The delegation, consisting of peanut buyers from national and international food companies, toured a Georgia shelling plant in addition to Henry County farmer Ed White’s peanut farm. White, who serves on the National Peanut Board and Alabama Peanut Producers Association board of directors, said promoting American peanuts is a top priority.
“As a member of the National Peanut Board, I support all peanuts,” White said. “These buyers aren’t able to buy all the Texas peanuts they want, so by coming here and getting a taste for the sweeter Southeastern peanut, maybe it will open up some markets for us.”
Erica Hansford, marketing and communications manager for the American Peanut Council, said trade delegation trips provide positive interaction between buyers, processors and farmers.
“Mexico is one of the largest consumers of our products, so this is a good way to facilitate face to face meetings,” she said.
While at White’s farm, buyers posed for pictures, saw peanuts being harvested and asked questions.
Claudia Nakatani, a representative of Productos Nipon in Mexico City, Mexico, said her first trade mission was a pleasant one.
“I can say I will definitely consider buying Alabama peanuts,” she said. “I can taste the sweetness, and I can see how much quality peanuts in this area have.”
For Christian Ibarrola, a representative of Productos Winnuts in Monterrey, Mexico, attending trade missions allows him to interact with farmers and other buyers.
“It’s great for me as a customer,” he said. ”Even though we see a lot of the same things it’s also good to hang out with out competitors and get to know new vendors. We just started buying from the American Peanut Producers Association, and we’re looking forward to strengthening that relationship.”