BOGOTA, COLOMBIA – Earlier this week, USA Rice, in conjunction with the USA Poultry and Egg Export Council (USAPEEC) and Kansas Soybean Board, conducted the third annual Colombian chefs cooking competitions here on July 24 and 25, and in Barranquilla on July 26. Thirty chefs from Colombia’s top restaurants and food service operations competed each day by preparing a main course using American rice and experimenting with both traditional and modern cooking techniques.
“Colombia produces nearly 1.5 million tons of rice (milled basis) each year yet still requires imports to meet their high domestic consumption level of more than 1.6 million tons,” said John Valpey, chairman of the USA Rice International Promotion Committee. “Last year, the U.S. comprised about half of Colombia’s rice imports. Our promotional activities are aimed at developing a preference for U.S. rice to capture a larger market share in this important market.”
Colombia has imported more than 50,000 MT of U.S. rice in the first five months of this year, valued at $17 million. U.S. rice benefits from duty free access for 98,448 MT of rice this year, that will increase to 102,879 MT next year. Rice imported over the duty free amount is subject to an 80 percent tariff.