U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) with the support of several export market development programs administered by the USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS), has built a team of very effective end-product technical experts in Korea and Taiwan. These are very sophisticated markets with many different wheat foods. Now, USW is sharing that product and technical knowledge to help customers in the Republic of the Philippines introduce new products in a market that is hungry for innovation.
In 2018, for example, USW worked with a large flour mill in the Philippines to plan a customer appreciation learning visit to observe innovations in the Korean baking industry. USW’s representatives in Seoul set up meetings for the team of 19 customers at Korean bakeries where they saw new products and formulations made with flour from U.S. hard red spring (HRS) and hard red winter (HRW) wheat.
USW chose that milling customer for this activity knowing that Bakery World 2018, the first bakery trade show in the miller’s region, was scheduled for October 2018 where the organization would be very visible on behalf of U.S. wheat farmers. At the show with more than 6,000 bakers and allied industry representatives, USW’s Korea Country Director CY Kang presented a look at bakery trends in Korea. USW Korea Food and Bakery Technologist David Oh demonstrated production methods for five different types of breads currently popular in the Korean market. USW Manila Bakery Consultant Gerry Mendoza made a presentation on bakery operations.
With additional support from three state wheat commissions, USW also hosted 30 Philippine managers at a noodle production workshop presented by USW Taipei Asian Food Technologist Shu-Ying “Sofia” Yang in Taiwan. Yang demonstrated how milling U.S. soft white (SW) wheat yields both high quality cake flour and higher protein “clear” flour that is ideal for bright white noodles.
Using funding from FAS’ newly implemented Agricultural Trade Promotion (ATP) program, USW’s Manila and Seoul offices collaborated on a Korean Bakery Workshop held in Seoul, South Korea in June 2019. USW designed the workshop as a service to 30 additional Philippine bakers and millers to familiarize them with Korean products, formulations and production methods.
Sharing product knowledge and technical expertise across regions is just one of the ways USW demonstrates its commitment of service to its customers on behalf of the wheat farmers it represents.
*Header Photo Caption: Participants at the 2018 Philippine Noodle Course in Taiwan