A delegation from the state cereals office of Algeria made a special visit to the UK last week to learn more about the country’s grain chain.
The two-day inward mission allowed buyers from OAIC, who are responsible for wheat import requirements, to look at opportunities for importing UK biscuit wheat into Algeria.
During the visit, the delegates were given a tour of Shoreham port where they got to see what happens to grain once it leaves the farm gate, and the quality controls and regulations in place.
The delegation was then taken to a nearby farm and grain store where they viewed first-hand how grain is produced and looked after on-farm, and the processes for ensuring the cleanliness of wheat throughout production and storage.
Organised by the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB), the visit was designed to help grow UK exports to this important market and identify new opportunities.
Algeria has been the UK’s largest non-EU recipient of wheat in recent years with exports totalling 175,510 tonnes in 2015/16 and 206,646 tonnes in 2016/17 according to HMRC. The country’s import requirement for this year is around 7 million tonnes.
Currently, there is no biscuit flour available in Algeria and OAIC is looking to import biscuit wheat as well as feed barley, presenting new possibilities for UK exporters.
AHDB Export Marketing Executive Dorit Cohen said: “This was an incredibly important mission as the OAIC is looking to diversify its suppliers in order to reduce its reliance on France, opening up a real opportunity for our exporters.
“The visit followed an AHDB biscuit baking workshop in January, which was successful in raising awareness of uks quality characteristics. We are now finding that uks wheat is becoming well-known among the OAIC as well as biscuit millers.
“Given the current situation, the potential for UK biscuit wheat exports to Algeria is looking promising and therefore, maintaining contact with buyers in Algeria is key to ensuring future opportunities for UK biscuit wheat exports.”
The visit was viewed as a success by delegates from OAIC Algeria, who indicated that their future intention would be to import good quality biscuit wheat in order to meet the needs of the Algerian biscuit market.
Mohamed Belabdi, of OAIC, added: “This visit has enabled us to meet with UK representatives in the entire cereal supply chain. One of the advantages of visiting the UK is that we have been able to diversify our suppliers for Algeria by having direct contact with some UK exporters.”