Nov 21, 2019
SHANGHAI, CHINA – Using Agricultural Trade Promotion (ATP) funds from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS,) USA Rice recently exhibited here at one of the largest food shows in China focused on the hotel, restaurant, and institutional and hospitality sectors.
Three U.S. millers/exporters – Farmers’ Rice Cooperative, American Commodity Company, and Sun Valley Rice – joined with USA Rice to showcase their companies and capabilities to this target audience. Each company was provided with an interpreter to make contacts and trade discussions easier and more productive.
Visitors had the opportunity to taste test rice offered by the three exporters. The freshly cooked rice was judged by the visitors to be very good.
“Traffic at the booth was steady with a lot of visitors from the food trade, foodservice, and hospitality industries,” said Jim Guinn, USA Rice director of Asia promotions. “A surprising number of people we talked with displayed some knowledge of U.S. rice – a good sign that our messages are reaching the desired target audience.”
The FHC trade show attracted 3,500 exhibitors from 49 countries, with separate show halls for meats, fruits and vegetables, wine and alcoholic beverages, and dairy products.
Fewer U.S. companies and FAS cooperators attended this year’s show due to ongoing trade tensions, and the punitive tariffs focused on U.S. agricultural products. However, the interest by Chinese companies in U.S. rice has not waned although importers remain cautious until those trade tensions ease.
“To date, sales of U.S. rice to China have been challenging, but the potential is too great to withdraw from our commitment to the market here,” said Guinn.
USA Rice will host a trade mission for eight Chinese rice importers December 9-18, beginning with their first stop at the USA Rice Outlook Conference in Little Rock, Arkansas.