Helena, Montana. This week ingredient buyers from key European bakeries, cereal companies, and other food businesses will visit Montana specialty grain companies. They will travel throughout Montana’s Golden Triangle region as they seek U.S. sources for their food products. This event is being organized by the Montana Department of Agriculture marketing team in conjunction with the Western United States Agricultural Trade Association, and is supported with funds from the USDA's Market Access Program.
“The European market purchased over $1 billion in grains, pulses, edible beans and sunflower seeds in 2014, and their markets are receptive to organic, natural, gluten free and other specialty products,” said Montana Department of Agriculture Marketing Officer Marty Earnheart. “Montana companies are a perfect source of quality specialty grain products and are well positioned to supply European market demand.”
Over the course of this three day trade mission, Department of Agriculture staff will connect European buyers with eleven Montana companies who have expertise in the production and processing of a broad range of specialty grains and related products. These grown in Montana products include gluten free oats, millet, spelt, triticale, groats, safflower oil, flax, buckwheat, edible beans, chickpeas, lentils and peas.
Pulse crops (which include lentils, peas, chickpeas, and beans) will be of particular interest to buyers during this trade mission. While pulse crops have been grown in Montana for some time, production has increased dramatically in the last decade. In 2015, over 800,000 acres of pulse crops were planted and harvested, making Montana the #1 pulse crop producer in the United States. Pulses are in high demand in the global food ingredient market because of their outstanding nutritional benefits, both in whole and fractionated form. Pulses can be found in food products such as hummus, protein powders, specialty pastas, and more.
Source: Montana Department of Agriculture
Photo courtesy of USDA NRCS