International Grain Industry Program: Still going strong at 50!

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Cigi’s flagship program, the International Grain Industry Program, marked a milestone this July when it was held for the 50th time since 1973.  The 22 participants from 14 countries that arrived in Winnipeg on July 9 followed in the footsteps of the more than 1,000 wheat customers from 81 countries on six continents who attended the program over the past four decades.

“This program has become a hallmark of Canadian wheat quality, focused on maintaining and enhancing our wheat markets through education and fostering customer relationships,” says JoAnne Buth, Cigi CEO.  “It’s an opportunity for us to interact with new and established customers.  We want to inform and reassure them that Canadian wheat provides the quality they are looking for and reaffirm that the industry is committed to maintaining high-quality standards and ongoing improvements.

In feedback following completion of the two-week program, participants reported the program exceeded their expectations and had a positive influence on their perception of Canadian grain and their understanding of the Canadian industry.  Participants on the 50th program included senior representatives from trading organizations, mills and processing companies from Brazil, Chile, China, Colombia, Ecuador, Indonesia, Iraq, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Nigeria, Singapore, South Korea and United Arab Emirates.

The group participated in classroom sessions and hands-on technical demonstrations with Cigi staff and industry representatives that included grower organizations, grain companies, Cereals Canada, the Canadian Grain Commission, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, and the Canadian Malting Barley Technical Centre. Topics ranged from the quality of Canadian wheat classes and wheat breeding to inspection and grading, handling, transportation and a market outlook. The participants also visited a Manitoba farm and primary elevator before traveling west to Vancouver to tour a terminal elevator and meet CGC representatives.

A look back in pictures

During the program’s opening dinner, participants and industry guests enjoyed a look back at the rich history of Cigi’s International Grain Industry Program in pictures.  Here’s a selection of those images highlighting just some of the countless farm tours, elevator visits, technical sessions with Cigi staff and discussions with industry representatives that have taken place over the past 44 years.