Centers for International Trade Development Address Growing International Market and Key Factors Affecting California’s Food & Ag Industry With High Demand Export Training at 2014 World Ag Expo

World-renowned speakers to cover global career growth, changing global consumer, demand for American machinery and impact of the Trans-Pacific Partnership on California’s $162 Billion Export Industry

2014 World Ag Expo

TULARE, Calif.--()--The California Centers for International Trade Development (CITD), a division of State Center Community College District (SCCCD), will hold its 23nd Annual International Trade Symposium for World Ag Expo attendees on February 11, 2014 at the Expo Seminar Center in Tulare, California. The training is open to World Ag Expo attendees and is designed to meet the needs of experienced, as well as new, exporting companies.

The symposium is free with paid admission to the World Ag Expo and is made up of world-renowned speakers. It will consist of four seminars including:

1. Going Global: Expand Your Horizon, Your Career, Your Future! 10:15 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.

  • Chris Rosander, International Program Manager, Raisin Administrative Committee
  • Chiradeep “Deep” SenGupta, Principal, FedEx Trade Networks Trade Services
  • Michael Astorga, Export Sales, Sundale Vineyards/Global Fruition, Inc.
  • Richard Swanson, Regional Director- Pacific South, U.S. Department of Commerce

2. The New Global Consumer: Effect of the Rising Middle Class 11:30a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

  • David Miller, Global Accounts Manager, National Raisin Company
  • Dennis Lynch, International Trade Specialist, California Centers for International Trade Development
  • Karen Halliburton Barber, Assistant Vice President and Senior Analyst – Produce, Rabobank’s Food & Agribusiness Research and Advisory (FAR) Group

3. Importance of American-Made Agricultural Machinery Exports to U.S. Economy1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.

  • Padraic Sweeney, Office of Transportation and Machinery, U.S. Department of Commerce

4. How Will the Trans-Pacific Partnership Affect Agricultural Trade?2:15 p.m. – 3:15 p.m.

  • Ambassador Islam Siddiqui, Former Chief Agricultural Negotiator, Office of the U.S. Trade Representative
  • Veronica Nigh, Economist, American Farm Bureau Federation

“CITD is focused on preparing California food and agriculture companies for success in the International market – whether they are already experienced or new to exporting, we are a continual resource,” said Alicia Rios, Director, State Center Community College District, California Centers for International Trade Development. “Our speaking lineup addresses a variety of key factors affecting the International market, as well as making sure we are growing our future generations of export professionals.” For more information on these seminars at the World Ag Expo, please visit or

In 2012, California’s export industry accounted for nearly $162 Billion in export sales to more than 225 countries according to the International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce. Additionally, the sales value generated by California’s agriculture increased by 3.2 percent between the 2011 and 2012 crop years recording $44.7 billion in sales for their output. California’s increase in revenue was led by the grape industry followed by the cattle sector and almond production, respectively according to a California Department of Food & Agriculture report.

With 95% of the World’s consumers outside the United States’ borders and California’s export industry continuing to grow led by California’s agriculture industry, participating food and Ag businesses have an opportunity to potentially increase their annual sales by 30-50% through exporting according to export sales numbers tracked by CITD clients over a seven year period. Through their vast experience – in which they’ve developed more than $682 million in direct export sales, led more than 175 food and agricultural trade missions, and provided export training and assistance to over 5,000 companies – CITD works year-round to advance California’s international trade and competitiveness, assist exporters and importers, and advance economic growth through a number of programs.

Following their export training at the World Ag Expo, CITD along with the California Department of Food (CDFA), will host The California Agricultural Export Training Program (CalAgX). Since the program was first offered in 2006, CalAgX has trained over 350 people representing 185 California commodities. This very specific training program is tailored to producers, growers, processors and marketers of California grown or processed Specialty Crops.

Past participants of the CalAgX program have reported great success in expanding into new global markets and over $20 million in export sales specifically attributed to the training program. This year, six sessions are being offered throughout California in Sacramento, Clovis and Los Angeles to meet the learning needs of food and agriculture companies throughout California. Sessions begin April 8, 9 and 10 depending upon location and run through June 19, 2014. For additional details on CalAgX and to register, visit CITD will also hold a Basics of Exporting Introductory Workshop and Importing into the U.S. Introductory Workshop on March 11, 2014. Visit for more information.

In addition, CITD will continue its partnership with the nation’s largest regional food show, the Fresno Food Expo. In 2013, the CITD first brought a variety of international buyers on an export mission to the Expo. The companies participating in the 2014 Fresno Food Expo will have an opportunity to meet with international buyers while being supported by CITD’s team of foreign trade experts who can help strengthen these new opportunities. Exhibitor registration is still open. The 2014 Fresno Food Expo will be held on Thursday, July 24, 2014. For more information, please visit

“Through these training programs and partnerships, we hope to elevate the level of awareness of these export resources available to California food and agriculture producers,” said Rios. “As California’s distinct food industry continues to grow, our goal is to provide the State’s wide range of food producers with the tools to be sustainable and develop productive relationships with international markets.”

About California Centers for International Trade (CITD):

The California Centers for International Trade’s (CITD) mission is to promote the State’s international trade and competitiveness, assist exporters and importers, and advance economic and job growth. The CITD specializes in food and agricultural export assistance and serves California through export training, one-on-one counseling, applied research and participating in CITD hosted buying missions. Since 2005, the CITD has maintained a Memorandum of Agreement with the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA). Through the MOA, the CITD serves as the “ex officio” export division of CDFA and host all incoming buying mission to California. For more information, visit

About State Center Community College District (SCCCD):

State Center Community College District (SCCCD) was formed in 1964 and currently serves approximately one million people and 18 unified and high school districts in more than 5,500 square miles of urban and rural territory, including most of Fresno and Madera Counties and portions of Kings and Tulare Counties. Total district enrollment averages over 40,000 students each semester. Its mission is to create lifelong learning and success for all students by providing accountable, accessible, innovative and quality educational and services that enable productive citizenship in a diverse, global society. For more information on SCCCD, go to

MEDIA NOTE: All International Speakers will be available following their respective presentations for one-on-one interviews outside the seminar room. CITD Director Alicia Rios will be available for interviews after each seminar.


Cohen Communications
Danielle Griffin, 559-222-1322 (O)

Release Summary

Centers for International Trade hosts export seminars at World Ag Expo, Feb. 11 addressing global career growth, changing global consumer, demand for American Ag machinery & Trans-Pacific Partnership


Cohen Communications
Danielle Griffin, 559-222-1322 (O)