FARGO, N.D. – Fourteen North Dakota companies and organizations have returned home after a week in Beijing and Guangzhou, China, where they successfully demonstrated uses for North Dakota’s high-quality commodities in Chinese food products. The “Better for You Food Ingredients” event was organized by the North Dakota Trade Office (NDTO), the North Dakota Department of Agriculture (NDDA) and the Northern Crops Institute (NCI) and was led by Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring.
“This conference was a great opportunity to showcase the use of North Dakota commodities as ingredients in Chinese food products,” Goehring said. “We were able to show how our high quality crops enhance nutritional value and texture and provide a better product to consumers without compromising flavor and overall appeal of the products.”
Over 150 Chinese buyers, research and development specialists and food manufacturers attended the two events which were held in Guangzhou and Beijing. NCI crop specialists gave presentations, and North Dakota companies exhibited to Chinese buyers, while chefs prepared Chinese dishes with North Dakota value-added ingredients including: flax, sunflowers, barley, wheat, flour, pasta, soybeans, peas, lentils and dry edible beans.
“NCI has extensively researched how North Dakota commodities can be used as food ingredients in Chinese cuisine at various levels that add value to the processor and the consumer,” said John Crabtree, assistant director of NCI. “Our goal is to connect the producer and the consumer, thru the processor, linking science and technology to meet consumer trends and demands.”
“Each organization involved in events such as the ‘Better for You Food Ingredients’ conference brings specific expertise that provides depth to our products and confidence to our buyers,” said Dean Gorder, executive director of NDTO. “Such partnerships allow our North Dakota companies to continually improve international relationships and bring the best products to our global consumers.”
Some of the largest buyers and food producers in China participated in the event, including executives from China SDIC International Trade Co., Ltd., Lee Kum Kee Foods Co. Ltd., and Jiangsu Cereals, Oils & Foodstuffs I/E Group Corp. Several North Dakota companies reported that they will continue business talks with Chinese companies that participated in the events.
“Through this NDTO-organized event, I met a number of potential customers for the North Dakota products we produce. The business relationships started from this event, I believe, will bring significant new business to Red River Commodities in the coming months and years,” said Brian Andrew, Managing Director of the Ingredient Processing Division at Red River Commodities, Inc.
Companies that participated in the trade mission include:
- SB&B Foods Inc., Casselton, ND
- Richland IFC, Inc., Wahpeton, ND
- Sun Opta, Moorhead, MN
- SK Food, Fargo, ND
- Red River Commodities, Fargo, ND
- Soyko, Inc., Gary, MN
- North Dakota Mill, Grand Forks, ND
- VK Global, Fargo, ND
- Specialty Commodities, Fargo, ND
- Dakota Specialty Milling, Fargo, ND
- United Pulse Trading, Bismarck, ND
- Dakota Pride Co-op, Jamestown, ND
- Northarvest Bean Growers Association
- North Dakota State University
Partner organizations that assisted in the development of this event were the North Dakota Soybean Council, Northern Pulse Growers Association, Northarvest Bean Growers Association, North Dakota Wheat Commission and USDA Foreign Agriculture Service.