As Wisconsin agribusinesses continue to explore new markets, the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) encourages companies to think Colombia. DATCP recently returned from a successful trade mission to that country.
"This trade mission allowed us to further establish our working relationship with government leaders and key buyers in Colombia," said Jen Pino-Gallagher, DATCP's Bureau Director of Agricultural Market Development. "These contacts will benefit Wisconsin agricultural companies interested in expanding their exports to Colombia, where there is enormous prospects for growth."
While in Colombia, staff met with customs brokers, regulatory officials and distributors to better understand the market.
The group also connected with the largest dairy cooperative, representatives of dairy and beef associations, and the National Livestock Union.
BouMatic LLC, Lallemand, Accelerated Genetics, Immuno Dynamics and the American Jersey Cattle Association were part of the DATCP trade mission that has already produced include three signed contracts, identification of four potential distributors and four requests for quotes.
Dairy farming currently thrives in both Colombia's highlands and coastal plains. There is potential for Wisconsin agribusinesses to export feed, feed ingredients, livestock genetics and agricultural equipment to Colombia.
In 2012, the U.S.-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement went into effect, providing immediate duty-free access for various animal feeds. Additional tariffs will phase out over 12 years.
"Colombia has a growing livestock industry and is seeking quality products. There is a world of opportunity for Wisconsin agriculture," added Enrique Gandara, a DATCP Economic Development Consultant. "By making valuable connections on this trade mission, we are better able to provide guidance to companies of how to export to this country on the ground level."
DATCP's Wisconsin International Trade Team provides various services to help Wisconsin companies begin or expand their agricultural exports. Staff can help companies make business contacts in Colombia and provide guidance during the sales process.
To learn more about services available from DATCP's Wisconsin International Trade Team, visit datcp.wi.gov/Business/Exports. Those interested can also contact the Trade Team at 800-462-5237 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
This trade mission was possible through support from the U.S. Livestock Genetics Export, Inc. and the U.S. Department of Agricultural Foreign Agricultural Service.