Overseas buyers warm to UK wheat

By Andrew Blake

 BRANDED WHEAT is getting the thumbs up from foreign buyers, according to the HGCA.

That view is based on last week”s Seventh International Bread Baking Workshop at Campden and Chorley-wood Food Research Association, which drew delegates from China, Egypt, Libya Morocco and South Africa.

 “This year, for the first time, delegates selected their blend of wheat using the export brands, with ukp bread wheat proving itself suited to most breads and uks soft wheat very successful when used for low volume breads and for blending with stronger wheats,” says Emma Jackson, HGCA”s British Cereal Exports Manager.

The brands were introduced last year to help international buyers understand better what UK wheat offers and so boost exports.

 Egypt”s state buying department, the General Authority for Supply Commodities, recently put the UK on its list of potential milling wheat suppliers for the first time.

 “Now the UK is an approved supplier of wheat for our country, it was good to try UK wheats and see for ourselves how suitable they are for our bread,” says GASC”s Youssef Mostafa. “UK wheat can replace the wheat we usually use.”

It is thought ukp types at 11.5% protein could even replace US hard red wheat for making pitta-like bread.

 The countries represented at the workshop have a combined wheat import need of over 20m tonnes, adds Miss Jackson. “The aim of the workshop is to give them the chance to get to know UK wheat so they are confident of the product when it comes to making their import decisions.”

 good opportunity

 Morocco”s Mostafa Hamdi previously thought the UK produced only biscuit wheats. “Having tried the ukp bread-making wheats, I now think there is a good opportunity for these wheats in Morocco.”

South African delegates felt uks wheat would be more useful to them and delegates from Libya were surprised that UK wheat worked so well producing good volume bread in a demanding recipe with 20% bran.

The UK has sent feed wheats to China and Egypt, but no quality milling types have been exported there – until now, says the HGCA”s Andrew Flux. “We are having to look more closely at non-EU markets.”

Earlier work in China, promoting UK malting barley, has made it easier to follow up with the wheat drive, he says. “We are continuing to build relationships with private commercial buyers and the state.

“We have our foot in the door and they understand what we have.” A

n online forum on the workshop will go live next week on the HGCA website, including delegate comments and pictures of the breads baked.


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