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Agriculture a key part of Governor's trade mission to Asia

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Once again, Oregon agriculture will be part of the center stage as Governor Kitzhaber leads a delegation on a three-stop Asian trade mission: (NOTE: Asian Trade Mission runs October 14-25.)

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Audio 01
With growing economies in Asia and Oregon’s long-standing trade relationship with the region, excellent export opportunities await members of the delegation, which includes Oregon Department of Agriculture Director Katy Coba:

COBA:  “We’ll be going to Tokyo, Shanghai, and Hong Kong. For the ag delegation, we are going to be traveling with folks from the potato industry and the dairy industry.”  :11

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Oregon potato representatives hope to expand already profitable markets in Asia. But this is the first time Oregon’s dairy industry has explored overseas markets. There appears to be great potential for such products as yogurt, cheese, and both powdered and shelf-stable fluid milk. Having an export market option could help a dairy industry that has struggled a bit in the domestic market. Meanwhile, Governor Kitzhaber will plug into as many ag-related meetings and activities as possible:

COBA:  “I think always when we can travel with the governor, it just brings that much more credibility to the state as whole. A governor in Asian countries is a very well respected figure and it just draws more attention to the whole delegation. Certainly, agriculture can benefit from that.”  :17

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With all three destinations– China, Hong Kong, and Japan– it will be important to reconnect with current customers of Oregon agriculture as well as to prospect for additional opportunities. In Salem, I’m Bruce Pokarney.

Additional audio: Audio 03
COBA says representatives of the potato industry have gone on these trade missions before, but that’s not the case with Oregon’s dairy industry:

“For dairy, this is really a first time that Oregon’s dairy industry has explored opportunities in an export market. So it’s a market reconnaissance trip for the dairy industry and we are looking to see if it makes sense for some of our Oregon producers and processors to explore those export markets.”  :17

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Additional audio: Audio04
COBA says she has been asked by retailers, wholesalers, and importers whether Oregon can offer dairy products the last several times she’s been in Asia:

“They are interested in a wide range of things from yogurt to cheeses to dry powdered milk and to shelf–stable fluid milk.”  :09

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