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.