USDBC Receives Technical Training Grant for Columbia

December 19, 2017

We have been approved to continue our work to grow market share in Colombia through technical training activities on U.S. dry beans. We are grateful for our ongoing partnership with USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service which has granted a continuation and new funding for work begun under the Emerging Markets Program in 2015. This program provided technical training in Colombia on the nutritional benefits of dry bean consumption for nutrition associations, national universities, culinary schools, government agencies, and the food industry.

In the new agreement, USDBC will conduct a technical training seminar for government officials (food policy, food assistance agency officials, operational staff and other related specialist) that focuses on dry beans as an affordable source of protein and other nutrients in domestic food assistance programs. The program will also provide information on the latest research about dry bean health benefits, and practical ways that households with limited budgets can plan and prepare meals using dry beans. USDBC will also conduct four technical training workshops for students, chefs, bean industry representatives, and food trendsetters. The seminars will focus on the practicality and versatility of dry beans, the health benefits of regular dry bean consumption, how to incorporate dry beans into menu planning for retail food establishments, demonstrate innovative health recipes using dry beans and use social media to spread recorded interviews, messages and demonstrations.

The project will help USDBC to continue to build relationships with key members of the dry bean value chain, including government officials, importers, wholesalers and retail food sectors in Colombia. We know that a strong relationship with influencers and policy makers is critical and helped us to gain a foothold in this market in 2015 and 2016. When Colombia needed to import dry beans, they chose U.S. origin product. Exports were down in 2017 as Colombia domestic bean supply surged but we intend to continue to establish a permanent foothold in this important market as we also continue promotional activities through the SaborUSA program.

Posted in: Bean Bulletin