Idaho potato industry joins US trade mission to China

The governor of the US state of Idaho, Butch Otter, and representatives of the state’s milk, potato, wheat and hay industries will visit China on a trade mission. The eight-day visit starting Friday is Idaho’s first trade mission to the country since 2012, reported The Capital Press. China is Idaho’s third-largest export market, according to an email Otter sent to the Capital Press. “Those consumers are … providing a lot of opportunity for our Idaho exporters,” said Otter, a rancher and farmer. “That’s why our dairy industry, wheat growers, alfalfa farmers, animal feed producers and potato processors are joining me on this trade mission.” Potato processors and representatives of the Idaho Potato Commission will participate in the trip. China imports processed potato products but not fresh tubers. The country, along with Mexico, is one of the biggest importers of frozen French fries. IPC’s vice president of retail and international divisions, Seth Pemsler, said he will focus on the processed side during the trip but also hopes to prepare for the event that China begins allowing fresh potato imports. AP