International Reps Give Pulses a Place to Go

Their job is to find a home for U.S. dry peas, lentils and chickpeas - they are fantastic at what they do. “They”? Your international representatives: Lucy Dai, Dee Richmond and Tim Welsh, Shakun Dalal, Johanna Stobbs, Dave McClellan and Raul Caballero.

The International Staff Conference was held this week in Spokane, Wash., and each of the reps traveled from across the globe to provide updates, discuss new projects, and work on budgeting. Monday afternoon, each representative talked about his/her respective region. Following are some key highlights.

Lucy Dai - North Asia

  • U.S. chickpeas were at nearly 0 in 2009 but now China is the 3rd largest market for U.S. chickpeas at 1,500 MT a year
  • Top 3 uses for U.S. dry peas in China are vermicelli noodles, snack markets and bean paste.
  • Pea starch used in noodles is better quality and lower cost compared to its counterparts. More noodle-makers are using U.S. dry peas - usually #2 grade - after promotions in 2005.
  • Lentil production in southern China is decreasing, but demand through increased restaurant usage and increased Middle Eastern population provides continued potential.

Dee Richmond (& Tim Welsh) - Indo-Pacific

  • Exports to Indonesia are very strong in 1st quarter of 2011.
  • Introducing value-added products and pea ingredients to the market is a key focus.
  • Several technical seminars and workshops are on tap for 2011-12.
  • In 2010, an Indonesian company bought its own equipment to produce cooked pea flour using U.S. peas.

Shakun Dalal - South Asia/Middle East

  • Shakun has represented the USADPLC for 25 years!
  • India population is at 1.2 billion and growing = continued demand.
  • India will need pulses even when the domestic harvest is good.
  • Sri Lanka consumes 100,000 MT of red lentils; its lentil production is 0.

Raul Caballero - Latin America

  • Developing a market for snacks and functional ingredients.
  • 80% of Mexico’s large chickpea harvest was lost due to weather.
  • There are upward trends in U.S. pea and lentil exports to Peru and Colombia.
  • Peas/lentils are a staple in Peru; consumers prefer U.S. quality but are price sensitive.

Dave McClellan - Mediterranean/N. Africa

  • Spain is a big Pardina lentil market.
  • Spanish economy is suffering, and packaged legume sales are down 8-10%.
  • The first U.S. Legumes Table was successful at CICILS 2011 in Barcelona.
  • Redesigned - an excellent resource targeting the hotel and restaurant industry.

Johanna Stobbs - Europe

  • Expanded sales in Russia to more dry packaging and canning companies.
  • Turkish market tripled from 2009 to 2010 to 16,543 MT.
  • Exploring potential for U.S. feed peas in Norway’s fish farming market.
  • South Africa imported 207 MT of green peas for canning from January-March 2010 and more than 2,000 MT from January-March 2011.

There are really exciting things happening with dry peas, lentils, and chickpeas all around the world. There are new products, more growth, and different ideas popping up every day.

Without the growers, there wouldn’t be any product. Without the processors and trade members, there wouldn’t be a way to get the product where it needs to go. Without the international representatives, there wouldn’t be new markets for our products. Thanks to all for maintaining the quality of U.S. pulses!

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