Jul 30, 2020
‘Virtual trade missions’ planned by OTA
Organic Trade Association

Organic exporters will be able to “travel” to Asia, Europe and other spots around the globe from the comfort of their kitchen tables in September. In virtual meetings made possible by the Organic Trade Association, they’ll explore business opportunities, learn about new markets, make connections, and show off their products to top organic buyers, all while never leaving their homes or offices.

The Organic Trade Association this week announced its first set of Virtual Trade Missions for exporters of organic produce and organic processed products. The association’s International Trade team will arrange one-on-one virtual meetings with buyers from Asia, Europe, and the Gulf Region. Designed along the lines of the trade association’s successful Buyer’s Missions held annually at Natural Products Expo West and East trade shows, and last year at the annual Organic Produce Summit, the pre-arranged coordinated meetings will give organic buyers and suppliers the opportunity to discuss potential export partnerships.

“These virtual meetings are designed to help U.S. organic companies generate new international business without having to get on a plane. While they can’t take the place of face-to-face meetings, we are excited to provide this new opportunity for companies to grow their presence overseas in the absence of in-person trade events, as we all pivot to new ways of safely doing business during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Alexis Carey, Manager of International Trade for the Organic Trade Association.

Organic produce trade mission

A virtual trade mission for growers and exporters of organic produce with buyers from across Asia, including Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, the Philippines and Hong Kong, will be on September 1 from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. Eastern Time. All the invited buyers are from markets that are in the top ten export markets for U.S.-grown produce. Current tracked organic produce exports to these markets were over $113 million in 2019.

Interested participants should register here by August 14.

Organic processed products trade mission

Two virtual trade missions for exporters of organic processed products will also be held. On September 22 from 10 a.m to 2 p.m. Eastern Time, processed product makers and exporters can connect with buyers from. Europe and the United Arab Emirates (U.A.E), and on September 23 from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. Eastern Time, buyers from Asia will be hooked in.

The European session will feature buyers from the largest organic markets in Europe and main import hubs. The EU (plus the UK) was the sixth largest export market for U.S. organic processed products in 2019, and is the second largest market for organic products in the world, behind the U.S. This session will also feature buyers from the U.A.E., which is the largest import hub for organic in the Gulf regions. The U.A.E. is also the seventh largest single export market for U.S. organic products, buying over $8.7 million worth of American organic products in 2019. The Asia session will feature buyers from Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, the Philippines and Hong Kong.

To participate in either of these sessions, register here by August 14.

Open to the entire organic industry

The USDA Market Access Program-funded activities are open to the entire organic industry. Complying with USDA regulations for participating in Market Access Program funding activities, all of the products promoted must be USDA certified organic, produced in the United States, and made of 51% or more of U.S. based ingredients either by value (cost of the ingredients) or volume (against overall weight of the product).

The registration fee is $75/company per event. Participants will receive buyer profiles of the participating companies including contact information prior to the meetings. The Organic Trade Association is scheduling meetings based on the buyers’ requests.

The Organic Trade Association is the leading voice for the organic trade in the United States, representing over 9,500 organic businesses across 50 states. Its members include growers, shippers, processors, certifiers, farmers' associations, distributors, importers, exporters, consultants, retailers and others.

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