NDTO News Article

Press Release: North Dakota Hosts Food Buyers from Colombia, China

North Dakota exporters hosted two international delegations last month as the state’s specialty crop and identity-preserved (IP) soybean markets continue to draw international interest. Delegations from Colombia and China met with North Dakota companies, took part in educational events, and toured the state as part of long term efforts to maintain strong trade relationships with the two countries. The missions were organized through the cooperation of the North Dakota Trade Office, Northern Crops Institute, Northern Pulse Growers Association, Northarvest Bean Association, North Dakota Soybean Council, North Dakota State University, Bean Products Committee of China and the Foreign Agricultural Service in China.

“North Dakota exporters have invested a lot of time and energy in both the Colombian and Chinese markets” said Dean Gorder, executive director of the North Dakota Trade Office. “It’s gratifying to see these buyers travel to the state and we hope our exporters have great success.”

Colombian Delegation Focuses on Pulses

The Colombia reverse trade mission began on Monday, Aug. 22 with a focus on specialty crops and pulse ingredients such as peas, beans, lentils and confectionary sunflowers. The mission started off with pulse experts from the Northern Crops Institute, North Harvest Bean Growers and NDSU speaking on the use of pulse ingredients in baked goods, pasta, and snacks, and quality characteristics of northern grown pulse to 14 Colombian delegates. Participants then toured the state, meeting one-on-one with North Dakota companies at their facilities. The mission concluded Friday, Aug. 26 after a tour of the North Dakota Heritage Center in Bismarck.

The Colombia-North Dakota specialty crops initiative has been continuously active for over a year now. Most recently this summer, several major Colombian supermarkets held 4 weeks of in-store samplings and promotions of North Dakota pulses in the cities of Bogotá and Medellín. The in-store promotions are a continuation of events that took place during a trade mission held in March, during which Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring led North Dakota companies to attend the Colombia-North Dakota ‘Better for You Food Ingredients’ Conference & Exhibition in Medellín.

China Leaders Interested in North Dakota IP Soybeans

A delegation of 13 Chinese food company leaders interested in IP soybeans toured North Dakota to meet with growers and processors of soy products. The tour began in Fargo with presentations and one-on-one meetings with North Dakota companies.

The visit continued throughout the week as delegates met with Commissioner Goehring and attended educational sessions on North Dakota soybean quality, applications and procurement. Discussion also included various China-ND trade topics including the current situation and regulations in China’s food soybean industry. The visit concluded on Friday, Aug. 26 after delegates toured several company facilities.

The NDTO has led seven trade missions to China since 2004. This year’s mission was led by Commissioner Goehring and was centered around the 4th annual China-North Dakota ‘Better for You Food Ingredients’ Conference & Exhibition in Shanghai.

NDTO is a member-based, public-private organization dedicated to expanding North Dakota’s exports through advocacy, education and expertise.  All trade missions and reverse trade missions are designed to assist North Dakota companies in finding potential partners and making overseas sales; these initiatives are open to the public.