Missouri agricultural companies interested in expanding, both domestically and internationally, have access to a number of resources. The Domestic and International Marketing Program has dedicated marketing specialists who provide tailored marketing assistance through the following services:

  • Education & Outreach – We generate trade reports, ag industry snapshots and other educational handouts; prepare quarterly newsletters; and conduct company visits to aide Missouri’s agricultural companies in their export success as well as for our staff to learn more about Missouri’s ag industry.
  • Buyer Searches – We work with a network of partners in our foreign office in Taiwan, USDA-Foreign Ag Service offices, in-market representatives at our national associations and the Department of Economic Development’s foreign offices to locate ideal and legitimate buyers of your agricultural products.
  • Trade Leads – We receive trade leads from our Taiwan Office, foreign buyers, partners and memberships every day. Please reach out to our team to learn about these opportunities.
  • Market Research – We utilize several ag-related databases and our partners to provide expert advice and factual examination of research on new markets for your products, foreign regulations and tariffs/duties on your export shipments, and much more.
  • Export Documentation Issuance – We provide your agricultural company (must be headquartered in Missouri or have a manufacturing facility in Missouri) with Certificates of Free Sale, Certificates of Health and Sanitary, and other export documentation required by the importing country.
  • Trade Missions – We organize business-to-business meetings, facility tours and networking opportunities for Missouri agricultural companies interested in exporting their products. These services are coordinated for both our trade missions to foreign countries as well as buyers’ missions to Missouri.
  • Domestic Trade Shows – We offer booth space sponsorships to Missouri agricultural companies at domestic trade shows.
  • International Trade Shows – We offer shared booth space and the ability to showcase product samples and promotional materials to Missouri agricultural companies at international trade shows.
  • Financial Assistance – We work with colleagues at MASBDA, USDA Rural Development, SBA, Export-Import Bank, G-MAP, MO STEP=UP and other financial lending authorities to find financial assistance for your new business venture, business expansion, and domestic and international marketing activities.

Frequently Asked Questions

If your company is interested in exporting, a number of questions have probably come to mind. This section addresses some of the most frequently asked questions including where to find market information as well as exporting and certification documents that may be required. If you have any additional questions, please call (573) 751-7213 or email abd@mda.mo.gov.

Where can I find information on foreign markets?

  • USDA's Foreign Agricultural Service offers reports categorized by topics, commodities and countries.
  • USDA FAS Trade Data and Analysis allows access to various databases, quarterly export sales forecasts, attaché reports and international agricultural trade reports.
  • USDA Economic Research Service offers reports on various topics such as food safety, global food markets, global food security and trade policy.
  • CIA World Factbook offers information on the history, people, government, economy and transnational issues for the 267 world entities.
  • Euromonitor International is the world's leading independent provider of strategic market research. It generates data and analysis on thousands of products and services around the world.
  • Export.gov offers market research, trade events and leads for U.S. agribusiness companies.
  • Euler Hermes USA prepares country and business risk reports for U.S. companies, analyzing the country risk rating, strengths and weaknesses, economic overview, trade structure and collection complexity.
  • United States Trade Representative’s Office of Agricultural Affairs is responsible for U.S. government trade negotiations (free trade agreements) as well as policy development and coordination regarding agriculture.

What state and federal programs are there to assist U.S. exporters with international trade events and marketing financial assistance?

A host of programs exist to help U.S. exporters succeed internationally, including the Market Access Program, the Export Enhancement Program and the Emerging Markets Program. Click on the following links for information about these and more federal and state assistance programs:

What is a freight forwarder, and how can they assist me in exporting my products?

A freight forwarder is responsible for the coordination of logistics for a shipment. They are simply an intermediary between the shipper and the transportation services involved in getting the shipment to its destination. Freight forwarders provide a variety of services for their clients including packing and storage of goods, customs clearance, insurance, international export and import documentation, and inventory management.

Freight forwarders can be advantageous to your company as they use their knowledge and expertise to ensure that your shipment will arrive at the correct destination on time and save you money in the process. If you are interested in hiring a freight forwarder to help you export your products, here are a few of Missouri’s freight forwarders:

Where can I meet legitimate foreign buyers of agriculture products?

  • Domestic and International Trade Shows – industry specific exhibitions can serve as a great opportunity to meet prospective buyers. MDA’s marketing team will provide you with a list of shows for your consideration, or you can join a department-led delegation to a show.
  • Trade Missions – learning journeys to foreign countries allow you to meet one-on-one with reputable foreign buyers interested in your agricultural products, gain market and cultural insight into a new market, and network with key government and industry leaders.
  • Buyers’ Missions – coordinated visits where foreign buyers visit Missouri for the purpose of procuring agricultural products is another great way to meet vetted foreign buyers.

To learn more about these events, please contact one of the marketing specialists today.

Are there virtual services available to help my company learn about exporting, gain insight knowledge about a foreign market and help me export my products?

Yes, the department’s various partners and memberships provide a variety of virtual services for your company. The following programs and services offer virtual experiences that your company can take advantage of and receive the export insight you need:

I have received a request to export my product to an unknown foreign buyer, and I am unsure of whether or not they are legitimate. Is there anything I can do to be sure?

Yes, through our network of partners in our foreign office in Taiwan, at the USDA- Foreign Ag Service, in-market representatives at our national associations and the Department of Economic Development, we are often able to confirm or deny legitimacy of foreign trade requests.

How can I get information about requirements for exporting meat (poultry, pork, beef, goat, etc.) to specific countries?

USDA's Food Safety Inspection Service maintains a Library of Export Requirements that provides a country-by-country explanation of requirements for exporting most U.S. meat products. In general, meat products for export must come from a USDA-inspected processing facility.

The U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) is a nonprofit trade association working to create new opportunities and develop existing international markets for U.S. beef, pork, lamb and veal. Headquartered in Denver, USMEF has offices in Seoul, Tokyo, Beijing, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Singapore, Taipei, Moscow, St. Petersburg, Mexico City, Monterrey and Brussels. USMEF also has special market representatives covering China, the Middle East, Central and South America, and the Caribbean.

What is a phytosanitary certificate, and do I need one to export my plant-based commodity?

Many foreign countries require a phytosanitary certificate to accompany shipments of raw or unprocessed plant products being imported. A phytosanitary certificate is a certificate of health certifying that the product in the shipment meets the importing country’s criteria. These criteria are established by the importing country as a means of preventing the introduction or spread of harmful pest organisms. The requirements vary from country to country and may be different for each commodity shipped. Plant-based commodities that typically require a phytosanitary certificate include various grains and seeds such as corn, soybeans, popcorn and rice; cotton bales; oak lumber; barrel staves; red cedar cants; and nursery stock.

For more information or to schedule a phytosanitary inspection, please contact MDA’s Plant Pest Control Program or USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service in Missouri.