Talking Trade with Jason Culotta, Midwest Food Products Association

In the latest episode of “Talking Trade,” Midwest Food Products Association President Jason Culotta discusses supply chain challenges, impacts on pricing and more. 

Certain metals used in can manufacturing have been in short supply in the United States, he said, which impacts the Midwest canned food industry. The region supplies most of the U.S. canned vegetable supply,  from sweet corn to green beans. 

“We beat everyone in the world on quality, but on price … normally with labor it’s not an issue actually, surprisingly, compared to the foreign competition,” he said. “But this packaging issue, with the steel for the cans, has put us at a bit of a disadvantage.” 

More foreign products in this market are being sold by U.S. retailers, Culotta said, adding that’s been disappointing to see. Many of those competing products come from China, Thailand and Brazil, he said. But he noted “these things ebb and flow, and we’re sure hopeful that we’re going to get a chance to compete fairly again.” 

He also shares his thoughts on top export opportunities for agricultural producers, highlighting “some significant growth” in places such as Mexico and the Netherlands. 

And Culotta touches on new shipping lanes opening up in the Midwest, emerging trends in the transportation business and more.