Ministerial Visit Now Reaps Rewards

Ministerial Visit Now Reaps Rewards

Western Australia Minister for Agriculture and Food Terry Redman

Western Australian Wheat Arrives In Saudi Arabia

Victor P Taffa

The Western Australian Grains Industry has sent a landmark 55,000 tonne Shipment of Wheat to Saudi Arabia.

Agriculture and Food Minister Terry Redman said the Shipment by CBH Group marked the first sale of WA wheat to Saudi Arabia in more than 20 years.

The Shipment, Worth $12 Million, followed a visit by Mr. Redman to Saudi Arabia last year and a reciprocal visit to WA by Saudi Representatives to discuss Wheat Specification Issues and tour the State’s Grain Production, Research and Storage Facilities.

“Through those visits the Department of Agriculture and Food, with the support of the Grains Research Development Corporation, CBH and other industry players, was able to demonstrate that WA wheat was well suited to Saudi requirements for bread making, including flat breads.” the Minister said.

Saudi Arabia’s Sole Importer Grains Silos and Flour Mills Organisation changed its tender specifications earlier this year to allow WA wheat to be imported into the country.  Previously, WA wheat had been unable to meet Saudi Arabian market specifications requirements for higher protein levels and a zero tolerance to the fungus, ergot.

The recent change in specifications was the result of collaborative work by the State Government including the Department of Agriculture and Food, the WA grains industry and the Federal Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry in improving market access to Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia introduced a new groundwater conservation policy in 2008 to reduce annual irrigated wheat production. The kingdom is substituting locally-produced wheat with imports through a tender process.

“Feedback from the importers indicates they were pleased with the shipment and the milling quality of our wheat, and further tender opportunities are expected in the near future.” Mr. Redman said.

“There is also potential for more co-operation through exchange of skills on bread making and grain storage, loading and handling technologies.”