The Agricultural Trade Offices (ATO) of the Agricultural Foreign Service (FAS, part of the USDA) in Mexico City and Monterrey, named the two companies as Mexico Exporters of the Year 2011.
According to the USDA, the award is a new initiative to highlight the successes of US companies in Mexico and encourage others to expand their businesses there.
“We are trying to identify the good work that US exporters are doing,” said W. Garth Thorburn, director of the ATO of Mexico.
“We identify these companies as the most proactive in the Mexican market. They both faced important challenges, but they still decided to come to Mexico and they are doing well,” added Thorburn.
From the USDA’s point of view, exporting US agricultural products to foreign markets is not always a smooth process, and sometimes uncertainty is the rule.
However, both companies received honors for their ability to overcome international trade barriers and successfully export their products throughout Mexico.
Caymus Vineyards and Eagle Eye Produce participated in several FAS sponsored events to expose their products to the Mexican markets.
For one thing, Eagle Eye Produce has successfully marketed yellow onions and potatoes in Mexico for the past four years, despite a cultural preference for non-yellow onions in traditional Mexican cuisine.
The success of the company was due to the invitation to Mexican buyers to the northwest, through reverse trade missions that helped eliminate cultural barriers.
Eagle Eye Produce invites Mexican buyers to the northwestern United States during harvest to experience the company’s products for themselves.
From this, the practical education that Mexican buyers receive in the United States gives them a greater understanding and confidence in the products and in Eagle Eye’s ability to offer what Mexican customers prefer.
Furthermore, the success of Caymus Vineyards in Mexico began with the realization that while beer and tequila are popular there, Mexico is also becoming a “wine country” and offers excellent opportunities for foreign exporters.
Imported wines represent 70% of Mexican wine consumption and most of those wines come from Europe and South America.
Despite strong competition, Caymus Vineyards started its Mexican operation, Vinos Wagner, in 2008 promoting and selling wines in northern Mexico.
His first sale was for 10 brands and 610 cases of wine.
By 2011, the company expanded its sales to Mexico City and sold 16 brands and 1,034 cases of wine.
During the US-Mexico trucking dispute, which resulted in increased tariffs on US wines, Wagner Wines cut costs to stay competitive and build their clientele.