A newly published report from Oregon State University shows producers are slowly recovering from the pandemic.
OSU Professor of Applied Economics Jeff Reimer says the last, nearly three years, were tough for food and beverage exporters who rely on the ability to build relationships overseas.
“You weren’t able to easily just fly and meet people. You weren’t able to attend trade conferences, say in another country. The huge trade conferences are often where you can meet potential buyers.”
While trade shows and international travel are back on the docket, Reimer says the strong dollar is now creating pricing struggles for local producers.
He says when the dollar is stronger, it makes easier for Americans to import, but it also makes it more challenging for U.S. companies to export their goods. Reimer added other long-standing hurdles remain.
“Languages are different, finding the right distributor in another country, there’s exchange rates, there’s various red tape through customs, you have to make sure your product is certified to be safe; and each country has its own food-safety standards.”
Researchers surveyed Oregon food and beverage companies with 500 employees or fewer, and found about 30 percent currently export products to other countries.