A baking workshop has been held in Algeria this month to highlight the quality of UK soft wheat.
Organised by the Agriculture & Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) Cereals & Oilseeds Exports team, the event is part of an ongoing programme of workshops held in the UK and overseas that target influencers from key export markets.
Millers and bakers from seven companies, plus technicians from OAIC (Office Algérien Interprofessionnel des Céréales), the state-owned cereals office that controls Algeria’s wheat imports, sampled UK flour at the workshop in Algiers.
Currently, the UK only exports semi-hard wheat to Algeria, which is used to produce biscuits and cakes, and the workshop was designed to demonstrate the suitability of UK soft wheat for a range of baked goods.
With a population of 41 million, growing at an estimated rate of 1.6% a year, Algeria is seen as offering good potential for UK wheat.
According to official US Department of Agriculture data, wheat imports to Algeria totalled seven million tonnes last year – with the majority of milling wheat sourced from France. In 2015/16 and 2016/17, the UK exported 382,156 tonnes of wheat to Algeria, although limited availability meant little was exported to the country last year.
“The aim of this workshop was to showcase the versatility of UK soft wheat and to demonstrate the difference in soft and semi-hard wheat in a range of baked goods,” said AHDB export marketing executive Dorit Cohen.
“By hosting a baking workshop, we also had the opportunity to meet with key influencers and strengthen our relationships in Algeria with the goal of increasing our exports to this all-important market.”
OAIC representatives are expected to visit the UK in March to gain a greater insight into the UK cereals supply chain.