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Historic international trade mission focuses on Indigenous products

Historic international trade mission focuses on Indigenous products
Representatives from Indigenous agricultural businesses met in Vancouver with the U.S. Department of Agriculture to expand their footprint on the global market.

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The first-ever international trade mission focusing solely on Indigenous products took place in Canada last week, with representatives from Indigenous agricultural businesses meeting in Vancouver with the U.S. Department of Agriculture to expand their footprint on the global market. Red Lake Inc. was among the Indigenous agricultural businesses that attended, with Chief Development Officer Jake Robinson stating that Indigenous-owned companies from all over the USA visited with buyers and distributors in Canada to develop export market opportunities. Red Lake Inc. has been participating in global trade missions with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Foreign Agricultural Service since last year, and its agricultural businesses include cultivated wild rice and specialty food items like pancake mixes and jellies. According to the USDA, Indigenous agricultural production contributes $8 billion to the nation’s food economy, and this trade mission was seen as a growth opportunity for Indigenous producers. Minnesota Sen. Tina Smith and Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan also attended the historic trade mission, with Smith stating that she pushed for the USDA to include Tribal Nations in trade delegations as a provision in the 2018 Farm Bill.

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