Strengthening International Trade with India

At the heart of global trade lies the connection between people, cultures and industries. On the evening of January 15, 2024, this connection was vividly exemplified at the Indian Consulate in Atlanta, where stakeholders converged to celebrate and fortify the trade of pecans between the United States and India. The event was hosted by India Consul General Ramesh Babu and coordinated by FEAST Global CEO Andy Chapman and Senior Advisor Gary Black on behalf of the American Pecan Council marked a significant milestone in promoting American pecans to India. 

Let's dive into the highlights of this momentous occasion and its implications for the pecan industry. 

Celebrating Success and Collaboration

The reception was a special occasion to celebrate the recent successes of the FEAST Global trade project in India, conducted on behalf of the Georgia Pecan Commission in December 2023. Our activities during December helped to showcase the versatility of Georgia Pecans and create interest among various types of buyers in India. We were excited to highlight the menu promotions at award-winning hotel restaurants in Delhi, where three locations featured 22 unique dishes with pecans. Additionally, our training sessions at culinary schools led to four additional menu items being featured in the students’ graduate pop-up restaurant. We also demonstrated the success of our buyer meetings in Delhi and Mumbai, including at the SIAL India trade show. All told, the effort resulted in projected sales of nearly $20 million USD over the next year and new trade opportunities for several different types of pecan products. 

Fostering Connections

Central to the event's significance was the welcoming of five Indian importers to Atlanta, marking the commencement of the American Pecan Council's reverse trade mission and industry tour. This event not only fostered the continuation of the relationships between Georgia pecan producers and these Indian importers, but it also opened doors for market expansion. 

Unity in Purpose

The presence of dignitaries and stakeholders further underscored the collective commitment towards advancing pecan exports to India. From the host, Consul General Babu to U.S. Senator Jon Ossoff and Georgia Commissioner of Agriculture Tyler Harper and esteemed members of the Indian American business community, government agencies and industry organizations, many prominent leaders lent their attendance and words of support to the evenings’ agenda. Their presence symbolized unity towards harnessing the economic potential of pecans in India. 

A Nexus of Opportunities

Beyond the immediate celebrations, the reception served as a nexus of opportunities, bringing together Atlanta Indian business leaders with a vested interest in international trade to support and empower the visiting Indian importers. By leveraging existing Indian American business networks and export expertise, these leaders play a pivotal role in bridging existing gaps in market development for U.S. Pecans. Their presence not only enriched the event but also opened doors to future collaborations and sales opportunities. 

How Do Events Like This Impact Export Sales?

In retrospect, the reception at the Indian Consulate of Atlanta stands as a testament to the power of collaboration and strategic foresight in international trade. “Old-fashioned” business methods like authenticity, relationship building and integrity make a big impact in today’s noisy global market, moving mountains of opportunity forward into new export sales while “new” much more expensive tactics fall short. 

Often, it’s difficult for commodity groups and trade boards to see the forest for the trees. There are so many “this is the way we’ve always done it” or “this is what someone else did that worked” ideas and marketing tactics floating around. Too often, it’s not the tactic that fails, but the execution. Without authenticity and integrity, the best tactics will fall short. Certainly, one size does not fit all, and every product is produced by a set of humans with their own unique preferences and perspectives. 

It is our privilege to help the people who produce the best ingredients in the world connect with their true value in the global marketplace in a way that leads to new export sales while also inspiring them to get up again every morning and continue their craft: to produce excellent food and to find joy in work that is properly valued. To that end, we are honored to innovate on their behalf, leveraging the power of old fashioned ideas alongside out of the box thinking, good data and in-market intelligence to propel their success beyond what they ever dreamed possible.

As we look ahead, the seeds sown at this event will continue to grow as we nurture a robust pecan trade ecosystem between the United States and India. Our goal here at FEAST Global is to establish a thriving export market exceeding $100 million annually for American pecans in India within the next five years. With steadfast commitment and collaborative efforts within the industry, we are confident that this ambitious goal will become reality. 

A very special thanks to Consul General Ramesh Babu for his generous hospitality and commitment to the adoption of pecans in India.