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Egyptian Agribusiness Study Tour Participants Visit United States

Representatives from four Egyptian food processing companies participated in a June 5–15 study tour to the U.S. to explore market opportunities, horticultural production business practices, and climate-smart approaches. Organized by the Feed the Future Egypt Rural Agribusiness Strengthening Project, a USAID-funded project implemented by Abt, the trip included a visit to the Fancy Food Show—North America’s largest specialty food and beverage trade show—to meet and establish business linkages with U.S. importers. Participants also visited U.S.-based importers, successful cooperatives, wholesale markets, retail chains, and government representatives focused on food safety.

Meeting with leading importers such as Woodland Foods, the companies heard first-hand about herbs and spices import procedures, differentiated markets like food service that these processors can target, and required sanitation standards. Through meetings with horticulture cooperatives such as Cherry Central and academic institutions like The International Research Institute for Climate and Society at Columbia University, participants also discussed strategies for adapting to and addressing climate risks in their horticultural businesses. In Washington, D.C., participants met with representatives of the U.S. Department of Agriculture to discuss food safety challenges and opportunities. During a half-day session at Abt, participants learned about current climate-smart agriculture tactics, tools to mitigate methane emissions and calculate costs and benefits of climate investments, and how to navigate climate finance and reduce climate risks.

At the Fancy Food Show, the processing company representatives met with importers, distributors, and brokers who can help them access the U.S. market. They also visited the booths of companies showcasing their products, seeing innovations in product design, packaging, and marketing that they can take back to Egypt as inspiration.

One participant, Mansour Fahmy, CEO of Naturesta Egypt, which manufactures sauces and condiments, had attended the Fancy Food Show several times in the past, but said that “this time was much more valuable than any time in the past for me because of the meetings held during the show and the good contacts introduced to us.”

The project, through its Cairo-based marketing team and subcontractor 20/20DC, will continue to support these processing companies after the study tour. Support will include targeted technical assistance in marketing or meeting specific buyer requirements and following up on the contacts and business linkages established during the tour.

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