Agriculturists go abroad to learn more about international markets

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LAS CRUCES – Did you know that the United Kingdom (UK) was the 4th-largest export market for New Mexico agriculture in 2020 with a total value of $3.2 million in sales? And these numbers are only expected to increase with Britain’s recent departure from the European Union (EU) in 2020.

British farmers and ranchers contributed roughly $159 billion to the national economy by growing high-quality, healthy foods with some of the best sustainable and environmentally-friendly methods in the world. Additionally, the UK has arguably the largest market for U.S.-based food products and drinks, with last year’s exports totaling $1 billion. To learn more about their high productivity and sustainability practices, the New Mexico Department of Agriculture is organizing the 2022 Agricultural Innovation and International Trade Mission to England and Scotland.

The mission is taking off on June 25 and will return on July 3. Participants will fly into London, the capital of the UK, then travel by train to Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland. Participants will venture through several tours and research facilities that specialize in agricultural sustainability and land usage methods.

New Mexico Agriculture Secretary Jeff Witte said the trip will open more doors for New Mexico agriculturists and potentially grow a market that already includes New Mexico agriculture.

“This mission will provide New Mexico producers with a unique opportunity to build relationships in the United Kingdom while gaining valuable perspective on shared challenges impacting agriculture,” said Witte. “The UK is the 5th-largest export market on average for New Mexico agriculture, with a total value of $3.2 million sales, making the UK our 4th-largest agricultural export destination in 2020.”

With over 30 participants, this trip will provide an opportunity to bring back knowledge of the international market to various communities throughout the state. The New Mexico Agricultural Leadership program was also invited to join the trip, as the program is committed to developing knowledgeable, multicultural leaders within the food, agriculture and natural resource industries of New Mexico. Tina Wilson, program specialist senior and coordinator for the New Mexico Agriculture Leadership Program, said she is most excited to see what opportunities this trip will not only bring to the program but to the New Mexico market.

“The New Mexico Agricultural Innovation and Trade Mission to England and Scotland is an important step in creating new relationships and expanding into new markets for New Mexico producers,” said Wilson. “Trip participants will not only expand export opportunities but will also gain a deeper understanding of agriculture in the United Kingdom.”

With a market similar to the United States, this mission is expected to create international relationships and gain a deeper understanding of large population agriculture, as the UK encompasses 93,628 square miles and holds a population of 67 million. In comparison, New Mexico has a total area of 121,967 square miles and a population of 2.12 million.

For more information regarding the mission, please email Maggie Long, New Mexico Department of Agriculture, at malong@nmda.nmsu.edu

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