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Pete Bellas: Where are the buyers?

Posted: August 6, 2014 2:00 a.m.
Updated: August 6, 2014 2:00 a.m.

The U.S. exports a staggering 140 billion dollars of agricultural crops every year. As can be expected the U.S. is the top exporting country for agricultural products (in monetary terms) in the world, but it might surprise you to learn who the number two nation is, the Netherlands.

So how can it be that a country less than one percent the size of the U.S. be the number two agricultural exporter?

Specialty crops. The Netherlands produces over $80 billion in mostly specialty crops each year, for instance supplying two thirds of the live plants worldwide. Of the total production of US agriculture 40 percent are specialty crops, over $60 billion a year.

So if you grow a specialty crop how do you know where the buyers are?

It’s no secret that international sales is the next frontier in moving mass quantities of product. It’s just simple math. The seven billion plus people living on Earth is more than the 300 or so million here in the United States.

Figuring out a way to get your crop to other countries could be the way to grow your farm or your Ag business in ways you never even imagined. The California Centers for International Trade Development have just the program to help out.

The California Agricultural Export (CalAgX) training program will help you not only figure these things out, but will also save you time and money in the process.

Six workshops will cover everything from exporting essentials to export rules and cultural barriers. You’ll connect with foreign buyers and global trade professionals during the course of the most comprehensive and insightful program in California.

CalAgX benefits the producers, processors and marketers of California grown or processed specialty crops. The six separate training sessions are held at two-week intervals with each session lasting four hours. Each of the sixsessions has been designed to meet the learning needs of new-to-export or non-exporting food and agriculture companies.

Best of all the cost of the entire program is only $249 and by using promo code CALAGX14PORT the cost is only $199.

For more information or to signup for the program please call the College of the Canyons Center for International Trade Development (CITD) at 661- 362-5900.

Pete Bellas is the COC Dean of Economic Development at College of the Canyons. His column reflects his own views and not necessarily those of The Signal. For more information about the College of the Canyons Economic Development Division, call (661) 362-3521 or visit



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