A legendary flour miller, Ashok Sarkar dedicated more than 50 years to promoting the quality of Canadian wheat and grains to markets around the world.
Ashok was born in India, where he began his lifelong career as an educator, innovator, researcher and mentor in the Canadian and international milling and flour industries. He worked in mills around the world from India to Switzerland before settling in Canada in 1976. He joined the Canadian International Grains Institute (now Cereals Canada) a few years later, rising to head of milling until his retirement in 2014.
Ashok developed milling efficiencies and generated flours with desired quality attributes for food products around the globe, gaining a well-deserved reputation as a reliable, personable and trusted miller. He understood the importance of engaging along the entire value chain to influence the opportunities and maximize the potential for Canadian grains, working with wheat, buckwheat, food barley, canary seed and pulses to develop a variety of milled ingredients.
As an innovator, he developed a software program to maximize milling efficiencies and profits – a concept that is still used today. As a problem solver, Ashok’s analytical approach delivered on-the-spot troubleshooting when visiting commercial mills around the world, offering practical solutions to improve process and outputs regardless of the size of the operation. And as a talented teacher, Ashok always had a keen interest in whoever he was working with in his global classroom, and made countless presentations on wheat quality, milling processes and grain storage.
Ashok is internationally recognized and respected for his depth of knowledge and practical advice. He played a key role in international trade missions that secured new and emerging markets for Canadian grains. He spent his professional lifetime optimizing the inherent quality of Canadian grains while educating milling customers and the entire agriculture industry on how to maximize the potential of made-in-Canada grains. His work took him around the world – to six continents and more than 100 countries – promoting the virtues of Canadian wheat.
As one of the most influential champions and supporters of Canadian grains, Ashok is a master of his craft and passionate about sharing knowledge in practical ways that are directly applicable to business and food processing.
Throughout his career, Ashok contributed his time and expertise to several industry organizations including the International Association of Operative Millers, the Prairie Grain Development Committee and the Food Fortification Initiative.
His passion for Canadian agriculture continues today as a consultant with Cereals Canada, and his unending dedication to promote and educate global customers about the value and opportunities with Canadian grains and milling.
Ashok Sakar’s legacy has ensured endless opportunities for Canadian grains.