Indiana food products are now found in markets all over the world, thanks to the work of the international trade program at the Indiana State Department of Agriculture (ISDA).
“My goal, and that of the rest of the staff at the ISDA, is to advance the food products grown in Indiana in established world markets and explore emerging markets,” says Daniel Spellacy, manager of the program. During an international trade mission to Korea, Japan and Taiwan in summer 2014, Spellacy marketed Hoosier agricultural foodstuffs.
“I’m striving to establish relationships with foreign governments on behalf of the farmers of Indiana,” he says. “If Vietnam would call looking for a barge of corn, I could help.”
To provide more assistance to food producers, the ISDA joined the Food Export Association of the Midwest USA. Based in Chicago, the group includes 12 centrally located states as members.
“The Food Export Association receives federal dollars to help offset the costs for members to participate in export trade shows,” Spellacy says.
He also periodically hosts educational export seminars, like one in October 2014 at Purdue University. He shared with the group that he believes Asian markets are viable possibilities for expansion of Hoosier food products.
He says, “China, plus other parts of Asia and the Middle East, may increase their consumption for protein in the next decade.”