A large delegation representing eight Peruvian companies is touring North Dakota this week as part of a reverse trade mission organized by the North Dakota Trade Office (NDTO) and BusinessHub, a boutique consulting agency headquartered in Santiago, Chile with an office in Lima, Peru. The reverse trade mission focuses on specialty crops and builds upon the relationships developed during the Peru-North Dakota ‘Better for You Food Ingredients’ Conference & Exhibition held in Lima in April 2017. In addition, the USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) office in Lima assisted with the mission.
The reverse trade mission – centered on beans, peas, chickpeas and lentils – began on Monday, August 14, with delegates gathering at the Northern Crops Institute (NCI) for an educational program. NCI Food Scientist Natsuki Fujiwara presented information on North Dakota specialty crops and performed demonstrations with pulses.
The delegation went on to travel the state, meeting with specialty crop producers, touring farms and visiting processing facilities throughout North Dakota.
“The product we are looking for is lentils,” said James Fano Saenz, General Manager of Jordi, a food importer and distributor in Huachipa, Peru. “When the price is right, we prefer products from the U.S. as we know you standardize the product.”
This was the first time that North Dakota has hosted a Peruvian delegation. The U.S. and Peru signed a Free Trade Agreement in 2007.
North Dakota will host two additional groups of international buyers in August with a Philippines-North Dakota reverse trade mission beginning on August 21 and a China-North Dakota reverse trade mission beginning August 28. The Philippine reverse trade mission is supported by the USDA’s FAS office in Manila and will focus on specialty crops, and the Chinese reverse trade mission is supported by the North Dakota Soybean Council and will focus on food grade identity-preserved soybeans.
The North Dakota Trade Office is a membership-based, private/public partnership that provides education, research, advocacy, organization and leadership so that NDTO members and North Dakota companies can increase exports and grow their international business.