Success Stories

Each year, hundreds of U.S. suppliers participate in Food Export-Midwest and Food Export-Northeast’s programs.  As a result, companies are successful at generating new export sales, establishing new distributorships, expanding their production facilities, and hiring additional employees.  Read these success stories to learn more.

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JM Grain Brings USA Lentils and Peas to Colombia

by Food Export | Jul 07, 2016
Prior to 2012, JM Grain, a North Dakota-based supplier of green peas and lentils, did not do much business in Colombia. The company had only shipped product in small quantity to the South American country. However, business picked up considerably in the fall of 2012 following JM Grain’s participation in Food Export – Midwest’s Market Builder program.

Through the Market Builder program, JM Grain first received market research for their products into the cities of Bogota and Medellin and then traveled to each city for one-on-one meetings with local buyers. Food Export In-Market Consultant arranged and facilitated these meetings with interested buyers and since then business has taken off for the North Dakota supplier.

According to Beverly Flaten, Owner of JM Grain, “It was not until we used the Market Builder program that we had strong business in Colombia. We connected with a buyer for green peas that has been purchasing regularly since then. We also met two other customers for our lentils that have developed into ongoing business. At this time, Colombia is now the strongest export market for our company.”

In fact, total sales to Colombia grew from approximately $100,000 USD annually to approximately $3,000,000 USD annually for JM Grain. Just earlier this summer, JM Grain sold a contract of green peas worth $500,000 USD to their regular buyer in Colombia. Ongoing sales have resulted in an increase of staff for JM Grain as well, with adding a new logistics specialist and more plant personnel.

JM Grain hosted several of their Colombian customers last week in North Dakota. They now sell to 6 different buyers and are in negotiations with several more. Flaten asserted, “Colombia is a great place to do business. We’ve gotten to know our customers well and they know all of us. We’ve built a lot of trust.”

JM Grain is a supplier of chick peas, lentils, feed peas, green peas, and yellow peas for the food processing industry. This Garrison, North Dakota supplier has utilized Food Export programs and services since 2012.

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.

Story written August 2015 - JM Grain Inc. is located in North Dakota

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