Farm product interests from around the world are headed for Oregon this summer to check out the state's agricultural industry.
Key export markets such as Japan, South Korea, China, Southeast Asia, India and the Middle East will send visitors to the Beaver State during the season, underscored by a bid to bring buyers here, while continuing to make Oregon products available to foreign displays.
"It's always good to get them on our home turf," says Gary Roth, ODA marketing director.
Summer provides a nice time to display Oregon farm products at home, he adds. Good weather, crops in full production and an abundance of things to show off help, he says
ODA trade specialists will be playing the part of tour guides for the visiting ag groups, and take the potential customers to farms and processing facilities throughout the state.
"We will be busy bringing in the buyers, especially from Asia, to look at the crops," says ODA International Trade Manager Amanda Welker.
"It's important for them to understand what the crop looks like in the field, and to understand the production and harvest process.
"They want to know the farmer and the field the product comes from before it enters the market."
The tours are a choice way to entice international markets, she says, and convince visitors that there is a great deal of focus on full traceability. They are willing to pay premium prices for quality products, says Welker, that they can trace back to a particular producer.
Inbound trade missions allow buyers to ask questions that may lead to higher interest in purchasing Oregon farm items, she adds.
Assurance of food safety is probably the biggest question on foreign buyers' minds today, and seeing how the product is handled in Oregon may convince them that the state knows its business when it comes to clean product.