Today’s Topic: Trade mission will focus on expanding NC ag exports to Europe

By on June 17, 2014

Southern Farm Network logoAgriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler sits down each week with Southern Farm Network’s Rhonda Garrison to discuss “Today’s Topic.”

The value of North Carolina’s ag exports has grown to almost $4 billion in recent years. Next week, Commissioner Troxler will lead a trade mission to try to boost that number even more.

He and members of the department’s marketing staff will go to Germany, Switzerland and England to promote sweet potatoes, tobacco and forestry products.

Germany is one of several European countries the NCDA&CS international marketing staff has worked with to boost exports of sweet potatoes. Since 2010, exports of U.S. sweet potatoes to Germany, The Netherlands, France and Belgium have grown from about 8 million metric tons to more than 15 million metric tons. As the nation’s largest sweet potato producer, North Carolina is in a great position to meet the growing European demand for this nutritious food.

In Switzerland, the group will meet with tobacco importers to continue to develop marketing opportunities for North Carolina leaf. And in England, they will meet with buyers of North Carolina forestry products who are using them to produce energy.

Exports are important for North Carolina agriculture. They boost farm income and support about 68,000 jobs both on the farm and off the farm in many areas, including food processing, storage and transportation. The department’s international trade office continues to be aggressive in marketing North Carolina commodities and other agricultural products.

Click on the audio player below to listen to Commissioner Troxler and Rhonda discuss the European trade mission.

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