For many of us, the cancellation of Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim was a wakeup call on the seriousness of the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on our day-to-day, though the virus was in its earlier stages back in March. 2020 looked very different on Sunday, March 1st when eight OTA-sponsored international buyers boarded flights to Anaheim to meet with U.S. exporters and walk the trade show. Just 24 hours later, these jet-lagged buyers arrived to California only to discover that the show had been cancelled while they had been on board their flights.
International by the numbers
Despite tariffs hitting world markets in 2018, total U.S. organic exports increased 10 percent from 2017 to reach $619 million (all figures U.S. dollars). Canada remains our largest trade partner, importing over $291 million worth of U.S. exports. Mexico finished off 2018 with a total of $108 million in imports of U.S. products, a 19 percent decrease from 2017. However, Mexico exported $317 million worth of organic products to the U.S., up 14 percent.
The Organic Trade Association received funding to conduct a GBI (Global Based Initiative) this summer to determine which types of social media campaigns are most effective for closing sales of U.S. agricultural exports in our top export markets and create a process for evaluating these campaigns in line with U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) performance measures.
This past fall, the Organic Trade Association partnered with key retailers in Asia to promote U.S. organic products in supermarkets visited by thousands of consumers. Working with Bio c’Bon in Japan and City Super in Hong Kong, the Organic Trade Association funded in-store promotions that included cooking classes, in store demo experts, and digital media content.
The U.S. is the largest organic market in the world representing more than half of all consumer sales for organic products globally. Consumers now enjoy all types of organic products from apples to ziti, but this abundance and variety are not possible without trade. The global organic industry continues to grow, with over $81.6 billion USD in 2015. According to FiBL, over 179 countries around the world have organic activities with over 2.4 million organic producers worldwide. As the global industry matures, the importance of trade and tracking increases.
BioFach | MAP & TASC | 14 companies participated at BioFach 2016, the world’s largest trade show for organic products, resulting in $9,457,000 in projected sales. OTA spoke on several panels at the BioFach Congress.
Expo West | MAP | OTA organized more than 200+ meetings with buyers from around the world for nearly 30 U.S. organic companies. Projected sales total $9,035,247.
WE TAKE U.S. ORGANIC GLOBAL Around the world, the desire for traceable, sustainably produced food is growing. Global demand for U.S. organic has never been stronger. Online and in-person, the Organic Trade Association helps connect U.S. businesses with buyers worldwide hungry for bringing the USDA Organic Seal to their markets. Whether you are a large brand or distributor with export programs in place or a small manufacturer just breaking in to global markets, U.S. Organic Worldwide is your go-to resource to help grow your international presence and business.
Potential bilateral equivalency arrangement with Mexico
The United States and Mexico are currently in formal negotiations for a potential bilateral organic equivalency arrangement.