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USDA trade mission helps deliver more U.S. pork to Chile

Hormel Foods focused on products such as pepperoni, bacon and meat ingredients.

December 21, 2023

2 Min Read
USDA FAS

Just a few years ago, the world was in the midst of a global pandemic and travel was discouraged, but that did not stop USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service from continuing to do all it can to help promote U.S. food and agricultural products around the world. The agency turned to digital solutions, and in 2021 it began holding virtual agribusiness trade missions, connecting U.S. exporters with potential business partners through online B2B meetings.

It was during one of these virtual trade missions that Hormel Foods, one of the largest food processing companies in the United States, met Nutrisco, a major food distribution company in Chile. Throughout the next two years, the companies worked on cementing their relationship to bring Hormel Foods products to Chile, one of the top three markets in South America for agricultural and related products. 

“We had been looking for a strategic partner to grow our food service business in Chile. Thanks to the USDA virtual trade mission, we were able to connect with multiple potential customers,” said Delfin Bernal, Latin America and Caribbean business development manager at Hormel Foods. “After multiple conversations we were able to partner with Nutrisco Chile, one of the leading food distributors in the country."   

In 2023, during the USDA agribusiness trade mission to Chile, the companies took yet another step in their partnership. This time being able to do all business in person, the companies officially signed and celebrated their newly formed partnership. Many of Chile supermarkets rely on Nutrisco to provide their products, and thanks to this new business deal, Chilean customers will be able to find Hormel Foods products in their local restaurants and supermarkets. 

Hormel Foods shipped the first container load of its products from the United States in 2023 to officially start the relationship with Nutrisco Chile. Hormel Foods is focusing on products and categories such as pepperoni, bacon and meat ingredients. As the distribution in Chile grows, the company plans to expand its product portfolio within these categories. The current goal is to ship two containers per quarter in 2024. 

“Chile is an important market for Hormel in South America and with a strategic partner like Nutrisco we are hopeful we can achieve our business goals in Chile,” added Delfin.

This relationship epitomized exactly what FAS trade missions are meant to do – build new business partnerships for U.S. exporters and help them deliver more U.S. food and agricultural products to global markets. Each trade mission organized by FAS provides businesses with many opportunities to connect with potential importers and participate in meaningful business-to-business meetings. 

FAS recently announced the trade missions planned for next year, which include Canada, Colombia, India, Korea, Morocco and Vietnam. Applications are currently being accepted  for the Seoul, South Korea mission and companies are invited to apply. With hundreds of meetings between U.S. exporters and Korean importers expected to take place, this is a fantastic opportunity to grow U.S. exports to Southeast Asia. 

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