European flour millers' delegation in Washington DC to meet the actors of the wheat supply chain

In September 2023, flour milling enterprises from nine European countries made up a delegation that visited US Wheat Associates (USW) in Washington D.C. to learn about the 2023 local wheat crop and developments involving global markets, trade policy and emerging technologies.

European millers import high-protein milling wheat from the U.S. mostly to blend with other domestic wheat.

Crop quality, trade policy update

USW’s data shows that U.S. market share in the Europe tends to vary from year to year, and in the past few years has swung from 17% to 33% for high-protein milling wheat (mostly Hard Red Spring) and from 18% to 28% for durum wheat.

Jim Peterson, Policy & Marketing Director for the North Dakota Wheat Commission, gave the delegation a wheat crop quality update. Other speakers included Ryan Caffery of CHS, who offered insights into both the opportunities and constraints involving the European market. USW Vice-President of Trade Policy Dalton Henry spoke about technology and government actions that affect wheat trade. Presenters also included the North American Export Grain Association, the National Grain & Feed Association, the North American Millers’ Association, the Delegation of the EU to the United States and the Centre for Liquefied Natural Gas.

Tour of local Facilities

Aside from meetings and presentations, the delegation had a look at some U.S. milling facilities and a wholesale bakery.

It toured Miller Milling in Westchester (Virginia), which produces a variety of durum and hard wheat milling products. The visit to Uptown Bakers featured a look at its 40,000 square foot facility just outside of D.C. Uptown has more than 500 restaurants, hotels, and caterers as customers.

The delegation was also able to explore Chesapeake Farms, which is owned by Corteva. The 3,300 acres of Chesapeake Farms are devoted to the development, evaluation, and demonstration of advanced agricultural practices. Experts gave an overview of their wheat business including a field tour focusing on sustainability (cover crop, soil health, buffer strips).