The Georgia Department of Economic Development’s (GDEcD) International Trade Division works to bolster exports by supporting small to medium sized Georgia businesses to expand their sales worldwide. Agricultural commodities have been among Georgia’s leading exports for decades, but the state has seen significant recent growth in the industry of value-added food products. The state of Georgia prides itself on both the distinctiveness and superiority of its products, and endeavors to share that quality with the world.
The University of Georgia’s Flavor of Georgia program has featured many of Georgia’s successful food exporters. As a platform to showcase innovative products by leading Georgia food companies, many participants throughout the years have found that their products attract interest in international markets. Setting your product apart from the competition is key to international sales success, and Flavor of Georgia similarly recognizes the uniqueness and consumer appeal of finalists’ products.
Flavor of Georgia invited GDEcD’s International Trade division to participate as an organization in the resource room at the finalist pitch day. International Trade joined Centers of Innovation for Agribusiness and Logistics, as well as GDEcD’s Small Business team to represent various resources available to food companies statewide. Collaboration between divisions in GDEcD and partner organizations, such as the University of Georgia’s Small Business Development Center, has been a great way to showcase how the state supports growing businesses on many different levels. By working with one division, a company gains access to the resources of all divisions.
Food companies have numerous state and federal resources available for export assistance. At this year’s Flavor of Georgia program, GDEcD’s International Trade division invited a representative from the Southern United States Trade Association (SUSTA) to join the program. Through USDA funding, SUSTA is able to provide small to medium sized value-added food companies with cost assistance for marketing expenses, and international trade show support. Together, SUSTA and GDEcD work with food companies to identify international markets, qualify international buyers and support them at international events. Many Flavor of Georgia past participants have been able to grow internationally by leveraging resources available through GDEcD and SUSTA.
It was an ideal opportunity for International Trade to be featured at the Flavor of Georgia finalist pitch day. The 2017 finalists were able to learn about the wide variety of international business resources available to them in a setting where they could ask questions and meet representatives from GDEcD and SUSTA. Flavor of Georgia provides a great avenue to highlight companies that are a good fit for international business, and to connect companies with international resources that can help them share Georgia’s flavor with the world.
Learn more about Georgia’s award winning international trade services at www.Georgia.org/Trade.