• WisBusiness

DATCP: Make the most of your international investment

Contact: Ashley Huibregtse, 608-224-5002, ashley.huibregtse@wisconsin.gov
Jim Dick, Communications Director, 608-224-5020, jim.dick@wi.gov

MADISON – Maximizing opportunities is a key factor for agricultural companies trying to increase their sales abroad and the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) offers guidance in that area through Food Show Plus™ of the Food Export Association of the Midwest.

International trade shows are a part of doing business overseas and DATCP helps companies planning to attend such events to increase their chances for sales success and make the most of their international marketing investment. For example, Lisa Stout, a DATCP Agricultural Marketing Consultant, is coordinating efforts now for about a dozen American companies that will be attending the Supermarket Tradeshow in Japan next week.

“Companies going to the Supermarket Tradeshow can enhance their effectiveness by receiving technical and logistical assistance,” said Stout. “We provide market research, translate company and product information into the language of the country, coordinate interpreter services, facilitate booth space, schedule retail visits, host in-market briefings and qualify trade leads.”

These services aren’t limited to the Japanese market. Each year, DATCP staff coordinates similar services for trade events around the world, covering such diverse ag sectors as livestock, genetics, processed foods, and grains and feeds. The international calendar of events is updated regularly at http://datcp.wi.gov/Business/Exports/Calendar_of_Events/.

The Supermarket Tradeshow is organized by the New Supermarket Association of Japan, which has 410 regular members, including 7,000 supermarkets throughout the country. Half of all supermarkets in Japan are members in this association. Companies have the opportunity to showcase their products, offer samples, and build connections that may lead to additional sales.

“Japan is a great opportunity for exporters of food products. The Japanese are very educated about what they eat and are very concerned with food safety, quality, consistency and taste,” added Stout. “Consider your packaging size, as the Japanese have small families and homes so storage space is minimal. The Japanese ‘eat with their eyes’ and appreciate attractive packaging.”

Japan relies on imports for 60-percent of its food supply. Japan imported over $97 million of Wisconsin agricultural products in 2010. The top Wisconsin agricultural exports to Japan in 2010 were dairy products, prepared meats, soybeans, preserved foods, and animal feed.

“I encourage companies who are looking to enter or expand their exports in an international market to take advantage of the DATCP International Trade Team services throughout the year – export seminars, buyers missions, market research, and company consultations,” concluded Stout. “DATCP provides a full program to make the most of your experience and offers follow-up assistance.”

If your business is interested in learning more about future opportunities, contact DATCP at 800-462-5237 or international@wisconsin.gov. You may also connect with DATCP on Twitter at twitter.com/widatcp or Facebook at facebook.com/widatcp.

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