Virtual Trade Mission Opens Up Opportunities for Connecticut Company

In 2020 Food Export - Northeast temporarily shifted their Trade Mission events to virtual events to help companies with their export activities during the COVID-19 global pandemic.

These new virtual events opened opportunities to Food Export veteran suppliers and those new to exporting.

Nature's First Inc., a company from Orange, Connecticut, had a chance to participate in one in-person event organized by Food Export, before pandemic hit the world. However, Virtual Trade Missions offered by Food Export later in 2020 let the Natural Foods supplier continue participating in international trade and still meet buyers from various foreign markets.

Virtual activities add an element of technology to one-on-one meetings above all. “Is my camera and sound working? How and where to join the meeting? How to share a screen?”. Nature’s First started with Food Export’s Virtual Trade Mission to the Middle East in November 2020 and needed some time to adjust to technology. However, that did not stop the Connecticut company from having successful meetings. They are now projecting $300,000.00 in sales from this Virtual Trade Mission.

After this event proved to be successful and an ideal way to meet Buyers from different markets, Nature’s First signed up for more Virtual Trade Missions organized by Food Export in 2021. The Connecticut company already participated in the Virtual Trade Mission to Costa Rica this February and is projecting $60,000 sales from this activity. They were also part of the Virtual Trade Missions to Chile and Peru in April as well. Nature’s First is projecting $100,000.00 in sales combined from these events.

Nature’s First has now also signed up for Virtual Trade Missions to Dominican Republic, Guatemala and Canada that will take place later in 2021.

“I had some challenges using technology”, said Mr. Harjit Singh, President & CEO of Nature’s First, about one of his first Virtual Trade Missions. But after his most recent participation he commented that the ease of technology was much easier to navigate, it was “Excellent”.

Nature’s First is a manufacturer of natural food products, beverages, and nutraceuticals. With particular emphasis on Dairy Powders, Fruit pulps, Juices, and Coconut Water. The US operation specializes in manufacturing a range of powdered products - from its Patented Milk Topping for the vending industry to other Dairy and Nutraceutical Products.

Focused Trade Missions are a premiere activity successfully run by Food Export for many years. It allows U.S. food companies to travel and experience local markets and its landscape as well as meet potential in-market buyers at one-on-one meetings. Since traveling became almost impossible in March of 2020, Food Export successfully shifted to Virtual Trade Missions which, with the help of technology, allows one-on-one meetings with potential buyers from different markets to be conducted virtually. In 2020 Food Export completed 6 Virtual Trade Missions that received positive feedback both from suppliers and buyers. This year Food Export has 11 Virtual Trade Missions planned.

Food Export uses funding from the Market Access Program (MAP) to help America’s small businesses increase their exports of food and agricultural products. As these exports increase, these small businesses are creating jobs and improving the strength and stability of our agricultural economy. Food Export-Midwest and Food Export-Northeast are non-profit organizations that work in collaboration with their member state departments of agriculture and the USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service. They offer a wide range of programs and services that help boost America’s agricultural exports.

New Distributorships Established
New Distributorships Established
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Food Export VIRTUAL ACTIVITY Success
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Each year, hundreds of U.S. suppliers participate in the Food Export–Midwest and Food Export–Northeast's programs. As a result, companies are successful at generating new export sales, establishing new distributorship, expanding their production facilities, and hiring additional employees. Read the Success Stories to learn more!

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