Western Canadian farmers invest in market development of winter wheat through new Cigi position


With the help of western Canadian farmers, Cigi (Canadian International Grains Institute) welcomes the addition of a winter wheat technical specialist to our team. 

This new position at Cigi is made possible with investments from the Alberta Wheat Commission, the Saskatchewan Winter Cereals Development Commission, and Winter Cereals Manitoba, who are each investing $75,000 over the next three years ($225,000 total) to fund the position.

“We are extremely pleased that the winter wheat growers have seen value in the work that Cigi does on behalf of producers,” says Rex Newkirk, Vice President, Research and Innovation at Cigi. “We look forward to working with them in achieving their goals of enhancing financial returns to growers, increasing sales, and promoting western Canada’s high-quality winter wheat.”

Doug Martin, Chair of Winter Cereals Manitoba adds, “With the new era of grain marketing in Western Canada it is pertinent that producers invest in educating foreign and domestic buyers on the high quality of western Canadian winter wheat.”

The technical specialist at Cigi will be focused on helping develop a global market for Canadian winter wheat through technical marketing support to both domestic and international customers regarding milling and end use applications, coordinating research on winter wheat quality, and analyzing the market demands for quality to help the Canadian grain industry continue to meet those demands.

“There has not been a lot of specific focus on winter wheat market development so having someone dedicated to promote the quality of Canadian winter wheat in international markets will open the door to new global marketing opportunities,” says Tom Steve, General Manager of the Alberta Wheat Commission.

This marks the first time that Cigi will have a position focusing solely on capturing additional marketing opportunities for winter wheat.

“We are certain that by utilizing Cigi as our partner in marketing winter wheat we can elevate our position in world grain markets,” says Dale Hicks, Chair of the Saskatchewan Winter Cereals Development Commission.

Cigi’s experience with Canadian winter wheat has demonstrated its applicability in products like hearth and flat breads as well as Asian noodles and steamed bread. Cigi will be able to utilize its expertise and technical facilities to further demonstrate and promote the use of winter wheat varieties in different end products.  

 “We have certainly worked with winter wheat varieties in the past and last year Cigi led a mission to Japan and South Korea that promoted newer varieties of Canada Western Red Winter wheat to customers,” says Newkirk. “What this funding will enable us to do is fully leverage the customer knowledge Cigi has with its technical expertise to provide technical marketing support and solutions to domestic and international customers regarding milling and end-product applications using winter wheat.”