Panama is Florida’s Fifth Largest Trading Partner in Agricultural Products; Florida is a Major Provider of Fresh Tomatoes, Strawberries and Sugar Cane to Panama
Panama City, Panama – Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam met with leaders of the American Chamber of Commerce in Panama (PANAMCHAM) during the second full day of his trade development mission to Panama. Along with Florida growers and Miami Port Director Bill Johnson, Commissioner Putnam promoted Florida citrus and berries during their meetings with business groups and retailers.
“The economic success of Latin America presents many opportunities for Florida’s $100 billion agriculture industry,” said Commissioner Putnam. “Florida exported more than $168 million in agricultural products to Panama in 2012, making Panama Florida’s fifth largest trading partner for agricultural products. We’re here to build on the recent success by promoting Florida citrus, berries and other products.”
Back row, left to right: Richard Gaskalla, Joel Sellers, Pilar Ceron, Commissioner Putnam, Maurice Belanger; Front row, left to right: Director Bill Johnson, David Carius, Gary Wishnatzki and Dr. Robert Behr
David Carius, president of PANAMCHAM, and Maurice Belanger, executive director of PANAMCHAM, hosted the Florida delegation, which included Commissioner Putnam, Port Director Bill Johnson of PortMiami, Dr. Robert Behr, COO of Florida’s Natural Growers, Joel Sellers, International Sales Manager of Florida’s Natural Growers, and Gary Wishnatzki, Owner of Wish Farms. Richard Gaskalla, Director of Plant Industry, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS), was in attendance as well
Later today, Commissioner Putnam and the delegation is scheduled to meet with senior administration officials in Panama, including Jose Pacheco, Vice Minister of Trade, and Oscar Osorio, Minister of Agriculture
Florida agriculture is a $100 billion industry that supports two million jobs for Floridians. Florida agricultural exports recently surpassed $4 billion per year to more than 160 other countries.
Florida’s agricultural exports to Panama have grown 70 percent in the last two years, up to more than $168 million in agricultural products in 2012. The growth of Florida’s agricultural exports to Panama over the last two years has created 1,800 new jobs for Floridians.
For more information about FDACS, visit www.freshfromflorida.com.