The U.S. has typically supplied more than half of Colombia's 1.4 million tonnes of annual wheat imports, in what is considered a competitive market.
“This team represents the major flour, cookie and pasta groups in Colombia,” said Osvaldo Seco, USW assistant regional director. “They are experienced buyers and account for 40 percent of the country’s wheat imports in 2015. They are directly responsible for evaluating and importing wheat for their organizations, and this trip will put them directly in contact with traders and better inform their purchasing decisions.”
With funding from U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS), USW collaborated with the North Dakota Wheat Commission (NDWC) and the Montana Wheat & Barley Committee (MWBC) to organize and host this trade team.
Colombia was the top destination for U.S. wheat in South America in marketing year 2015-16 (June to May), importing over 670,000 tonnes from four of the six U.S. wheat classes, USW said. The U.S. has typically supplied more than half of Colombia's 1.4 million tonnes of annual wheat imports, in what is considered a competitive market. USW staff in its South American Region office in Santiago, Chile, has a history of providing technical performance information with Colombian millers and buyers to improve product quality using U.S. wheat.
The team will start its visit in Fargo, North Dakota, U.S., to hear from a variety of North Dakota State University durum and spring wheat researchers on breeding and quality programs, pasta production techniques and pricing strategy. They will also meet with staff and growers from the NDWC and Northern Crops Institute, as well as visit a grain elevator and farm in Mapleton, North Dakota, U.S. In Great Falls, Montana, U.S., the MWBC with host the team on tours of the State Grain Lab, Pasta Montana, General Mill, Columbia Grain and Arganbright farm in Carter, Montana, U.S. The final leg of the trip will be to New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S., where the team will visit the Federal Grain Inspection Service (FGIS) field office, and both a Bunge and Cargill grain elevator.
USW Marketing Specialist Stephanie Bryant-Erdmann will join the team in New Orleans.
“Colombia is a top destination for U.S. soft red winter and hard red winter, and this team is very representative of the Colombian industry,” said Bryant-Erdmann. “The agenda for this team is top-notch from the speakers and tours in North Dakota and Montana to the export terminal tours in New Orleans. This team will see U.S. wheat from farm to port, and I am excited to be able to accompany them.”