Colorado Agriculture Commissioner John R. Stulp and the Colorado Department of Agriculture Markets Division director, Tom Lipetzky, spent a week in China bolstering the state's export market to that nation.
The focus of the mission was to participate in the opening of the China-U.S. Peace Food Inspection Center in Zhuhai. The complex is a first of its kind for China, and includes a wholesale market and cold storage, as well as a laboratory designed to permit product testing according to protocols of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
"The center will provide U.S. exporters the ability to have their products tested to Chinese import laws and regulations prior to shipment, both speeding up the process and minimizing product rejections," says Stulp.
"We were also given the opportunity to develop an important relationship with Chinese officials which could have a positive impact on future trade with China."
Last year, nearly 100 nations purchased agricultural products from Colorado; China ranks fifth among these markets in terms of volume sold.
Colorado is closely tuned into the foreign farm market, with total exports last year hitting $1.39 billion. Nearly $60 million was sold to China, which mainly imports hides and skins, animal feed and meat from Colorado.
"Colorado has a reputation for abundant, safe and high quality commodities," says Lipetzky. "It is important to continue building those relationships to help develop additional business opportunities for the future."
The CDA officials were among 21 persons from 12 states to participate in the trade mission as members of the Western United States Agricultural Trade Association, a non-profit organization promoting export of agricultural products from the Western U.S.