Press Releases

Alberta Wheat Commission Invests in Winter Wheat Position at Cigi

(Calgary, Alberta) – The Alberta Wheat Commission (AWC) is investing $75,000 over three years to help fund a Technical Specialist position to improve the marketability of winter wheat. The position is co-funded by Winter Cereals Manitoba and the Saskatchewan Winter Cereals Development Commission with a total investment of $225,000.

The technical specialist will be housed at the Canadian International Grains Institute (Cigi) in Winnipeg and will be responsible for market promotion and research and development of winter wheat.

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

This new position at Cigi will be responsible for market development strategies that promote winter wheat and provide a better return on investment for Canada’s winter wheat growers. This will include providing technical marketing support to both domestic and international customers regarding milling and end use applications for winter wheat, coordinating research on winter wheat quality, and analyzing the market demands for quality to help the Canadian grain industry meet those demands.

"We are confident that opportunities exist for Canadian winter wheat globally and domestically," says Rex Newkirk, Vice President, Research and Innovation at Cigi. "Through this position we will be able to fully leverage Cigi’s extensive customer knowledge and technical expertise and work with the winter wheat industry to build strategies that support and promote the use of winter wheat varieties in different end-product applications."

Canadian winter wheat is typically used for specific types of breads such as flat bread, as well as Asian products such as noodles and steamed breads, but there is potential to continue expanding winter wheat end- uses. Furthering research and development as well as exploring new market opportunities could mean significant growth and profitability for wheat growers across the Prairies.

"With approximately 3 to 4% of our check-off dollars coming from winter wheat growers, this investment is a great opportunity to re-invest those dollars back into a position that will provide more value to the winter wheat industry," adds Steve.

Winter Cereals Manitoba and the Saskatchewan Winter Cereals Development Commission will cover about 66% of the cost for this position, while AWC will cover 33%. The position will be funded over a three-year period. Winter wheat growers contribute over $200,000 to the AWC check-off each year.

For more information please contact:

Amanda Ryan
Communications Manager
P. (403) 219-7902 C. (587) 777-6344

The Alberta Wheat Commission is a producer-directed organization representing the interests of and serving as a single voice for all of Alberta’s 11,000 wheat producers.