Four Cigi technical staff, two Alberta Wheat Commission representatives including a wheat farmer, and a Cigi market research consultant travelled to Venezuela, Colombia, and Chile in November to discuss the new crop with customers of Canadian wheat. The mission provided information on the quality of CWRS, CPSR, CWRW and CWAD for the 2013 crop year, the current market outlook for wheat, and a forum for discussion. The seminars were presented in Puerto Cabello, Venezuela; Bogota, Colombia; and Santiago de Chile, Chile where they also visited a large mill and bakery.
“We were pleased to have the opportunity to speak directly with customers, to let them know that they are important to us, and that they can count on our support and assistance anytime,” says Juan Carlos Arriola, Technical Specialist in Cigi’s Milling Technology area. “Their primary interest was about receiving the same high quality of wheat that we discussed. They also wanted to know in advance the best way to mill the wheat to achieve the best level of flour quality and extraction.”
He says that this year Latin American customers have high expectations as far as Canadian wheat availability due to record production. Latin American millers often blend Canadian wheat with wheat from other sources.
“Customers in Latin America always expect the best quality from Canadian wheat,” Juan Carlos says. “They expect consistency and dependability in its use.”
Other customer questions were related to grade, protein, milling, marketing, and farming practices in Canada. “It was very good for the wheat customer to hear the farmer’s point of view on this mission, to hear about their work and the effort that is involved in the production of wheat.”
Joining Juan Carlos from Cigi were Yulia Borsuk, Technical Specialist, Baking Technology; Rex Newkirk, Vice-President, Research and Innovation (except Venezuela), and Elaine Sopiwnyk, Director, Science and Innovation. They were joined by Doug Cornell, Alberta Wheat Commission (AWC) General Manager; Terry Young, an AWC Director and farmer; and Bruce Burnett, a market research consultant for Cigi.