The Canadian Wheat Brand
Canadian wheat is known on the world stage for its high quality parameters and cleanliness. Approximately three-quarters of Canadian wheat is exported to key markets such as Japan, South East Asia, Central and South America and the United States and emerging markets such as South America, West Africa, Southeast Asia and the Middle East have growing capacity to become regular customers.
AWC plays a key role in building the Canadian wheat brand and developing international markets as part of a larger Team Canada approach. We continue to collaborate with industry partners to gain access to new markets, and we are proud to continue building relations with domestic markets to ensure Canadians have access to the high quality food grown in their own back yard.
New Crop Missions – Team Canada approach
AWC participates in new crop missions to ensure that the Canadian wheat brand continues its growth trend in the international marketplace.
Team Canada’s mission is twofold; 1) to develop new and existing markets by delivering our brand’s uniqueness by showcasing the new crop and; 2) to garner market intelligence about our customers that acts as industry feedback for the Canadian brand.
Team Canada involves Cereals Canada, which connects members from the entire wheat value chain including AWC which represents producers, the Canadian International Grains Institute (Cigi) which offers technical expertise, and the Canadian Grain Commission (CGC) which administers quality control measures to ensure that brand standards are consistently met.
AWC’s Team Canada 2014 participants:
Lynn Jacobson, board member (Asia), Kevin Bender, board member (Europe), Greg Porozni, board member (Middle East North Africa)
AWC’s Team Canada 2015 participants:
Caalen Covey, business development and markets manager, (Central and South America), Greg Porozni, board member (Middle East North Africa), Henry Vos, board member (Europe)
South America (SA) is a major importer of Canada Western Red Spring (CWRS) wheat with many companies using 45-100% in their blend with the balance being wheat such as U.S. SW, HRS, HRW or Black Sea wheat. Canada Prairie Spring Red (CPSR) and Canada Western Amber Durum (CWAD) imports are gaining ground in SA as millers and pasta producers learn about the functionality of these classes. Peru and Colombia currently import CPSR for noodles and bread but face the challenge of not enough supply to cover their demand. CWAD is being used in Ecuador, Mexico and Columbia where they are discovering that Canadian durum does not need a colour additive to create their desired pasta.
As for quality concerns, gluten strength and pesticide residues were brought to our attention as there has been need to blend CWRS with other wheat to improve the overall gluten strength. Growing concerns over pesticide residue limits in Asia and Europe is making its way to SA, which creates the need for increased Maximum Residue Limit (MRL) awareness.
Canadian wheat serves well in this high value European market demanding high quality.
1842 was the first year the UK imported wheat from Canada and is a long and loyal customer. They have specific uses for their flour and our wheat fits well into some of these uses. Mainly used in bread products CWRS is their main import.
Italy is a large global pasta maker and imports a lot of CWAD wheat for making quality pasta. Canadian durum supplements their local production. In addition they import some CWRS for bread products. There are many specialty flour millers and they supply specific flour blends to the many customers making different bread and pasta products.
Team Canada’s new crop mission to Asia uncovered valuable market intelligence for the Canadian value chain. There are opportunities to capture greater market share in several countries such as the Philippines, Bangladesh, Indonesia and China, mostly due to rapidly growing populations and incomes. For example, Indonesia’s population has reached 250 million and China’s has reached about 1.4 billion – and the middle class in both continues to grow. Other countries like Japan continue to be key Canadian customers. While most Asian markets continue to enjoy the quality of CWRS wheat, we saw growing opportunities for CPSR wheat especially in Japan, Beijing, the Philippines and Indonesia. We learned that several countries in Asia are highly receptive to the steps that Canada is taking to improve the quality of CWRS and this class will continue to be a major export to Asia. Team Canada was able to address concerns in several locations, mostly related to grain safety. For example, Japanese government officials raised concerns over OTA and Korean millers had questions regarding pesticide residues in Canadian exports, pointing to the importance of following labels in crop input applications.
MENA (Middle East North Africa) and West Africa
North Africa is the largest importer of Canadian durum. Last year Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia combined to import about 1.4 million metric tonnes of durum. These well-developed markets return to Canada year after year because of superior quality. Dubai in the United Arab Emirates (U.A.E) serves as a hub for significant imports into the mid-east as well as food manufacturing. Nearly 40% of the regions food manufacturing is done in the U.A.E. The majority of the region's flour mills also are in the U.A.E. These mills have a total annual milling capacity of well over 1 million tonnes. The largest wheat trader in the mid-east is the Al Ghurair Group, located in the U.A.E. For the first time Team Canada missions touched down in West Africa. The team visited Côte d'Ivoire and Ghana. West Africa has been identified as a region with a large potential for growth. Rising incomes and increasing population is resulting in rapidly increasing demand for high quality food.
Learn more about how Canadian wheat is "Rooted in Quality."
Thanks to the Canadian International Grains Institute (Cigi) for their publication "Great wheat starts with great roots."