In a Dec. 5 press release the USDA announced it is sponsoring seven ag business trade missions in the coming year “to grow and diversify export opportunities around the world for America’s farmers and ranchers,” as explained by Under Secretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs Ted McKinney.
McKinney said, “I cannot overstate the immense value trade missions provide to the U.S. agriculture industry and to our customers. Trade missions help agribusinesses – both large and small – get their foot in the door to new markets, build strong relationships with existing and potential customers, and expand their global footprint and sales of U.S. farm and food products.”
He went on to say, “I’ve had the pleasure of leading numerous trade missions at USDA, and the results overwhelmingly speak for themselves. In 2019 alone, six USDA trade missions enabled more than 170 U.S. companies and organizations to engage in 3,200 one-on-one meetings with foreign buyers, generating more than $78 million in projected 12-month sales.”
Marketing and trade experts from USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) analyze and select a combination of new and growing markets each year, choosing those deemed “the best prospects for U.S. agricultural farm and food exports.” Of the seven missions in 2020, four are first-time destinations for USDA trade missions.
Listed are the countries to be visited, with tentative dates. Asterisks indicating the first-time missions: North Africa (Algeria, Libya, Morocco and Tunisia), March 16-19; Philippines, April 20-23; Spain and Portugal, June 8-11*; United Kingdom, Sept 14-17*; Australia and New Zealand, Oct. 19-23*; Peru, Nov. 2-5; and United Arab Emirates, Nov. 15-18*.