SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – The Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDOA) and Food Export Association of the Midwest will host the Food Export Marketing Forum & Buyers’ Mission on September 28-29 at the Intercontinental Hotel in Chicago. The forum is designed to help Illinois suppliers increase export sales and learn more about international markets and the growing demand for U.S. products.
“Every food item we sell overseas creates demand for Illinois crops and products while also supporting jobs here at home,” IDOA Director Tom Jennings said. “International trade is a key factor to the well-being of our agriculture industry.”
Illinois is the fifth largest exporter of agricultural commodities in the U.S, exporting more than $4.8 billion in goods last year. Overall, Illinois companies exported $41.5 billion in products in 2009. Since 2002, Illinois exports have grown by more than $15 billion. Illinois is the sixth-largest exporting state in the country.
The forum will put Illinois businesses in contact with exporters from several countries, including Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Caribbean, China, Colombia, Guatemala, Hong Kong, India, Korea, Mexico, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, United Kingdom and Vietnam.