Note: I’m fortunate to be one of 17 folks from Kansas to be part of this trade mission to South Korea and China. Check the blog each day for updates! – Bill Spiegel, director of communications
TOPEKA – A delegation of farmers, ranchers and agribusiness leaders from across Kansas will showcase Kansas’ strong agricultural sector during an upcoming 10-day trade mission to South Korea and China.
Kansas Secretary of Agriculture Dale Rodman will lead the delegation that departs September 15. While in South Korea and China, the 18-member delegation will meet with business and governmental leaders and with existing buyers of Kansas agricultural products. The trade delegation will also meet with potential new buyers of Kansas agricultural products and tour importing and processing facilities of Kansas agricultural products.
“As the world’s population grows, demand for high-quality, safe, wholesome food grows too,” Rodman said. “Global markets play a key role in ensuring the profitability of Kansas farms, ranches and agribusinesses. This trade mission will not only give Kansas farmers, ranchers and agribusinesses an opportunity to meet with current buyers and potential new buyers, but it will also give them an opportunity to see American products on store shelves in South Korea and China and give them a first-hand view of agriculture in these rapidly growing nations.”
The delegation will begin the mission with a three-day stop in Seoul, South Korea, where the group will explore ways for Kansas farmers and ranchers to benefit more from the U.S.-South Korea Free Trade Agreement.
The next seven days will be spent between Beijing and Shanghai, China. While in China, the group will learn more about the Chinese marketplace and build a greater understanding for China’s food needs to feed its growing middle class. In both countries, the Kansas delegation will work to build relationships with new buyers while also thanking current buyers of Kansas agricultural products.
Both South Korea and China are important markets for the United States and Kansas agriculture. South Korea and the Unites States entered into a free trade agreement on March 15, 2012, in order to increase trade between the two nations. Specifically, the under the trade agreement, South Korea eliminated or began phasing out tariffs and quotas on a broad range of agricultural products, which will allow Korean consumers more access to more American products at a more affordable price.
In 2011, Kansas agricultural exports to South Korea totaled $125.2 million and exports to China totaled $49.7 million.
Leaders from Kansas Farm Bureau, the Kansas Beef Council, Kansas Pork Commission, Kansas Wheat Commission, Kansas Soybean Commission, Kansas Corn Commission, Agtech, Inc., and SureFire Ag will represent Kansas on the mission.
Press release courtesy Kansas Department of Agriculture