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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Illinois Fishery Increases Exports to China

by Food Export | May 10, 2017
In May of 2016 Schafer Fisheries participated in Food Export’s Food Service Buyers Mission at the National Restaurant Association Show where they met with eight international buyers. The buyers reviewed the Sun Perch, Catfish, Bullhead, Carp, Gar, Bass, Crappie, Troup and Paddlefish products offered by the Illinois Supplier.

The products were well received by the buyer from China and post event Schafer Fisheries was able to report actual sales of $150,000 which marks a 20% increase in sales to the market. The Supplier also projects to do $300,000 in sales over the next twelve months.

Schafer Fisheries, Inc., located in Northwestern Illinois’ 17th Congressional District, is a wholesale/retail distributor of fresh fish and frozen seafood. This family owned business, established in 1954, purchases and processes fresh fish caught by over 100 commercial fishermen within a 1,000 mile radius. Their distribution reaches from California to Maine and all points in between, as well as internationally, thanks to the Market Access Program. Schafer Fisheries have used the Market Access Program funds through Food Export – Midwest for 12 years and have increased their export sales from $85,000 to $2,000,000.

The Market Access Program has helped them remain competitive with much larger companies and they have increased their sourcing of product from Kentucky and Tennessee.
 Schafer Fisheries

Since they started exporting they have added 6 new employees and they are currently selling to and targeting 16 countries worldwide and considering expansion with a new plant. They attribute their export success to the Market Access Program.

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.

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