Andris Bite, owner of fish-processing company Karavela will serve as the organization’s first chairman, while Jānis Šolks of the Milk-Producers’ Central Union and Didzis Šmits of the Fish-Producers’ Association are co-members of the board.
The job of the association will be to coordinate the work of companies in food industry expos, relevant market research projects, trade missions, professional consultations and trainings and representing its members’ interests at international institutions.
Latvia currently exports around 45% of all of its food products, while the association hopes to raise that percentage to 70% in the next five years by focusing on more effective work in professional industry exhibits.
“The haphazard six different ways of presenting Latvia’s food products and receiving state and EU co-financing aren’t giving the desired results in gaining solid export markets. Various designs on the promo stands leave a mixed impression. We will balance the situation with centralized coordination and a unified team to reduce expenses,” said the association’s leaders.
Among the significant world expos the group plans on attending are Los Angeles, Dubai, Moscow, Shanghai, Johannesburg, Sao Paolo, Paris, Amsterdam and others, beginning already in January of next year.
All potential members – any Latvian food producer interested in developing export markets – from the fish, milk, meat, egg, fruit and vegetable, beverage, sweets and other sectors are urged to join the association.
The Latvian Central Union of Milk Producers unites 13 members into a group representing about 80% of the national milk market, including dairies like Rīgas piena kombināts, Rīgas piensaimnieks, Valmieras piens, Tukuma piens, Limbažu piens, Smiltenes piens, Cesvaines piens, Talsu piensaimnieks and other milk producers.
The Fish Producers’ Association includes such firms as Gamma-A, Brīvais vilnis, Karavela, Unda, Ventspils ZKK, Zilā Lagūna, Līcis 93 and Sabiedrība IMS.