Inside the US grain & bakery chain

A delegation of some 28 European flour millers went to Chicago in September 2015. The region is a key agricultural commodity-growing area. The objective was to improve knowledge of a major-wheat producing area but also visit some key stakeholders and institutions including:

Visit of the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) and meeting with the US Wheat Associates, biotech companies & NAMA

The Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) is a commodity exchange established in 1848. It notably trades agricultural commodities such as wheat, corn and soybeans. The CBOT is part of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) Group, which is the world’s leading and most diverse derivatives marketplace. European flour millers have a historic access to conventional high-quality US Spring wheat. The delegation reiterated that any cross-contamination, and the potential release of genetically modified organisms to the Spring Wheat markets, would represent a very severe threat to the continuation of sales to the European flour milling industry.

Visit of modern flour mills and a bioethanol plant

The average US flour mill produces 13 times as much wheat flour as the average EU flour mill. The EU delegation notably visited a brand new mill resulting from a partnership between two large milling companies. The mill enjoys rail and interstate access with immediate access to domestic bread-quality wheat but also cutting-edge connected equipment.

Visit of a bakery manufacturing plant

The delegation was warmly welcomed by the Kroger bakery plant team in Indianapolis. The Kroger company is the country's second-largest general retailer and operates 6 bakeries, 2 frozen dough plants and 1 deli plant.

Visit of an Amazon fulfillment center

Amazon is the largest internet-based retailer in the US. The company is also the leader in logistics innovation and technology. Its Jeffersonville fulfillment center has about 1 million square feet - equal to about 25 football fields.