|Gerardo “Gerry” Mendoza|
ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA, U.S. — U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) announced on Jan. 27 that it has hired Gerardo “Gerry” Mendoza as bakery consultant to provide technical assistance and training to commercial bakeries and wheat food processors in the Philippines. Mendoza works from USW’s Manila office and will train with long-time bakery consultant Boy Ng, who plans to retire later in 2016. USW is the export market development organization for the U.S. wheat industry.
“People in the Philippines are eating more bread and other wheat foods today,” said Joe Sowers, USW assistant regional vice-president. "Gerry has exactly the kind of experience we need to continue our legacy of service to the wide range of commercial bakeries and end product manufacturers in this country. We are very pleased he is with us to keep demonstrating the value and performance of flour milled with U.S. wheat in the Philippines.”
Mendoza joins USW with 25 years of experience in the bakery ingredients industry, serving most recently as national business development manager with AB Mauri. In his career, the Philippines native has managed production, served in sales positions and provided technical training and assistance to several key bakeries in the Philippines and around Southeast Asia. Mendoza earned a bachelor’s of science degree in industrial engineering from Adamson University, Manila.
Southeast Asia in general and the Philippines in particular have become one of the most important export markets in the world for U.S. wheat, USW said. Robust population and income growth are driving increased demand for wheat based foods. The burgeoning middle class has an increased ability to pay for high quality products, while end product manufacturer and consumer preferences give U.S. wheat classes a strong advantage.
The Philippines was the third largest buyer of U.S. wheat in the 2014-15 marketing year (June to May) and the second largest buyer of both soft white and hard red spring wheat classes, USW said. At about 88.1 million bushels (nearly 2.4 million tonnes), U.S wheat exports to the Philippines set a new record, representing a market share exceeding 91% of total Philippines milling wheat imports for the year, USW said. Overall, U.S. wheat exports face substantial headwinds in 2015-16, but sales to the Philippines are on a similar pace compared to last year at this time.