Shacksbury Participates in VT Trade Mission to Japan

Addison County Economic Development Corporation (ACEDC) member Shacksbury Cider recently participated in a Vermont Trade Mission to Japan. Japanese consumers may soon see more VT products on the menu, thanks to this successful trade mission led by Deputy Secretary of Agriculture, Jolinda LaClair. Shacksbury was one of 8 of VT’s premier specialty food & beverage companies represented 7 VT counties, including maple, cheese, cider and spirits producers who traveled to Tokyo with the Deputy Secretary last month. The trip was co-organized by Susan Murray, Director of the U.S. Commercial Service VT Export Assistance Center, and Food Export USA, a non-profit trade promotion organization based in Philadelphia.

While many Japanese consumers may not yet be familiar with the VT brand, the product attributes they are looking for align well with what Vermont has to offer: high-quality, healthy, organic, and beautifully packaged food and drink are in demand. Japan is the third largest consumer of maple syrup, after the U.S. and Canada, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture asserts that it continues to represent one of the best opportunities in the world for American food producers.

The Vermont cohort took part in a seminar on the Japanese market, toured retail & restaurant establishments, met with Japanese representatives from VT companies, hosted an “Experience Vermont” reception for media & trade, and engaged in one-on-one meetings with buyers who had been specifically pre-qualified by Food Export’s Tokyo staff.

The Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets operates International & Domestic Export Programs, supporting Vermont businesses to develop new market opportunities outside of the state.  Funding is available to assist Vermont businesses with entering new markets. For additional information on Japan trade click here. or contact Chelsea Bardot Lewis, Business Development Section Chief, at Chelsea.lewis@vermont.gov.