North African customers at Cigi for durum program

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Participants view Canadian durum semolina during Cigi demo.

Nineteen representatives from the milling and pasta/couscous processing industries in Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco are attending a program on Canadian durum wheat at Cigi, April 15-19.

The program offers Cigi a rare opportunity to host a large number of customers together from the three North African countries which are major importers of Canadian durum wheat.  Algeria was Canada’s top durum customer during the 2011-12 crop year. Together the countries represented nearly 40 percent of Canadian durum exports.

During the program the customers have been participating in classroom sessions, demonstrations in Cigi’s technical facilities (milling, pasta, baking, analytical services), grading and inspection at the Canadian Grain Commission, and tours of a farm and primary elevator. In addition to staff from Cigi, presenters include representatives from the CGC and grain companies. Later in the program the group will  be heading to eastern Canada to visit the CGC and Port of Montreal.

Participant Mourad Khelifi, assistant quality manager with Group Metidji in Algeria, says he is pleased to be involved in the program. “We’ve been having  some very interesting  in-depth and practical demonstrations. We’re learning a lot about how to process Canadian durum wheat better and  people here have provided us with technical information about the functionalities of Canadian wheat. And what is also interesting is that when we’re together with the Moroccan and Tunisian processors and millers we can share our experiences. Together with Cigi staff there’s interactive talks which are very interesting for us.”