Ralston Family Farms’s marketing efforts brought encouraging news for the entire U.S. rice industry this week with a historical sale of U.S. grown rice to China. Grace Wang, USRPA’s Eastern Hemisphere Director, attended the press release hosted by Ralston Family Farms at Atkins, Arkansas on September 15, 2021. Arkansas’s Governor, Asa Hutchinson, and Agriculture Commissioner, Wes Ward, commemorated the event, commenting positively on the news and emphasizing the importance of the sale not only for the company but also for the state’s economy.
The US Rice Producers Association was the first rice organization to venture into this market, and over the past 20+ years, USRPA has actively engaged with buyers with funding from the USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service programs. The USDA first awarded USRPA Emerging Market Progam funds in 2007, which were used to launch consumer research and promotional programs, including surveys, rice tastings, and visiting retail stores throughout China. The results of these activities while conducting meetings with government officials and importers ultimately led to the rice protocol established between the two governments, allowing business to take place.
The US Rice Producers Association actively reached out to Ralston Famy Farms, along with other rice mills to assist them in registering for the government-approved list of mills to export to China. USRPA continues its marketing outreach in China, increasing awareness and building relations with the Chinese rice industry. This year, USRPA is focusing its efforts on a digital marketing campaign in China via social media, e-newsletters, a video blog as well as press coverage to emphasize the many benefits of U.S. rice.
Grace Wang reports that Chinese trade and consumers continue to show growing interest in U.S. rice and this recent sale resonates well with our marketing message that U.S. rice is of high quality, adheres to the highest safety standards, is sustainably grown, and is traceable from farm to table. Congratulations to Ralston Family Farms!