"Our staff's efforts to bring buyers and sellers together produced
extraordinary results this year," said Bob Flider, acting director
of the Illinois Department of Agriculture. "The previous three tours
combined produced $25 million in sales, so these results are very
encouraging. They indicate there is strong demand for Illinois grain
and grain-related products and services in foreign markets."
The tour, which the department conducts annually, brought 22
foreign grain buyers to Illinois from China, Korea, Malaysia,
Mexico, Peru, Singapore, Taiwan and Vietnam. Stops on the Sept.
10-14 tour included an Auburn corn and soybean farm; an Assumption
manufacturer of grain storage structures; a Mattoon grain, oilseed
and food ingredient supplier; and a Hennepin ethanol plant.
"Our challenge now is to build upon the relationships started on
this year's tour and turn these initial sales into repeat business,"
Exports are crucial to Illinois' agricultural economy, accounting
for 39 percent of the industry's cash receipts. In fiscal 2010, the
state sold $5.8 billion in agricultural products overseas, making it
the fourth-leading agricultural exporter in the United States.
The grain tour is just one of the strategies the department uses
to find markets for Illinois products, support agriculture-based
employment and strengthen the Illinois economy. Last fiscal year,
for example, the department participated in 13 international and
domestic trade shows, led five foreign buyers' missions and industry
tours, facilitated 5,474 buyer-seller introductions, and
disseminated 1,741 trade leads to Illinois companies.
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These activities generated $71 million in actual sales and
another $763 million in projected sales for Illinois food companies
Building on his commitment to increase foreign trade and market
Illinois goods overseas, this week Gov. Quinn is leading a
delegation of officials from Illinois businesses, educational
institutions and state and local governments on an economic trade
mission in Brazil.
The mission includes stops in São Paulo, Brasilia and Recife,
where Quinn will preside over the signing of several memorandums of
understanding as part of the Doing Business with Illinois program,
which is designed to establish ties in manufacturing, agriculture,
biotechnology and education.
Department of Agriculture
file received from the
Illinois Office of
Communication and Information]