Latin American and Caribbean milling customers learn about Canadian wheat

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Nine milling industry representatives from six countries attended Cigi’s Latin American and Caribbean Millers Program during the week of June 3. The group, which included wheat buyers and production/technical personnel, participated in hands-on demonstrations in end-use production as well as classroom sessions. In addition to Cigi staff, presentations were given by the CGC, AAFC and Pulse Canada. Participants also visited a grain storage facility at the University of Manitoba and toured a primary elevator.

Tulio de Bracamonte takes a close look at pasta processed at Cigi.

Latin America and the Caribbean are major wheat importing areas and Canadian wheat is sought after as an ingredient to improve local and other imported wheats. The countries represented on the program  – Chile, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Mexico, and Peru –  together import more than 2.1 million tonnes of wheat and nearly 173,000 tonnes of durum wheat from Canada (2011-12).

Participant Tulio de Bracamonte, in charge of logistics and purchasing at Molitalia in Lima, Peru, said the program offered him a broader perspective of his industry. His milling company produces pasta and flour in addition to other items such as cookies, breakfast cereals, candies and jellies. Approximately 40% of his company’s wheat is imported from Canada and the rest from Argentina and the U.S.  

He said that Canadian wheat is of higher quality overall and his company uses CWAD for processing premium pasta, CWRS in blends to improve flour quality, and CPSR as a medium protein basis wheat when it is available. “I think Canadian wheat is the best wheat for milling for us. It works best in pasta and flour. And more than improvements in quality, I’d like to see more availability in medium protein wheats (for blending) so you can compete with origins like Argentina or the U.S. that have a lot of medium protein wheat.”

Tulio, who has worked as a wheat buyer with Molitalia for 10 years, said this was his second program at Cigi (the last in 2008) and it allowed him an opportunity to learn more about the technical aspects of milling and end-use processing.

Listen here to comments from Tulio about his week at Cigi.
Latin American Program audio interview