SIAL Food Show Returns After 4-Month Delay

People wearing face masks stand around table filled with rice samples in white bowls
Rice samples on display
Oct 07, 2020
SHANGHAI, CHINA – Last week, USA Rice participated in the twentieth SIAL international food show here.  Originally scheduled for mid-May, SIAL organizers had postponed the annual trade fair, the largest in Asia, due to COVID-19 restrictions and travel bans.   

On the first day of the exhibition, more than 200 visitors stopped by the USA Rice booth, including representatives from Walmart and Sam’s Club, as well as the new U.S. Consul General in Shanghai James Heller, and the new Shanghai Agricultural Trade Office (ATO) Director Erik Hansen.

“Interest in U.S. rice continues to grow in China as importers become more familiar with the variety of U.S.-origin rice types that are available,” said Jim Guinn, USA Rice director of Asia promotion programs.  “Everyone who stopped by the booth – retail reps, sushi manufacturers, and restauranteurs – was encouraged to sample the seven different types of U.S. rice on display.  The four rice types from the south included long grain, long grain parboiled, medium grain, and jasmine.  The three California varieties were Calrose, Calhikari, and Calmochi.”

Absent the ability to travel to the show, USA Rice had invited all qualified exporters to submit short videos introducing their company that were shown at the booth to prospective customers.  

“Most traders are keen to import U.S. rice, but are reluctant to act because of concerns over bilateral trade issues continuously highlighted in the media,” said Guinn.  “We’re all waiting for that first shipment of U.S. rice to China since the market was opened here more than 18 months ago.”