By FWi staff

BRITAIN has a firm foothold in the Continental wheat market with its biscuit wheats.- and now is the time to aim for the bigger prize of the bread and blending export markets, claims British Cereal Exports.

UK farmers can maintain their excellent reputation as suppliers of biscuit wheat by maintaining production of the group three varieties Riband, Consort and Claire, it says.

But wheat for biscuit flour is just 5% of the potential export market.

The markets that growers should be concentrating on are the Continental markets for bread flour – which holds 25% of potential sales – and blending flour, at 30%, urges the export arm of the Home-Grown Cereals Authority.

In BCEs Wheat Exports – The Growers Guide 1999/2000, published this week, Charger and Abbot stand out for both these markets, as does Hereward from group 1.

However, Hereward is probably too expensive to attract continental millers, admits BCE.

The biscuit wheats Claire, Consort and Riband will in most cases also meet the overseas buyers requirements for blending in bread.

But not all continental millers have exactly the same requirements. Soissons is acceptable to some millers, but not to others for both blending and bread. Rialto meets the demands of certain millers for bread flour, but not all.

“Continental millers have made it clear the British biscuit wheats have earned their respect, and that we have captured a large share of that market,” said BCEs Rachel Walker.

“There is much more scope to exploit the blending and bread flour markets with group 2 varieties. The combination of yield and quality presented by group 2 varieties like Charger and Abbott offer growers flexibility in their marketing,” said Ms Walker.

BCE ratings of varieties for export are based on a combination of quality tests, commercial experience and the views of Continental millers.