A steady investment by U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) of trade service and technical support through USDA Foreign Agricultural Service export market development programs is building U.S. wheat demand at VinaFood 1 in Vietnam.
Vinafood 1 produces and processes food, flour and related products as well as animal feed. USW activities with the company have included crop quality reports about U.S. hard red spring (HRS) and soft white (SW) in 2019 and virtual trade service and technical support in 2020/21 and 2021/22. With a plan to focus on the premium bread flour market, the company purchased 6,000 metric tons (MT) of HRS for the first time in 2019.
That experience was positive and the company started consistent monthly purchases of up to 2,500 MT of U.S. HRS or hard red winter (HRW), and up to 400 MT of higher protein HRS. In 2020/21, the estimated total value of the company’s purchases was more than $8 million.
In October 2021, USW technical experts conducted an in-depth training activity on using a method of analysis that would help the company create blends of flour to meet specific product applications. This analysis had been developed in the United States by cereal chemists at Mondelez and is now publicly available to other companies. VinFood 1 was already using the testing to demonstrate the superior performance of U.S. SW wheat flour in cake, cookie and cracker applications. Using the testing protocol, USW also showed the company that U.S. HRW and HRS improved fermentation tolerance and improved the quality of its flour for Vietnamese baguette of Bahn Mi products.
In addition to the steady purchase of U.S. wheat in 2021/22 valued at more than $12 million, the company has reported to USW that flour from U.S. SW and HRS bread wheat are “irreplaceable” for making high-quality Vietnamese wheat foods.