Six Taiwanese companies in the market for processed agricultural products will visit Helena and Great Falls on a shopping trip next week.
The buyers, representing three grocery store chains and three importers, will meet with representatives from 12 Montana companies that produce goods such as gourmet candies, wine, organic lentils, and natural body care products. The shoppers are hoping to find new products for gift packs and other retail opportunities to offer their consumers.
“Visits like this are extremely important to our agricultural economy because they give us an opportunity to develop relationships with new foreign trading partners,” Agriculture Director Ron de Yong said. “Trends in the Taiwan food industry are products that offer convenience, specialty and function, such as healthy and organic foods. We have Montana companies that can meet those consumer needs.”
The trip is part of an ongoing effort to promote Montana products in Taiwan. In March, the Montana Trade Office in Taipei conducted a tasting survey of Montana food and beverage products and received positive feedback from chefs, importers, wedding planners and media. Chefs and culinary students in Taiwan will be instructed on how to prepare flavorful and healthy dishes using Montana ingredients during another promotional event this June.
In Montana the group will meet with Lt. Governor Bohlinger and tour the Pasta Montana processing facility in Great Falls, where more than 50 types of dry pasta products are manufactured.
The buying mission will be paid for in large part by the Western States Agricultural Trade Association, an organization funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. It is being hosted cooperatively by Montana Department of Agriculture, Montana Department of Commerce Office of Trade and International Relations, and Montana Chamber of Commerce.