Presented by Fresno Center for International Trade Development State Center Community College District and The California Department of Food and Agriculture

The Fresno Center for International Trade Development’s trade symposium is focused on preparing you for the future in an international, agricultural marketplace.

We will explore California’s agricultural vision, biomass energy production and sustainability, U.S. free trade agreements and the competitive outlook, export challenges for organic produce, and the effect the cargo container shortage is having on U.S. trade. These experts are here to tell your company what it can do to prepare for today’s global markets.

10:00–10:50 a.m.

Farm Bill 2008: California Perspective

California is the largest agricultural producer and exporter in the nation, with direct farm sales valued at $36.6 billion. The recently passed 2008 federal Farm Bill will have a direct impact on the food system and agricultural communities of California. It contains many new benefits specifically for California agriculture and consumers.

Join A.G. Kawamura, Secretary, California Department of Food and Agriculture for a discussion of the 2008 Farm Bill and learn about California’s perspective on how this will impact specialty crops and the state’s agricultural future.

11:00 a.m.–12:15 p.m.

Cargo Container Shortage Bottlenecking U.S. Ports: What Is Being Done About This?

The weak U.S. dollar has increased demand for American agricultural products on a global scale, but conversely, the same weak dollar has caused imports to drop dramatically. With fewer ships returning to ports, a cargo container shortage has ensued.

How much revenue are we losing due to port congestion? Will the U.S. lose more than just sales contracts with its inability to deliver the goods?

Our panel of experts’ discussion on this major logistical challenge will focus on the U.S.’s ability to conduct International trade, the effect it is having on our economy, and what, if anything, is being done.

Panelists Peter Friedmann, Executive Director, Ag Transportation Coalition; Ron Brown, Manager of Marketing and Business Development, Port of Oakland’s Maritime Division; and Abbe Kantor, Import/Export Corporate Logistics, Safeway, Inc., will discuss the issue and what is being done to mitigate the container shortage.

12:30–1:30 p.m.

U.S. Free Trade Agreements: Competitive Outlook for 2009

U.S. Free Trade Agreements and recent negotiations by the World Trade Organization have been instrumental in removing trade barriers and opening new global markets.

With foreign companies manufacturing products and parts at lower costs, albeit lower quality, does the U.S. manufacturer have the competitive edge to compete domestically and internationally?

Our panel of experts will discuss the international trade outlook as well as what new markets today’s free trade agreements have opened for the American manufacturer. Moderator Eduardo Torres, Director, U.S. Department of Commerce, Fresno Export Assistance Center and speaker: Sushan Demirjian, Deputy Assistant USTR for Industry, Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, will offer insight into trade.

1:45-2:45 p.m.

Exporting Organic Produce

“Organic” is a hot buzzword in U.S. agriculture and has become big business. Is the rest of the world following this trend?

Our panel of experts will provide an overview of current and emerging global organic markets and discuss several key aspects of exporting organic produce. Topical discussion will include logistical, financial and regulatory hurdles that are involved in exporting organic produce, as well as the many governmental programs available to assist the organic producer.

Come hear what Dave Hirschkop, Dave’s Gourmet, Inc.; Tiffany Landry, Organic Export Program Coordinator, Organic Trade Association; and John Taylor, Taylor Brothers Farms, offer about this growing segment of U.S. and world agriculture.

3:00–4:00 p.m.

Biomass Energy Production: Food Versus Fuel

With the U.S. searching for a solution to our energy crisis, biomass energy has demonstrated a promising alternative to fossil fuels. But how will this affect the agricultural industry?

Does biomass energy production divert agricultural production away from food crops or enhance the industry as a whole? Join our panel of experts as they explore the truth behind biomass energy production and the sustainability of our farmlands.

Moderator will be Bernie Weiss, Silicon Valley CITD Director. Panelists will be Rahul Iyer, Chief Marketing Officer and Co-founder, Primafuels, Inc.; Frank Hardimon, Director of Sales, Ceres, Inc.; Thorson Bailey, President, Ag Biomass Council.

World Ag Expo International Trade Seminars are supported by California Centers for International Trade Development; California Department of Food and Agriculture; U.S. Department of Commerce, Fresno Export Assistance Center; U.S. Department of Education, Title VI-B Program; and San Joaquin Valley International Trade Association.