News Article – 

When the pandemic struck, it upended all norms and routines of business. But it certainly didn’t mean that business came to a halt. Instead, it challenged leaders across the world to find solutions in unprecedented circumstances.

NASDA is quite used to unearthing value from unexpected situations. And the 2020 Caribbean and Latin American Buyers Mission was the latest challenge.

The longstanding Caribbean and Latin American Buyers Mission event was cancelled in June of 2020. This put export opportunities to the Caribbean and Latin American markets in jeopardy. Instead, the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) pivoted and partnered with Food Export USA on its annual buyers mission at the America Food & Beverage Show, a virtual event in November of 2020.

The mission was attended by a total of 40 suppliers and 17 buyers, representing 12 different countries. These one-on-one chats provided U.S. exporters with a wide range of vital opportunities in the Caribbean and Latin American markets in the midst of the pandemic.

While some are skeptical of virtual events, the online face-to-face meetings fostered productive relationships. The data backs up the approach. These buyer-seller introductions led to:

  • $2.5 million in export sales as a direct result of the mission
  • An additional $9.7 million expected in export sales (based on initial survey results)

This is just one of the many success stories NASDA has helped orchestrate in recent years. Through the American Food Fair and the USA Pavilion at the Americas Food & Beverage Show, NASDA provides opportunities for small- and medium-sized food and beverage companies to maximize their international growth. In just the last three years, NASDA’s trade promotion activities have led to over $65 million in projected export sales and 125 companies acquiring new export markets for their business.

The successes will continue in 2022. The next American Food Fair at the National Restaurant Association Show will take place May 21 – 24 at McCormick Place in Chicago, Illinois, and the next USA Pavilion at the Americas Food & Beverage Show will take place September 12 – 13 at the Miami Beach Convention Center.

NASDA’s duty is to help products grown, harvested and processed in the U.S. reach the world. We are supporting new exporters year after year, and you can help further our mission by sharing our story.


NASDA is a nonpartisan, nonprofit association which represents the elected and appointed commissioners, secretaries and directors of the departments of agriculture in all fifty states and four U.S. territories. NASDA grows and enhances American agriculture through policy, partnerships and public engagement. To learn more about NASDA’s trade show activities, visit

Did you catch all the blogs in our trade focused series? Revisit them below.