Agri-Trade expands reach into U.S.

Certification from the United States Commercial Service opens doors to bring more international business to Agri-Trade, says one of its directors.

By BRENDA KOSSOWAN

Advocate staff

Certification from the United States Commercial Service opens doors to bring more international business to Agri-Trade, says one of its directors.

Rob Saik, CEO of the Agri-Trend group of companies, said the 2011 edition of Agri-Trade, trade show now in its final day at Westerner Park, will gain significant recognition internationally with the endorsement of the US Commercial Service, which is focused on helping American companies explore foreign markets.

“The impact is great. We, as Agri-Trade, are now on the radar screen of the United States consulate. The fact they’ve given certification to us effectively means they’ve given US companies the nod that this is a good show to come to.”

It means US companies coming to Agri-Trade will get support and a green light from the US Department of Commerce, which operates the US Commercial Service, said Saik.

“That’s exactly our focus. We want to branch Agri-Trade increasingly to become an international show,” he said.

The only obstacle now is that, with 90 exhibitors on its waiting list, Agri-Trade needs more room to bring in those newcomers, said Saik.

Texas-based David Royce, senior international trade specialist with the US Trade Service, said on Friday that he had met in March with Agri-Trade manager Patrick Kennedy, who had approached his department’s office in Calgary to inquire about certification.

“The Department of Commerce recognizes certain trade shows . . . and there are certain criteria we use to give our blessing. One is the number of US exhibitors. We felt that Agri-Trade is one that deserves our blessing,” said Royce.

“Of the number of trade shows that go on in the world, we certify very few because it wouldn’t mean anything if we certified everybody.”

Royce said he is satisfied with the show after touring the exhibits this week, but would like to see it grow.

Running out of room is a good problem to have, he said.

“I want it to grow in terms of international business for US companies,” he said.

bkossowan@www.reddeeradvocate.com

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