To assist California companies in expanding export sales, an international training program is being offered in several locations throughout the state. The California Centers for International Trade Development, in cooperation with the California Department of Food and Agriculture, is hosting a California Agricultural Export Training Certificate Program for agricultural companies. This training program is designed to meet the educational needs of agricultural companies seeking to export their products worldwide. Companies interested in registering for the program should visit www.citd.org/calag.

“Ninety-six percent of the world's consumers live outside of the United States,” said CDFA Secretary A.G. Kawamura, “Assisting California companies in providing safe, nutritious and high quality products to international markets furthers the economic development of our state.”

The California Agricultural Export Training Certificate Program is a series of six classes over three months that focuses on several aspects of exporting food and agricultural products. Class topics include how to get paid, international transportation, tariffs, trade barriers and finding foreign buyers. Classes are scheduled to begin in April and conclude in June, with a registration deadline of March 26, 2009. Training will be held in Oakland, Merced and Rancho Cucamonga.

The training program is funded by the California Centers for International Trade Development through the California Community College Economic Development Program and with an U.S. Department of Education Title VI B Grant.

In 2007, California exported $10.9 billion in agricultural products to more than 150 countries setting a new record for the state. Leading export products included almonds, dairy and products, wine, table grapes and cotton. The top destinations for California agricultural products included Canada, the European Union, Japan, China/Hong Kong and Mexico. On average, California farmers and ranchers export 28 percent of the products that they produce.

For further information on the California Agricultural Export Training Certificate Program, please contact Mr. Frank Nunez, training coordinator at (888) 638-7888 or frank.nunez@scccd.edu.