MAJOR flour millers in Indonesia and the Philippines have had a chance to gain a better understanding of the quality and suitability of Australian wheat for South East Asian markets.
In late February and early March, the Australian Export Grains Innovation Centre (AEGIC) – in conjunction with Austrade and BakeTran – conducted technical workshops with nine major milling companies in Manila, Makassar and Jakarta.
The workshops gave participants a hands-on opportunity to learn the fundamentals of using Australian wheat for Asian-style baked products and receive an update on outcomes from AEGIC’s ongoing Australian Wheat for Asian Baking project. Participants at the Manila workshop were able to experience the advantages of using Australian wheat for noodles.
AEGIC wheat quality technical markets manager Dr Larisa Cato said Australian wheat had an excellent reputation in South East Asia, especially for noodles.
“The South East Asian region is the largest and most important market for Australian wheat, representing about 44 per cent of Australian wheat export volumes over the past five years,” Dr Cato said.
“These markets collectively imported about 42.9 million tonnes (Mt) over the past five years at a value of A$2.9 billion per annum.
“AEGIC regularly engages with flour millers and processors in South East Asia to ensure the quality and functionality of Australian wheat is well understood. These workshops are an opportunity to engage directly with some of the largest and most important flour millers in the region and demonstrate the performance of Australian wheat for Asian products.”
The workshops followed similar events in 2016 and were popular and well received by attendees.
The Manila workshops (February 20-24) were hosted by the Filipino-Chinese Bakery Association, Inc and were attended by seven flour milling companies.
Ms Minnie Salvatierra, R&D manager of the Philippines’ largest instant noodle manufacturer Monde Nissin, said the workshop broadened technical understanding of noodle manufacture.
“These workshops are very important since this is the means of connecting and understanding the needs of the customer by a supplier,” she said.
“With this type of activity, technical people like AEGIC can also understand the needs of the industry wherein you can communicate these needs to the wheat growers.”
The Jakarta workshop (February 27-28) was attended by 25 participants including representatives from Bogasari (Indonesia’s largest flour mill) and Sari Roti (Indonesia’s largest industrial-scale bakery).
The Makassar workshop (Makassar March 2-3) was attended by representatives from INTERFLOUR Group – PT Eastern Pearl Flour Mills.
Sales manager (West Indonesia) Eric Yongky Tjandra said the workshops would enhance the company’s technical knowledge to better support customers and improve products.
“We always need more updates in knowledge for enhancing our capabilities and expertise in wheat flour for all product applications,” he said.