Thursday, August 9, 2018

Capturing a taste of Washington

Chris McGann

Taiwanese buyers snap photos of the popcorn candy coating
 process at a Seattle-area factory. After sampling the gamut
 of flavors, truffle was a surprise standout!
WSDA is always busy looking for ways to expand markets for Washington producers. Our International Marketing Program helps facilitate buyer-seller connections, delivers resources and continually advocates for global market access.

Recently, the program joined forces with the Western United States Agricultural Trade Association to connect Taiwanese buyers with 17 Northwest suppliers.

After a whirlwind of face-to-face, buyer-seller meetings - more than 80 on the first day - the buyer group struck out on day two to see where the magic happens at three Seattle-area facilities. They visited Seattle Popcorn Company (Uncle Woody’s Popcorn);  AMES International (chocolate-covered fruits and nuts, nuts, and cookies); and SuperValu International (product consolidation/private label brands).

WSDA International Marketing Program Trade Specialist Elisa Daun organized the mission.

“Connecting professional buyers with Washington companies is a great opportunity,” Daun said. “These missions showcase the abundance of quality products available in our state and can be invaluable for producers trying to reach overseas markets.”

In 2017, Taiwan imported more than $264 million worth of Washington's agricultural and food products. The top five products were:

  1. Apples ($72 million)
  2. Frozen French Fries ($53 million)
  3. Sweet Cherries ($41 million)
  4. Frozen/Chilled Beef ($18 million)
  5. White Wheat ($16 million)

The International Marketing Program is working to help position Washington companies to export their products efficiently and profitably, while promoting our state’s consistent high quality, diversity of offerings, and high standard for food safety and handling.

Washington’s major crops and commodities have trade associations for promotion. The WSDA International Marketing Program helps bridge the gap for smaller suppliers, many of whom sell processed or packaged goods. The buyers can meet the operators, tour facilities and get a better sense of the quality of products and companies they will be working with.

For more information about upcoming international marketing events and activities, check out this WSDA calendar.