Commissioner Putnam, Florida Delegation Greeted by U.S. Ambassador to Panama
Commissioner Putnam and Florida Delegation in Panama to Help Florida Capitalize on Opportunities From Expansion of Panama Canal
Panama City, Panama – Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam and a delegation of growers and representatives from Florida were welcomed to Panama this afternoon by U.S. Ambassador Jonathan Farrar.
“It’s an honor for the delegation of growers and me to meet with Ambassador Farrar,” said Commissioner Putnam. “We’re thrilled to be in Panama to promote some of the world’s best products, and we appreciate the warm welcome we’ve received from everyone.”
The members of the Florida delegation who participated in the meeting include Dr. Robert Behr, COO, Florida’s Natural Growers; Joel Sellers, International Sales Manager, Florida’s Natural Growers; and Gary Wishnatzki, Owner, Wish Farms.
The meeting followed a briefing on the expansion of the Panama Canal and a tour of the expansion sites.
This is the first full day of Commissioner Putnam’s trade development mission to Panama. Tomorrow, Director of PortMiami Bill Johnson will join the delegation for meetings scheduled with senior administration officials in Panama. The delegation will also meet with the president of the American Chamber of Commerce in Panama (AMCHAM) and the vice president of sales at Felipe Motta, a grocery/retail distributor.
Florida agriculture is a $100 billion industry that supports two million jobs for Floridians. Florida agricultural exports recently surpassed $4 billion per year to more than 160 other countries
Panama is Florida’s fifth largest trading partner in terms of agricultural products. Florida is a major provider of fresh tomatoes, strawberries and sugar cane products to Panama.
Florida’s agricultural exports to Panama have grown 70 percent in the last two years, up to more than $168 million in agricultural products in 2012. The growth of Florida’s agricultural exports to Panama over the last two years has created 1,800 new jobs for Floridians.
For more information about FDACS, visit www.freshfromflorida.com.