Friday, June 11, 2010

Japan Trade Team Arrives on the Anderson Farm

June 9, 2010 
Awaiting the arrival of the Japan Trade Team who are as follows:
Mr. Yasuhiko Izumida, Assistant Manager of Chiba Mill, Nippon Flour Mills
Mr. Mitsuji Kuroda, Assistant Manager, Food Development Center, Showa Sangyo
Mr. Ryogo Kasai, Operations Dept, Chiba Four Milling
Mr. Kohru Tokumoto, General Manager, Assistant to President, Kinki Flour Milling
Mr. Wataru "Charlie" Utsunomiya, Director, US Wheat Associates, Tokoyo

Our guests arrive after a very busy day touring the Lewis/Clark Terminal, WSU Wheat Lab, UI Greenhouse, Parker Farms & Seed Processing Plant and Pacific NW (PNW) Farmers Co-op in Genesee and then to have dinner with us.  Also present in this picture is the other farmer "Joe Anderson" (Potlatch Joe) and his wife, Pam.

Once the howdys were said, we gathered in the house to enjoy some beverages and locally produced hummus called "Bronzestone".  The great thing about this hummus is that two former employees of  PNW Co-op just started this company in May and we were excited to serve it to our guests.  Plus the garbs came from the local crops (our included) and most likely were the ones to make this tasty dip. Currently this brand of hummus can be purchased at the Moscow Food Co-op and Rosauers.

Below are our other farm hosts, Bill and Cheryl Flory from Winchester, ID

                                                                           Pictured here is Joe and myself.
This is Tereasa from the Idaho Wheat Commission along with Wheat Commissioner, Joe Anderson. The picture on the right shows the other Wheat Commissioner, Kieth Kinzer standing next to Joe.

This is Charlie from the US Wheat Assoc who was the interpreter.         

                                                        This is our daughter Kaitlyn and Yasuhiko.

The group spoke some English and some of these polite young gentlemen could converse better than others, so Charlie was helpful in making sure the millers understood all that was going on.

Japan currently buys approximately five million tons of imported wheat, mainly from the U.S., Canada and Australia.  Last year, the U.S. supplied about 65% of this volume.  Generally the Japanese customers are satisfied with the current quality of the wheat, but there have been some complaints about frequent contamination of other grains in the cargoes.  Japanese customers' keen concerns include food safety that include farm chemicals, allergens and GM (genetically modified) crops.  The flour millers want to increase their knowledge about the U.S. system to supply safe and clean wheat, so this is the objective for their visit.   Hopefully after this whirlwind visit, the trade team will have a better understanding of the U.S. wheat breeding practices, production, and marketing/handling systems that are used in our country.  It will also  gave the millers a first hand look about bulk grain transportation from the farmers' hands to the seaboard elevators. These team members are the ones directly involved in the production of the flour used in their country and some of them are engaged in research and development for the flour mix.  So this visit is to increase their confidence that the U.S. farmer is working diligently to produce the quality of product they and their customers desire and hopefully they will be more partial to our product and purchase more. 

The dinner was a great success and our guests loved the menu: Steaks, potato salad, garb/zucchini salad, bread from Panhandle Bakery, fresh fruit salad and for dessert a black forest pound cake and lemon tart.  We served a local wine from Clearwater Canyon.  Here are more pic's of the evening.

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