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U.S. Dry Bean Council Holds Summer Board Meeting

The U.S. Dry Bean Council’s summer board meeting took place July 19 and 20 in Snowmass, Colorado in conjunction with the U.S. Dry Bean Convention. This year’s meeting focused on USDBC’s response to the current trade environment and the downturn in global exports.
 
The Agricultural Affairs and International Promotion Committees both discussed and defined several new approaches to shoring up global markets and expressing industry policy priorities. That includes another Washington D.C. Fly-In in the spring of 2020, and the implementation of several new trade opportunities under the new Agricultural Trade Promotion program.
 

Promising Niche Market Opportunities in Peru

The U.S. Dry Bean Council recently concluded a fact-finding mission to Peru. U.S. agricultural exports to Peru increased from $424 million in 2008 to $1.3 billion in 2018. Currently, the U.S. is the largest agricultural product supplier with 31 percent market share. About two-thirds of U.S. agricultural goods enter the country duty free, including dry beans. In marketing year 2017/18, the U.S. exported 4,147 metric tons of dry beans to Peru. This is due primarily to lower Peruvian dry bean production and increased demand for navy beans for food assistance programs, which drove up U.S. exports.
 

Agricultural Trade Promotion Funding Awarded for Dry Beans

USDA has awarded $100 million to 48 organizations through the Agricultural Trade Promotion Program. The program aims to help U.S. farmers identify and access new export markets. The U.S. Dry Bean Council has received over $2 million in funding, with $1.4 million awarded in January and another $615,000 in July.
 
More details can be found here.

Dry Bean Trade Mission to Argentina

U.S. Dry Bean Council representatives traveled to Argentina in June 2019 to meet with growers, agronomists, processors, agricultural technology experts and traders/exporters. While there, they gained a better understanding of the dry bean value chain in Argentina and trends in production and international marketing. Representatives from the Northarvest region included John Berthold, dealer and president of Green Valley Bean Company in Park Rapids, Minnesota, and Mark Dombeck, a bean grower near Perham, Minnesota.
 

Social Media Campaign Promotes Dry Beans in Turkey

 
With support from the USDA Foreign Agriculture Service’s Agricultural Trade Promotion program, the U.S. Dry Bean Council kicked off a social media campaign in Turkey. The goal is to educate Turkish consumers about all dry bean classes grown in the United States and increase U.S. exports to Turkey. Although they consume dry beans virtually every day, few Turkish consumers know that the U.S. is a major supplier of dry beans.
 
The campaign features recipes and weekly meal plans on Facebook and Instagram, the two largest social media platforms in Turkey. A second component of the program is the creation of a Turkish-language website to provide consumers with information regarding the types of dry beans that the U.S. has to offer, as well as the health benefits.
 

Dry Bean Scene

USDA is distributing a new round of Market Facilitation Program payments, and dry edible beans will receive a piece of those funds. Get the details in this week’s Dry Bean Scene on the Red River Farm Network, made possible by the Northarvest Bean Growers Association.

Dry Bean Council Meets with Cuban Officials

The U.S. Dry Bean Council, along with representatives from other agricultural trade groups, met with Ambassador Carlos Fernandez de Cossio, General Director for U.S. Affairs for Cuba’s Foreign Ministry, in Washington DC earlier this month.
 
Despite the renewal of several regulations limiting trade with Cuba, Cuba remains interested in engaging with U.S. entities whose commercial activities are still permitted by regulations. Fortunately, those regulations remain favorable to agriculture.
 
For the first time, the 2018 Farm Bill included language allowing for the use of marketing funds granted under the MAP and FMD programs to conduct trade development activities in Cuba. USDBC will continue to provide updates on this opportunity as it develops.

Dry Bean Scene

North Dakota and Minnesota dry bean growers were in Washington D.C. this week for the U.S. Dry Bean Council Fly-In. U.S. Dry Bean Council director and Webster, North Dakota farmer Kevin Regan says trade remains the top priority for the industry. Hear more in this week’s Dry Bean Scene on the Red River Farm Network, made possible by the Northarvest Bean Growers Association.