Five flour milling executives from Japan’s leading milling companies will travel coast to coast April 27 to May 5 for a firsthand look at this year’s wheat crop. U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) regularly brings trade teams from Japan to the United States as part of long-term market development activities.
“USW maintains a constant effort to keep Japanese millers and end-uses aware of the merits of U.S. wheat,” said USW Country Director Wataru “Charlie” Utsunomiya, based in Tokyo. “Teams like these allow USW to develop close working relations and mutual reliance between U.S. wheat growers and Japanese millers on a steady supply of high quality wheat.”
The team will make stops in Washington, DC, Fargo, ND, Omaha, NE and Portland, OR. During meetings with wheat farmers, grain industry representatives and university researchers, the team will discuss the U.S. wheat supply and demand picture, including anticipated quality, availability and price.
In addition to discussing the crop outlook, the team will discuss new innovations in wheat research, including biotech wheat and its role in growing more and better wheat with less impact on the environment. Meetings will also focus on the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations that are underway between Japan, the United States and 10 other countries. Market access on agricultural goods, including wheat, has been a difficult area and is a focus area of the current U.S. and Japanese talks.
USW collaborated with the North American Export Grain Association, the North American Millers’ Association, USDA, the Nebraska Wheat Board, the North Dakota Wheat Commission, the Oregon Wheat Commission and the Northern Crops Institute to organize this trade team.
USW is the industry’s market development organization working in more than 100 countries. Its mission is to “develop, maintain, and expand international markets to enhance the profitability of U.S. wheat producers and their customers.” USW activities are made possible through producer checkoff dollars managed by 19 state wheat commissions and cost-share funding provided by FAS. USW maintains 17 offices strategically located around the world to help wheat buyers, millers, bakers, wheat food processors and government officials understand the quality, value and reliability of all six classes of U.S. wheat.
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