ANNAPOLIS, Md. – The Maryland Department of Agriculture is seeking local food producers to participate in Expo ANTAD & Alimentaria on March 5-7, 2019, in Guadalajara, Mexico. This is the most important trade show dedicated to food products in Mexico and is recognized as a gateway to entering into the Mexican market.

In partnership with the Southern United States Trade Association (SUSTA), qualified Maryland food producers are being offered a subsidized rate of less than $1,000 for the following: a full booth at Expo ANTAD & Alimentaria, pre-planned individual buyer meetings, and a shipping allowance for products up to 50 pounds.

To qualify for this subsidy, companies must be considered a small business by the Small Business Administration’s standards and must sell an agricultural or food product that has at least 50 percent U.S. origins. Producers registering before October 5 will receive an early bird discount, and the final registration deadline is December 5. Staff can also assist companies in applying for funding from the Southern United States Trade Association to reimburse up to 50 percent of the cost of airfare, hotel accommodations and other marketing expenses at the trade show.

Mexico’s top trade partner is the United States. The U.S. imports 80 percent of all Mexican exports and provides Mexico with 50 percent of its total imports. In 2016, the United States’ major agricultural exports to Mexico were coarse grains ($2.74 billion), dairy products ($2.55 billion), corn ($2.3 billion), red meats ($2.18 billion), poultry and egg products ($1.14 billion), wheat ($611 million), and fresh fruit and vegetables ($603.5 million). Best prospects for this market include: processed fruit and vegetables, breakfast cereals and mixes, condiments, processed meat products, ingredients, snack foods, and alcoholic beverages.

Those interested in attending should contact Meredith House at meredith.house @maryland.gov or 410-841-5770. Space is limited and there is a pre-qualification process, so please apply as soon as possible. For more information on Expo ANTAD & Alimentaria, visit their website.