SC Commissioner Weathers: Economic Development Trip to Spain and Israel, Part One

Well, Commissioner, you’re back from overseas and you have some important new information for SC farmers. Why were you on the go?

• I traveled to Barcelona, Spain as part of a SUSTA (Southern United States Trade Association) mission
• We worked with South Carolina producers and SUSTA to have a presence at the Seafood Expo Global, the largest seafood exhibition in the world.
• Seafood buyers and professionals from more than 150 countries attend Seafood Expo Global annually. They are owners, proprietors, executive purchasing managers, category managers, private label program buyers, and equipment and packaging buyers from retail, foodservice, and other business categories.
• Suppliers representing some 77 countries exhibited.
• The Spanish market is the largest per capita seafood market in Europe. Seafood exports from the country were more than $5.9 billion USD in 2022, and seafood imports were $9.6 billion USD.
• I visited the Mercabarna, a wholesale market for seafood, flowers and produce.
• I met with the Agricultural representatives from FAS for Madrid and the Hague,
• A retail tour featured several stores including Taste of America (an American-product market), La Sirena (a higher end frozen product store), and Carrefour (a French retailer).
• Barcelona is a beautiful city.