Kingston Fresh's Nick Proia Talks Recent Visit to China with Idaho Governor C.L. Otter
- by Jessica Donnel
BOISE, ID - China may be one step closer to seeing Idaho potatoes fill its plates as we head into the new year. Idaho’s governor, C.L. “Butch” Otter, along with members of Kingston Fresh and several of the state’s organizations, took to the massive country this month in an effort to boost trade relations for potatoes and beyond.
“While fresh Idaho potatoes are not currently permitted into China from the U.S., we need to continue to push for their acceptance, and we did that,” Nick Proia, Vice President of Business Development for Kingston Fresh. “Our goals for gaining a deeper understanding of the market, engaging with potential importers, and evaluating opportunities for the products we currently export to other parts of the world were met."
Proia said Kingston Fresh is currently working on following up with each of the over 20 contacts he made while in China, and finalizing plans to return for additional meetings in the future to further grow relations with Idaho potatoes. The trip came at a prime time for the company, as Kingston Fresh has just begun exporting its avocados from Mexico to China, as well as to the U.S.
According to a press release, export dollars are a significant portion of the economy in Idaho, especially exports to China. The Governor’s office shared the following statistics about the growing trade:
- Nearly 20 percent of all Idaho agricultural commodities are exported
- Idaho’s 2015’s export value reached more than $2 billion
- Idaho’s exports to China totaled $560 million in 2015 up more than 16 percent
- China is the second-largest export market for Idaho.
- Idaho’s year-to-date exports to China are up more than 18 percent for 2016
“Our recent mission to China was one of the best we’ve had. The interest we received in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou was a reflection of the great products and services we were promoting, along with the tremendous market potential that remains in China,” Governor Otter said. “We identified some excellent opportunities, and I look forward to seeing their future successes.”
Kingston Fresh, based in Idaho Falls, Idaho, is one of the state’s largest distributors and marketers of fresh potatoes, onions, sweet pineapples, citrus, grapes, mangos, melons, and even more.
Will China be the next market the company takes by storm? AndNowUKnow will update you with the latest.