Winnipeg, Man. – This week marks a milestone for the Canadian International Grains Institute (CIGI).
In a statement, CIGI announced that it’s marking its 50th International Grain Industry Program, which this year began on July 9 with 22 customers from 14 countries arriving in Winnipeg “for two weeks of technical demonstrations, industry sessions and tours focused on Canadian wheat.”
JoAnne Buth, CIGI’s CEO, says in the statement that the independent, not-for-profit market development institute’s milestone “has involved buyers of millions of tonnes of Canadian wheat over the past 44 years.”
Since 1973, says the statement, CIGI has seen more than 1,000 wheat customers from 81 countries on six continents participate in the program. The program was a month-long stint offered twice a year until the early 1980s. That changed to an annual three-week program and then in the 1990s it was shortened to two weeks.
Buth says in the statement that the program focuses on maintaining and enhancing Canada’s wheat markets “through education and fostering customer relationships. It has also provided an important foundation for our work with international customers, leading to the development of many other Cigi programs, technical exchanges and missions concentrating on specific markets.”
Customers have come from such countries as Japan, Mexico and Indonesia, which also represent top Canadian wheat markets. This year’s program includes senior representatives from “trading organizations, mills and processing companies from Brazil, Chile, china, Colombia, Ecuador, Indonesia, Iraq, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Nigeria, Singapore, South Korea and United Arab Emirates.”
The group will attend classroom sessions and hands-on technical demonstrations on Canadian grains and pulses. The statement says topics include Canadian industry, wheat classes, inspection and grading, handling, transportation, marketing and technology with a focus on quality analysis, milling and end-use applications in baking, pasta and Asian products.
The participants will also have an opportunity to meet senior industry representatives from grower organizations, grain companies, Cereals Canada, the Canadian Grain Commission, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, and the Canadian Malting Barley Technical Centre, says the statement.
“This program is a yearly opportunity for us to interact with both new and established customers,” says Buth. “We want to inform and reassure them that Canadian wheat provides the quality they are looking for and reaffirm that the industry is committed to maintaining high-quality standards and ongoing improvements.”