Deputy Secretary of Ag Grant Menke, IEDA Lead Ag Trade Mission to Colombia
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Deputy Secretary of Ag Grant Menke, IEDA Lead
Ag Trade Mission to Colombia
December 4, 2023 (DES MOINES) - Iowa Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Grant Menke and a 20-member delegation have returned to Iowa from a trade mission delegation to Colombia. The delegation included representation from Iowa’s livestock and agricultural associations and meat processing industry. Coordinated by the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA), the mission encouraged trade development, bolstered business relationships and identified opportunities to expand export markets.
Colombia’s economy is the fourth largest and its population of 52 million people is third largest in Latin America. The country has experienced steady economic growth, which has created stronger investment ties to the U.S., with agriculture exports as the leading indicator for that development. In 2022, Iowa exported $549 million in goods to Colombia. The country ranks second in Latin America – and in the top 10 overall – as an export destination for Iowa corn, pork and beef. Colombia also is a significant importer of Iowa soybeans, soybean meal, ethanol and dried distillers grains. The region shows promising opportunities for import growth across most ag sectors.
“The fast-growing agriculture trade relationship between the United States and Colombia over the past decade has been a success story for both nations that holds even greater potential,” said Iowa Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Grant Menke. “This Colombia trade mission was a timely and important opportunity for our well-rounded Iowa agriculture delegation to see progress, share ideas, strengthen partnerships and explore possibilities for expanded Iowa ag exports in this key South American market.”
The Iowa ag delegation visited Bogotá and Medellín from November 26 to December 2. During the trip, the group had meetings to promote Iowa’s high-quality corn (including ethanol and dried distillers grains), soybeans (including soybean meal), pork and beef products. IEDA arranged group events, industry and business development meetings and cultural exchanges with government officials, importers and processors. In addition, an Iowa ag reception was held at the U.S. Embassy in Colombia on November 28.
IEDA worked with in-country partners, the USDA Foreign Ag Service, U.S. Meat Export Federation, U.S. Grains Council and U.S. Soybean Export Council to organize the mission’s trade discussions.
IEDA’s International Trade Office connects Iowa companies with markets for their products and services, educates Iowa businesses on exporting and assists global companies wishing to establish or expand operations in Iowa. To find out more about these services or other trade missions, visit iowaeda.com.
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