BEIJING, CHINA — A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed by the Canadian International Grains Institute (Cigi) and the Academy of State Administration of Grain (ASAG) in Beijing, China on June 18. The signatories were Du Zheng, president of ASAG, and JoAnne Buth, chief executive officer of Cigi. Andrea Lyon, deputy minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC), also attended the signing, acting on behalf of the Gerry Ritz, minister of Agriculture.

The memorandum formalizes a working partnership between Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada-based Cigi and ASAG over the next two years to examine research opportunities for the use of Chinese and Canadian wheat involving opportunities for blending, new methods for grain quality evaluation, and grain processing and storage technologies. The agreement will see staff from ASAG and Cigi engaging in technical exchanges both in Canada and China.

“Cigi is pleased to collaborate with ASAG to investigate opportunities for uses of Canadian and Chinese wheat,” Buth said. “This partnership has the potential to benefit all stakeholders in the value chain, from farmers through to end users, as the development of new applications will demonstrate the quality of Canadian grain to meet the needs of customers.”

She noted that last January, while in China on an investigative mission, Cigi staff had an opportunity through ASAG to visit mills and noodle plants which have never used Canadian grain. Upcoming work with ASAG will allow for additional experience.

In addition, earlier in the week Cigi signed a two-year MOU with Henan University of Technology (HAUT) in Zhengzhou, which is the prime university for grain research in China. That collaboration will allow the university to bring Chinese food processors to Cigi on technical exchanges so they may learn firsthand about the quality of Canadian grain and how it applies to their products. The relationship will also enable HAUT to further develop expertise to technically assist end users of Canadian grain in China.

“Both of these memorandums will give us a greater opportunity to reach potential customers to showcase Canadian grain quality and uses in food products in the Chinese market,” Buth said.