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Mexico offers tremendous potential for U.S. sweet potatoes

The American Sweet Potato Marketing Institute, which was formed in 2013 to promote the unique attributes of U.S. sweet potatoes abroad, believes Mexico has tremendous potential for U.S. sweet potato exports over the coming years.

With the help of funds from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service’s Emerging Markets Program, ASPMI recently conducted an assessment of the Mexican market for U.S. sweet potatoes, concluding that opportunities abound for U.S. exports if Mexican buyers better understand the grades, sizes and superior quality of U.S. product.

Interviews with the country’s top importers showed strong interest in U.S. product, and thanks to contacts made while conducting the assessment, a large food retailer in Mexico began placing orders of U.S. sweet potatoes.

While export volumes are currently small, ASPMI forecasts exports growing 300 percent over the coming years if Mexican buyers are provided the training and promotional support to better source U.S. sweet potatoes. Exports have already climbed sharply in 2016.

“EMP funding was critical in helping ASPMI identify this important new opportunity, without which the market would have remained untapped,“ said Johnny Barnes, president of the ASPMI.

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