Potatoes USA’s Reverse Trade Mission Bridges The U.S. Potato Industry With Global Buyers

Published online: Jun 12, 2023 Articles
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In April, Potatoes USA hosted the Foodservice and Retail Reverse Trade Mission (RTM) 2023. The event brought together 75 importers, distributors, and retailers from 12 international markets, including Myanmar, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines, South Korea, Thailand, Vietnam, China, Mexico, Taiwan, Central America, and the Gulf Cooperative Council.

Trade missions showcase the U.S. potato supply chain and facilitate business relationships between industry stakeholders.

From April 16-21, the mission traveled across Washington state and offered many informative experiences for the attendees, including:

  • Farm Visits: Participants visited two farms in Washington to learn about cultivating fresh and processed potatoes and seed-cutting processes.
  • Processing Plant Tours: The group toured three processing facilities to understand the preparation of frozen potatoes.
  • Educational Presentations: Speakers from Potatoes USA, Potato Growers of Washington, and Integrated Cold and Supply Chain Management delivered presentations on various aspects of the U.S. potato industry, including promotional opportunities and cold chain best practices.
  • Trade Show NetworkingU.S. growers, shippers, processors, and state organizations engaged with international retailers, importers, and distributors one-on-one, fostering relationships and increasing trade opportunities.
  • Port Tour: The Tacoma port tour provided insights into the export process for potatoes and the logistics involved in ensuring that potatoes arrive at international markets in good condition and remain high quality.
  • Retail Store Tours: Participants visited various grocery stores to observe how retailers display potatoes based on demographics and customer preferences.

Participants gained valuable insights into the U.S. potato supply chain, emphasizing the role of technology, planning, and attention to detail in producing high-quality products. Consequently, attendees have expressed interest in procuring U.S. potatoes, anticipating more tangible results to emerge in the upcoming months.