WINNIPEG, MANITOBA, CANADA – Representatives from 13 countries are attending the International Durum Wheat Program at Canadian International Grains Institute (Cigi) in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada this week. The program, which runs through Aug. 29, includes lectures, technical sessions, field visits, and commercial processing demonstrations on Canadian durum wheat.

The 17 international participants represent trading organizations, mills, and processing companies from Belgium, Ecuador, France, Guatemala, Italy, Morocco, Nigeria, Peru, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Tunisia, and United Arab Emirates.

Topics will include breeding, production, grading, handling, transportation, marketing, milling and end-use processing. The technical sessions will take place in Cigi’s analytical services, milling, baking, and pasta technology areas. Participants will also have an opportunity to meet with Canadian industry representatives.

“This program is designed to help maintain Canada’s competitive position as the world’s largest exporter of durum wheat, covering more than 50% of the global market share,” said Dave Burrows, Cigi’s chief operating officer. “It offers us an opportunity to interact with customers of Canadian durum to ensure we continue to meet their quality requirements and to investigate potentially new end-use opportunities. It also helps our customers learn more about the Canadian industry firsthand.”

Canada exported nearly 5 million tonnes of Canada Western Amber Durum (CWAD) wheat in 2013-14, an amount that has steadily increased annually in the last few years. Key importers include Italy and North Africa that use quality durum primarily for pasta and couscous, respectively.

Burrows points out that CWAD provides the processing characteristics that the customers need to consistently achieve the quality they require in their end-use products.

In addition to the sessions at Cigi, the participants will visit durum plots at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, an inland terminal elevator, and grain farm near Swift Current, Saskatchewan, Canada. The group will then travel to Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada where they will tour a terminal elevator, the Canadian Grain Commission, and the Port of Vancouver.