Grain News

Delivering Consistent Quality: Italian Team to Examine U.S. HRS Crop

Date Posted: August 1, 2014

Arlington, VA—Pizza is an Italian specialty, but the secret ingredient may be U.S. hard red spring (HRS) wheat.

In fact, Italy is Europe’s largest importer of U.S. HRS wheat, and six Italians are heading to Montana, Minnesota and North Dakota Aug. 2 to 9, 2014, to investigate out this year’s crop as part of a U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) trade team.

The team members represent the next generation of Italian milling, who will eventually assume management and procurement responsibilities at their family owned mills.

The team also includes a representative from the largest HRS broker in Italy.

Participants will visit with wheat farmers, breeders, traders and export officials to gain a greater understanding of the U.S. wheat supply chain as well as how inspectors and exporters meet and monitor Italian specifications.

“Teams like these demonstrate to Italian millers that U.S. HRS wheat is ideal for use in their products,” said Rutger Koekoek, marketing specialist based in the USW Rotterdam Office, who will travel with the team.

“Combining technical information on the gluten strength of HRS and conversations with members of the entire U.S. wheat supply chain prove the U.S. HRS crop has the reliability, versatility and quality that these millers need year after year.”

In addition to flour for pizza crust, Italian millers look to U.S. HRS for high protein quality to produce flour for pandoro and panettone, two types of bread made and consumed around Christmas, as well as high loaf volume bread.

The Italian milling industry is very quality conscious, but fiercely competitive.

As a result, U.S. HRS often competes with lower-priced European origin wheat for Italian market share – a challenge that USW addresses by educating millers about the value of consistent U.S. HRS quality.

USW collaborated with the Montana Wheat & Barley Committee, the Minnesota Wheat Research & Promotion Council and the North Dakota Wheat Commission to organize this team.

For more information, call 703-650-0245.

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