the Brazilian Millers Association, was a guest speaker at the Latin American and Caribbean Buyers Conference.

Additional guest speakers included: Alejandro Daly, Executive President of ALIM, the Latin American Millers Association covering how labeling laws affect consumption; Ambassador Rubens Barbosa, President of Abitrigo, the Brazilian Millers Association, focusing on Brazil’s wheat production and national policies; Irineu J. Pedrollo, Owner of I&MP Consulting Associates, presenting on the experiences of a U.S. wheat buyer; Dr. Glenn Gaesser, Arizona State University, presenting on the nutritional challenges of a gluten-free diet; and Mara Isabel Perdomo, Broker Manager Director with Marita Freight and Trade, speaking on freight market dynamics.

 

In addition to the wheat buyers from milling companies at the conference, U.S. wheat producers from seven states either attended or provided financial support for the conference. USW thanks the Idaho Wheat Commission, the Oregon Wheat Commission and the Washington Grain Commission for their sponsorship and participants from the California Wheat Commission, Kansas Wheat Commission, Montana Wheat & Barley Committee, North Dakota Wheat Commission and Oklahoma Wheat Commission for their support to make the conference a continued success. Additional funding was provided by USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service.

 

“It’s significant that the conference was held in Brazil this year because Brazil is one the world’s leading wheat importers,” said Kansas Wheat CEO Justin Gilpin in a report on the conference by Kansas Wheat.

 

Dr. Romulo Lollato, Extension Wheat Specialist at Kansas State University, spoke on “The Role of Agricultural Extension on Wheat Quality: A Case Study for Hard Red Winter.”

 

According to Gilpin, Lollato was able to communicate to buyers about what Kansas wheat farmers are putting into their crops for both management and quality.

 

“Buyers have a better understanding of what goes into wheat production and management for quality,” Gilpin said. “This will help differentiate U.S. hard red winter in a competitive marketplace.”

 

Kansas Wheat Vice President of Research and Operations Aaron Harries saw the conference as an opportunity for customers to meet U.S. growers and discuss wheat productio

USW Chairman and wheat grower Chris Kolstad.

n and the business of farming, and for growers to show their appreciation to buyers and millers who buy their crops. In fact, USW Chairman Chris Kolstad, a wheat farmer from Ledger, Mont., covered “The Economics of Growing Wheat” at the conference.

“I hope that the buyers and attendees appreciate the transparency we show,” Harries said. “We fully disclose information about the crop, even in years when our wheat crop isn’t that good. I hope they come away from the conference knowing that if they seek any information or expertise, as sellers we have that readily available for them.”

 

USW has posted presentations from the 2018 Latin American, Caribbean and South American Buyers Conference on its website here: https://www.uswheat.org/marketing/2018-latin-american-and-caribbean-buyers-conference/.

 

 

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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 Amanda J. Spoo, USW Assistant Director of Communications

Each year, after thousands of wheat crop samples are analyzed and the results are published in the USW Crop Quality Report, USW invites its overseas customers, including buyers, millers and processors, to seminars led by USW staff, U.S. wheat farmers, state wheat commission staff and educational partner organizations. The seminars dive into grade factors, protein levels, flour extraction rates, dough stability, baking loaf volume, noodle color and texture and more for all six U.S. wheat classes, and are tailored to focus on the needs and trends in each regional market.

In 2017, USW hosted 33 seminars in 25 countries, and many reported seeing record participation. Customers share that they use the report throughout the year as a reference manual and to guide them through purchases and future planning. The seminars provide a first look at the overall crop and a deep dive into the data and how to use it.

“The crop quality booklet is very useful for us as millers for reference and information on wheat quality available for production,” said one participant from Indonesia.

“If we encounter quality issues in our products, we use the wheat quality data to help us make necessary adjustments,” said participants from the Philippines.

Customers will often use the seminars and report as educational training for new employees.

The reports and seminars have been a traditional part of USW’s strategy since 1959, growing to become its single largest marketing activity.

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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.