For more information:
Nelson Pugh
(850) 488-4031

Agriculture Press Release

May 14, 2002

Latest Florida agricultural export initiative targets India market, Bronson announces

TALLAHASSEE -- Florida Agriculture Commissioner Charles H. Bronson has sent a team of marketing representatives to India to explore ways of increasing exports of Florida agricultural products to the world’s largest democracy.

The India trade initiative is a partnership involving the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, the Southern United States Trade Association (SUSTA), and the Alabama International Trade Center, and seeks to develop new opportunities for exporting products from the Southern United States. The Florida products that will be emphasized are citrus, celery, lettuce, tomatoes and other fresh fruits and vegetables.

"Our mission is to accelerate international relationships and utilize marketing as a means to increase sales abroad for our agricultural industries," Bronson said. "This partnership provides Florida with an effective venue for gathering market intelligence and establishing key trade contacts in India."

While in India, the Florida trade delegation will hold discussions in New Delhi, Calcutta, Bangalore and Bombay.

As a member of the World Trade Organization, India has spurred interest among food exporters who acknowledge the subcontinent’s population of more than 1 billion, and a middle class estimated to be larger than the entire population of the United States.

"Florida and other Southern states must act quickly to secure a foothold in the Indian market," Bronson said. "We are faced with stiff competition from other global competitors, such as Europe, Australia and New Zealand, which are entering this huge and lucrative market as Indian tariffs and other import restrictions are easing."

The India trade initiative is designed to increase sales of U.S. food products to that emerging market by: identifying opportunities and key Indian distribution figures; educating U.S. wholesalers and suppliers about the opportunities, and assisting them in finding and meeting Indian distribution partners; and providing in-depth assistance to U.S. firms to enter the Indian market.

This latest venture is part of Bronson’s ongoing effort to increase Florida exports and open markets around the world. In April, Bronson led a trade delegation to Puerto Rico to negotiate the sale of Florida cattle. Later that month Bronson hosted a trade delegation from Australia and New Zealand to explore opportunities for exporting Florida Thoroughbreds and equine services. Currently, a Florida trade delegation is in China exploring ways to develop markets for Florida wood products and other agricultural exports.

Information gathered during the Indian trade initiative will be presented to suppliers and exporters from Florida and other Southern states during a workshop later this year. The "India Workshop and Reverse Trade Mission," sponsored by SUSTA, will be held September 19-20 at the Renaissance Orlando Resort at Sea World. The workshop will feature presentations by members of the trade delegation and other global trade experts.

For information about the upcoming workshop, call SUSTA at (504) 568-5986, or contact:
Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
Division of Marketing and Development
Mayo Building, Room 421
407 South Calhoun Street
Tallahassee, Florida 32399-0800
Telephone: (850) 488-4366
Fax: (850) 488-7127


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