Governor Steve Bullock today met with Hiroshi Sawada, Chairman and CEO of Nippon Flour Mills, to celebrate Montana and Japan’s trade relationship and to thank Mr. Sawada for continued investments in Montana agriculture. Nippon, the 2nd largest flour milling company in Japan, is celebrating the 20th anniversary of Pasta Montana in Great Falls.
“Japanese consumers demand the highest quality food in the world, and Montana’s producers have been proud to answer that call for generations,” said Governor Bullock. “Pasta Montana is a great example of how we can process world-class grain into world-class food right here in Montana. We are grateful to Mr. Sawada and Nippon for their continued investments and faith in Montana’s producers.”
Mr. Sawada first visited Montana in 1967 and as CEO of Nippon has continued to invest in Montana’s agriculture industry. Nippon purchased Pasta Montana in 2000, and has made significant infrastructure upgrades to the facility since the purchase. Pasta Montana currently contracts with Montana producers to plant 40,000 acres of durum each year and the facility produces 80 million pounds of dry pasta per year, both for domestic and international consumption.
Montana’s wheat industry counts Japan as its best customer, with the island nation importing over 44 million bushels of Montana wheat annually. Japan is heavily invested in Montana’s grains industry; along with Nippon’s ownership of Pasta Montana, other Japanese companies have ownership in portions of Montana’s elevator system.
The Montana Department of Agriculture’s mission is to protect producers and consumers, and to enhance and develop agriculture and allied industries. For more information on the Montana Department of Agriculture, visit www.agr.mt.gov.