Middle East customers visit Cigi to learn more about western Canadian wheat

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Participants from Middle East Technical Milling Program in Cigi baking practical.

Participants from Middle East Technical Milling Program in Cigi baking practical.

Five milling industry representatives from the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Oman are attending a technical exchange on western Canadian wheat at Cigi during the week of August 26, the first time Cigi has held such a program specific to this region.

“This program reflects Cigi’s continued effort to work closely with industry in customer countries to ensure they are well informed about the quality characteristics and application of Canadian wheat in order to meet their processing requirements,” says Dean Dias, Cigi’s Manager of Programs. “The technical demonstrations offer them in-depth training on how to best optimize it for their use. We are pleased that this group is able to participate and hope to hold another technical program for the region in future.”

During the program the customers are involved in technical demonstrations in milling, analytical services, baking, and the processing of noodles and pasta at Cigi. They have also participated in grading/inspection and a lab testing session at the Canadian Grain Commission and will tour crop plots at a farm before leaving for Vancouver to visit a terminal elevator at the end of the week.

Mr. Moin Ahmadi, a wheat trader with Al Ghurair Resources in Dubai, UAE, says his company (National Flour Mill) imports all of their high protein wheat from Canada and co-ordinated participation of the milling company representatives in this Cigi program. “Our company was the first to use Canadian wheat and we started to sell it to neighboring countries. All of the companies represented here at Cigi are buying it.”

He explains that the mills were sourcing their wheat from other countries such as Australia and his organization assisted with a switch to Canadian wheat, particularly CWRS. The change has taken time but the milling companies now have a better understanding of the value of Canadian wheat and some are still fine tuning the quality characteristics to match their end-use product requirements.  However, he says Canadian wheat has been accepted by markets in the region, overall, because it is reliable.

“We have a technical centre with experts, well-trained staff, who’ve been in touch with Cigi so they know exactly what are the characteristics of CWRS to help others with the technical side of things. Cigi also has made some visits. But we felt it would be great to have these customers come here to Canada to see the facilities, farms, how it is happening here, how it is generated, how it is graded and how standards are kept high. So it gives these customers of Canadian wheat a better understanding of the supply chain and also offers them an opportunity to meet experts here to be able to contact them directly if they need any assistance in future.”