State Agriculture Secretary Ben Brancel will lead a delegation of Wisconsin dairy and agricultural companies on a trade mission to Mexico in May, where the companies will showcase Wisconsin products and technology in a special Wisconsin Pavilion at Expo Leche, Mexico’s largest annual dairy industry conference. The trade mission is scheduled for May 4-7 in Aguascalientes.
In addition to attending several events at Expo Leche, Brancel is scheduled to meet with numerous top-level Mexican officials in efforts to continue to establish and reinforce relationships with Mexico and increase awareness of Wisconsin's dairy and ag industries.
Mexico is Wisconsin's second-most valuable ag export market, importing more than $360 million in products in 2016, including $247 million in dairy products such as cheese, milk, whey and butter, as well as eggs and honey. Located in north-central Mexico, Aguascalientes has a strong business climate and is a popular location for international headquarters for many companies.
“Our goals for the trade mission are to help create business opportunities for Wisconsin, raise awareness of Wisconsin's global leadership in dairy and agriculture, and continue to build upon Wisconsin's relationship with Mexico,” says Brancel. “This conference also presents an excellent opportunity for the Wisconsin delegation members to build new connections for themselves and Wisconsin’s dairy and agriculture sectors.”
In addition to leading the delegation on visits to several large dairy and mix-use farms for tours, Brancel is scheduled to meet separately with high-level officials including the secretary of the Aguascalientes Department of Dairy and Agriculture, representatives from the Department of Dairy and Agriculture of Queretaro, and the director of the veterinary program at the University of Cuauhtemoc, Aguascalientes, for a working meeting on cooperative efforts between the university and the University of Wisconsin veterinary and agriculture schools.
Nine Wisconsin companies will showcase products, goods and technology to tens of thousands of Expo Leche conference attendees, and they’ll also benefit from networking opportunities and one-on-one meetings with industry buyers and investors.
“This trade mission will allow us to further establish our working relationship with government leaders and dairy representatives in Mexico,” says Enrique Gandara, a business development consultant with the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection's International Agribusiness Center, which is helping organize the trade mission. “By making valuable connections, we are better able to provide ground-level guidance to Wisconsin companies on how to export to Mexico.”
Since 1966, the International Agribusiness Center, part of DATCP's Division of Agricultural Development, has provided export assistance to Wisconsin’s food and agriculture industry. Services include export education, market access support, and market development and promotion.