The California Centers for International Trade Development (CITD), in collaboration with federal, regional and state partners, is implementing an Export Readiness Training Program to help minority- and/or women-owned agribusinesses in California enter into or expand their international markets.

Implemented by the California Centers for International Trade Development (CITD) in conjunction with the USDA Emerging Markets Program, the Western U.S. Agricultural Trade Association (WUSATA) and in coordination with the California Department of Food and Agriculture's Agricultural Export Program, this training program will provide selected California companies with the basics of international trade practices and procedures and develop the skills necessary to be successful in the global marketplace.

The program consists of nine classroom sessions taught by experienced international marketing executives and consultants, supported by periodic meetings with a trade adviser and assistance from a CITD intern. Specific assistance will be offered in recruiting/qualifying/selecting agents and distributors, preparing export finance loan applications, and technical assistance. Each participant will complete a customized export plan and start to implement the plan culminating with an export promotion event. Interested companies will need to complete an application and submit a fee of $325 by the deadline of March 4, 2005.

"Companies who participate in this comprehensive program will be prepared to actively begin exporting, seeing increased sales and profits, for just a small investment of time and money on their part," said Sheralyn Hulegaard, outreach and communications coordinator for WUSATA.

The program is specifically designed for minority- or women-owned businesses that grow or process food or agricultural products, which have not previously exported their products.

For further information, call Priscilla Lopez (Southern and Northern California) at 562-938-5018 or Candy Hansen Gage (Central and Northern California) at 888-683-7888.

Source: Association Release