Promoting Potatoes In Southeast Asia
I’m Lacy Gray with Washington Ag Today.
Washington’s potato industry contributes more than $4.6 billion annually to the state’s economy, and is the third largest agricultural crop in the state. Ryan Holterhoff with the Washington State Potato Commission says that “last year Washington growers produced about 9.6 billion pounds of potatoes, and of those 90 percent will leave the state and about half of those will actually go to foreign markets.” As part of the USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant funding program potato commission representatives from both Washington and Oregon along with directors from the Department of Agriculture in both states will be going on a 12 day trade mission to the Philippines, Vietnam and Myanmar later this month to promote the Northwest’s growing potato market.
HOLTERHOFF: We’re looking at the opportunity to go over and expose these markets to the versatility - the quality that potatoes from the Northwest provide. So, we’ll be working with importers and retailers and chefs and really trying to expose them to all the benefits that potatoes from our region can provide them and their customers.
Both the Philippines and Vietnam have been recently granted access to fresh potatoes from the U.S.
HOLTERHOFF: So our mission will be focused around fresh potatoes from both states and being able to try to increase their usage in both of those markets. With any new market you’re looking at going in and having to help them understand a little bit more about what are the differences between the product you’re providing versus what they are already seeing in their markets.
Tomorrow Holterhoff will talk about how the trade mission delegates will also be visiting with government officials to discuss market access issues, including tariffs.
That’s Washington Ag Today.
I’m Lacy Gray on the Ag Information Network.