An average of nearly $70M dollars of food and agricultural products were exported from Wisconsin’s farmers, agribusinesses, and food and feed processors each and every week of 2017. In fact, export stats recently released by the WI Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) show a whopping $3.5B worth of products exported in 2017.
Imagine, that same savory cheese you enjoy from one of Wisconsin’s many cheese plants is likely being served at a fine restaurant in Japan. Likewise, Wisconsin’s famous cranberries can be found in snacks around the globe. Wisconsin is also a leading exporter of that fine culinary treat we call the brat – it’s not just our sports fans who enjoy Wisconsin’s famous snacks. And Wisconsin’s prize winning cows: their elite genetics are found in such diverse locales as Colombia, Abu Dhabi and China.
Many companies find themselves pulled into international trade by chance. A random meeting with a potential customer leads to their first export. Then, another and another. Being a reactionary exporter – one who responds to requests versus seeking them out – is a fine way to get started. But to be truly global and reap the rewards of increased sales and consumer base, companies must move from being an accidental exporter to an intentional exporter – complete with an international strategy.
Thankfully, Wisconsin’s food and agribusiness industry is surrounded by resources and support. No Wisconsin exporter has to feel they must “go it alone” when it comes to growing their international trade. Here are just a few resources to help you go from local to global.
- DATCP’s WI International Agribusiness Center – great information, great connections and simply a great resource for new and experienced exporting companies. From market reports to funding opportunities, the Center is literally a one-stop-shop for all topics related to the export of food and agricultural products.
- Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) – the state’s leading economic development entity provides a plethora of programs and services focused on international markets.
- Wisconsin Manufacturing Extension Partnership (WMEP) – helps Wisconsin manufacturers grow their business through exporting with its ExporTech ™ program: the country’s leading international strategy development program for the C-suite.
- M3’s Food and Agribusiness Practice Group – from reducing the risks associated with product shipment to insuring your receivables, M3’s team helps you navigate the complex waters of international trade.
Contact Jen Pino-Gallagher to learn more about positioning your food and agricultural products in the global marketplace.