I was able to take a trip across the pond to London, England to visit the International Food & Drink Event (IFE) from March 14-20, 2013 with my friend Jonathan from the Kentucky Department of Agriculture.
While in London, I got to see how small and medium sized companies market value-added food products with the assistance of the Southern United States Trade Association (SUSTA). SUSTA is located in New Orleans, Louisiana, and they have been helping promote agricultural and related products from the southern United States since 1973. They are able to do this with help from the United States Department of Agriculture.
I got to help a company from Virginia make scallop cakes one day. They were so delicious! The company has been family-owned for over seventy-five years! I also got try a pumpkin spice cake that was made with a gluten-free baking mix. This kind of product is very helpful, because there are many people that have an allergy to gluten, which is found in a lot of products that we eat every day, like bread. The woman who makes these kinds of baking mixes does so to make sure that people with this allergy can still eat things like cakes and brownies, and she wants to make sure that they taste good. I loved her brownies! I would show you a picture…but I ate them all.
Here I am hanging out with my new friends, Julie and Dorian They work for the Foreign Agricultural Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture at the U.S. Embassy in London. They work very hard to help agricultural producers who are looking to sell their products in the United Kingdom for the first time. They also help people if they are having trouble understanding and following all of the rules that are associated with selling their products in the United Kingdom. I came back to the United States with my friend Cindy who works for the West Virginia Department of Agriculture. I will tell you about my visit with her later.
I did get to hang out with Jonathan, Cindy and a bunch of their colleagues in New Orleans for a few days at a meeting that SUSTA hosted at the end of March. There, I learned about all the different rules that Jonathan, Cindy and their friends have to when they are doing projects like IFE. In this picture I am with Jonathan, Cindy, and their colleagues from Alabama, Florida, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Puerto Rico, Tennessee, and Virginia. Now I am on my way to Washington, D.C. with my friend Nancy, who works for the United States Department of Agriculture!
What an amazing adventure! I am so excited that Flat Aggie went all the way to London! My kids were VERY excited too!