Media Corner

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 
February 12, 2003 
For More Information Contact: 
Parr Rosson - (979-845-3070)
Cynthia Thomas (972-527-7505)

Texas Farmers Form Alliance to Expand Food and Agricultural Exports to Cuba 

(AUSTIN) - In an attempt to bring Texas farmers a potential $57 million in food and agricultural exports to Cuba that could result in 1,500 new jobs, Texas businesses, organizations and individuals pursuing the Cuban market have formed a strategic alliance to support them with current information about economics, business opportunities, and export trade policies.

The newly formed Texas Cuba Trade Alliance (TCTA) will serve as a collective information hub for Texas farmers, ranchers and food processors wanting to export to Cuba. Initial alliance partners include the Texas Farm Bureau, Texas Cooperative Extension, TriDimension Strategies and U.S. Rice Producers.

"While federal law currently allows the export of food and agricultural products to Cuba, there is low recognition and awareness of these opportunities," said Glen Jones, director of Research, Education and Policy Development for the Texas Farm Bureau.

"The TCTA was created in part to provide networking opportunities within the community. The trade alliance serves an educational function for those interested in learning more about the market and making successful sales contracts in Cuba," said Dwight Roberts, president of the U.S. Rice Producers. 

A recent study by the Center for North American Studies at Texas A&M University estimated that potential food and agricultural exports from Texas to Cuba could reach $57 million, generating another $132 million in related business sales and 1,500 new jobs in the next three to five years.

"The Cuban market has a lot of potential, and will definitely develop into a valuable export market for Texas agribusiness," said Cynthia Thomas, president of TriDimension Strategies. "TCTA stands ready to provide Texas farmers and ranchers with the resources they need to navigate this new territory."

"Major Texas exports are expected to be rice, beef, chicken, softwood logs and lumber, fertilizers and wheat," said Dr. Parr Rosson, co-author of the study, and professor and extension economist at Texas Cooperative Extension.

Effective immediately, Texas farmers, ranchers, and agribusinesses will have information on current news and trade policies by accessing the TCTA web site hosted by TriDimension Strategies. Until formation of the TCTA, Texas farmers found the process of seeking agricultural trade with Cuba to be confusing and many believed these exports were not allowed. With the TCTA website, Texas farmers can understand trade related issues and get access to trade related resources. The TCTA web address is www.TCTA.us.

The media and public are invited to participate in the first TCTA conference call on Thursday, Feb. 27 at 9:30 a.m., which will provide a forum for questions and comments. John Kavulich, President of the US-Cuba Trade and Economic Council, will be the featured speaker and will discuss "Doing Business with Cuba." To register for the conference call, contact Parr Rosson or Alma Cantu at (979) 845-3070.

Become a TCTA member

Comments or Questions: Please Contact Texas-Cuba Trade Alliance, tcta@TriStrategies.com