A group of grain growers gained a good grasp of the importance of wheat quality for noodles and bread as part of a special National Agriculture Day event hosted by GrainGrowers and AEGIC.
Eight farmers from around Australia converged on AEGIC Sydney for a day of discovering more about what end-users want from Australian wheat – including hands-on flour milling, noodle making and bread baking sessions.
AEGIC Sydney General Manager Dr Ken Quail said the Wheat Discovery Tour was a highly valuable opportunity for the growers to boost their knowledge about the quality attributes of wheat and flour, and how they affect noodle and bread products in our key export markets.
Dr Quail noted that it was critical – now more than ever – for Australia to focus on wheat quality and what our key Asian markets value, including Indonesia, Vietnam, Japan and many others.
“Most Australian wheat is exported, and Australia’s most important wheat customers in Asia have been sourcing more and more wheat from alternative origins, such as Russia and Ukraine,” he said.
“This ongoing challenge, combined with this year’s tough drought season on the east coast, means that it is crucial for Australia to focus on the quality and value of our wheat for long term trade.
“Helping growers to understand this value supports the entire value chain and connects them with their customers through a shared understanding of priorities.
“This tour was a fantastic way of linking farm-gate to end-product and increasing awareness of the quality and versatility of Australian wheat among Australian growers – who are the best in the world.”
Dr Quail said the growers were highly engaged and interested to discover more about the unique quality attributes of Australian wheat.
Chris Moloney of Arthurton, SA, said the tour was a great insight into emerging markets for Australian wheat.
“(The best part was) insight into emerging consumer trends in South East Asian markets and where Australian wheat growers may find their fit in the future,” he said.
Tim Hayes of Badgingarra, WA, said he learned a lot he wasn’t previously aware of.
“It’s good to see R&D money being put to good use,” he said. “I thoroughly enjoyed learning about noodles and the process involved.”
Trish Schober from Moorook, SA, said the tour was very well run.
“I found the milling side of it very interesting and can use this information on-farm negotiating with millers,” she said. “It’s a great place, the bakery was unreal.”
Libby Dowling of Yarrawonga, NSW, said she was very pleased to have been part of the experience.
“It was very informative to think about where our grain ends up and possibly consider more varieties that are more suited to an end-product when selecting seed,” she said.
Australian wheat is highly-valued in Asian markets for all types of noodles, ranging from instant to premium udon noodles. It’s also increasingly in demand for baking applications across Asia.
AEGIC Sydney was formerly known as the Bread Research Institute of Australia and has been at the forefront of wheat quality research for more than 70 years. The North Ryde facilities include a four-story commercial-scale Pilot Mill, Pilot Bakery and laboratory facilities.
These facilities are the centrepiece of AEGIC’s highly sought-after training courses. The one-day Wheat Discovery Tour was a distillation of AEGIC’s two-day Wheat Quality and Flour Milling: The Basics course.
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