GIC offers a full complement of trade agent representation and export promotion services for public and private sector entities from the U.S. and abroad that are seeking to enter new markets or grow their presence in established ones. GIC’s integrated approach of strategic planning, market research and development and financial advisory services can effectively promote and increase the demand for an individual company’s or region’s fruit, vegetable, meat, poultry, grain and timber commodities. GIC’s export promotion and trade agent representation practice includes the following services:

  • Developing market entry strategies, including an Export Trading Company (ETC)
  • Conducting feasibility studies and market surveys
  • Identifying prospective buyers, trade terms, and commercial practices
  • Securing trade financing
  • Assisting with phytosanitary regulations
  • Leading trade delegations
  • Hosting webinars and buyer/seller conferences
  • Originating tenders and negotiating bids
  • Managing logistics
  • Handling claims

GIC navigates the process of entering into challenging and or growth markets by identifying attractive foreign destinations, screening prospective buyers, prioritizing long-term opportunities, and closing deal transactions. Throughout the years, GIC has concluded a variety of transactions into a number of markets including Cuba, Venezuela, Panama, Costa Rica, Ghana, and the Dominican Republic.

ETC Programs and Collective Export Strategies

GIC has partnered with a number of producer groups and state departments of agriculture and assisted them in improving their export strategies and identifying and capturing new foreign markets. One effective approach has been the Export Trading Company (ETC) program.

Established in 1982, the ETC Act offers U.S. businesses the opportunity to co-market their products overseas without being subject to antitrust statutes. For many small and medium-sized companies that lack the staff or resources to establish overseas offices, this collective export strategy offers a number of cost savings and strategic benefits. Specifically, an ETC or similar collective approach can enable producers to capitalize on economies of scale and increase their bargaining power for ancillary services, such as freight and logistics. In addition, the collective approach can strengthen marketing and branding efforts and help build direct relationships with key import segments. Overall, this strategy can lower transactions costs, increase market access, and increase a producer’s return on investment.

GIC’s successful track record in managing export promotion programs has included the creation of the Virginia Apple Trading Company (VATC), an ETC established with the Virginia Apple Growers’ Association. Established in 2003, the VATC helped grow Virginia apple exports from $0.5 million to $1.2 million in 2007, an annual growth rate of nearly 20%.

Today, GIC represents a number of producers in the apple, table grape, pear, and nut industries. For the 2011-2012 crop year, GIC achieved record levels in export with nearly 100 containers sold to buyers in Latin America and Africa. The total value of all shipments has surpassed the $2 million mark.

Accessing New Markets (Cuba example)

Globalization, trade liberalization, volatile commodity prices and the emergence of new growth markets create opportunity and risk for producer groups and individual firms. Critical to maintaining a competitive edge is understanding when and where to make new strategic investments. GIC’s network of partner offices and associates helps clients to capture these emerging markets and lay a foundation for long-term growth and development.

As an example, in 2003, GIC hosted the U.S.-Cuba Trade Conference. That event, in conjunction with export programs created for Virginia producers, has resulted in Cuba importing $65 million in Virginia agriculture products since 2002. Similarly, GIC has provided trade agent representation services to foreign producers and producer groups seeking to increase their presence in the U.S. market.