The Organic Trade Association (OTA) said Thursday it will host six organic food buyers from Mexico and other Pacific Rim countries at the Organic Produce Summit next month in Monterey, Calif.
The Washington, D.C.-based trade group said nearly $180 million worth of U.S. organic fresh produce exports were sold to buyers in the five countries being hosted by the OTA. The five countries include Mexico, Japan, South Korea, Philippines, and Hong Kong, which is actually an administrative region of China, where fierce protests against Chinese rule continued for a second day Thursday.
Overall, organic commodity exports to Mexico, the second-largest organic export market for the United States, dropped 19 percent to $108.6 million in 2018. Organic exports to Japan – the third largest export destination for U.S. organics – were up 80 percent in 2018 to $40.1 million. U.S. organic exports to South Korea were up 59 percent to $38.1 million last year, while organic exports to the Philippines were up 592 percent to $10.2 million in 2018.
OTA said it is coordinating one-on-one meetings on July 10 between leading U.S. produce retailers and buyers from major foreign retailers to discuss potential export partnerships.
The OTA-hosted buyers include:
- Mi Caja Fresca – Mexico
- Bio c’Bon – Japan
- EMART Inc. and SPC Co. – Korea
- Frutodor Ltd. – Hong Kong
- Waltermart Supermarket Inc. – Philippines
Mexico and the Pacific Rim countries are among the U.S.’s largest trading partners for fresh produce. In addition, it will give. The pre-arranged coordinated one-on-one meetings July 10 will provide a space separate from the summit activities where buyers and suppliers have dedicated time.
“Facilitating direct connections between the decision makers of major international retailers and U.S. organic produce operations will undoubtedly grow the foreign market for U.S. organic fresh produce,” said Alexis Carey, OTA’s manager of international trade.