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31-Mar-2015

Nebraska food companies up game
Nebraska food companies continue to make great progress growing their export sales. There are a number of programs and services that assist Nebraska companies with their exporting due to the state’s partnership with the Food Export Association of the Midwest USA.


Food Export-Midwest is a private, nonprofit trade association that uses funding from the Market Access Program (MAP) to help America’s small businesses increase exports of food and agricultural products.


As their exports increase, these small businesses create jobs and improve the strength and stability of our agricultural economy. MAP funding is administered by the Foreign Agricultural Service of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).


Exports are a critical part of Nebraska's agricultural industry but exporting can be complicated. I appreciate the assistance Food Export provides. They help us help our companies become successful.


Nebraska is a top producer of red meats, a variety of beans, and also ranks very high in the production of corn, soybeans, grain sorghum, potatoes, wheat and sugar beets.


In addition to these commodities, Nebraska exported over $2.5 billion of processed foods in 2013. The top markets included Japan, Canada, Mexico, China, South Korea and Hong Kong.  


In 2013 and 2014, over 40 Nebraska companies worked with Food Export-Midwest to become export ready and enter new markets. These companies realized over $10,000,000 in actual sales and projected future sales over $15,000,000. For three of these companies, it was their first export sale. Additionally, in the two-year period, Nebraska companies met 95 new foreign buyer contacts and established 11 new distributorships.


Food Export-Midwest offers a number of programs and services to help companies learn about exporting, enter new markets, and promote their products once in a market.


These services include Buyers Missions in which international buyers come to the U.S. and meet face-to-face with suppliers to learn about U.S. products and develop sales.

Among the services available to grow U.S. exports are Market Builder market research service; the Food Export HelplineTM, dedicated to teaching companies about the many details of exporting; Food Show PLUS!TM international tradeshow enhancement service; and Trade Missions, where U.S. companies can travel and explore trade opportunities throughout the world. Visit proudtobuy.nebraska.gov or foodexport.org for more information.

About the Author

Greg Ibach
Director, Nebraska Department of Agriculture

Through his role as Director of the Nebraska Department of Agriculture, Greg works on international market development for Nebraska's agricultural goods.


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