APEC Business Spotlight: Kamut Wheat to the Asia-Pacific Region
Kamut International was founded by farmers Bob Quinn and Mack Quinn in 1990 with a dream to provide high quality organic food by selling a unique, ancient breed of wheat called khorasan. Although generic khorasan wheat is grown throughout the world, Kamut’s Montana-grown wheat guarantees certain qualities such as being organically grown, not hybridized or genetically modified, and having high nutritional values. The family-owned company has enjoyed a lot of success from selling khorasan which is known for the guarantee of organic production and preservation of the original seed.
Kamut knows that exporting can be a key ingredient to success in today’s global economy. Global consumer demand for higher quality, organic food is a huge driver in the company’s success and continued growth. In 2010 alone, Kamut’s global wheat sales grew by 39 percent. Kamut’s wheat became popular in the European market where Italians especially love it for homemade pasta. Today, the company exports to six continents throughout the world including the Asia-Pacific region. The company also partners with businesses who directly sell KAMUT grain to their domestic markets or in the form of processed foods.
Although demand for Kamut’s unique wheat is strongest in Europe, the Asia-Pacific region is becoming a highly lucrative growth opportunity. As purchasing power increases in these consumer markets, so does demand for better food. Currently, the company exports to APEC member economies Australia, New Zealand, and Japan, and is developing relationships with new partners in Taiwan and South Korea. These new partners are interested in selling products made from the unique Montana-grown wheat.
“We are optimistic about the potential for growth of interest in KAMUT® brand khorasan wheat in the Asia-Pacific region,” shares CEO Trevor Blyth. “We are looking forward to growing our business in this market and to supporting greater exports of organic wheat from Montana.”
More demand for Kamut khorasan wheat from around the world directly supports Montana farms and jobs. Not only would Kamut International’s agricultural partners be able to support more farming jobs, the company’s expansion would also lead to the creation of jobs in customer service, marketing, and trade protection efforts to support its international partners.
USTR is working in APEC on behalf of companies like Kamut to reduce trade barriers in the Asia-Pacific region and create more American jobs.