Virginia opens agricultural trade office in Europe

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Virginia has opened an agricultural trade office in Europe aimed at increasing agricultural and forestry product exports to the region, Gov. Bob McDonnell’s office announced Thursday.

England-based Andrew Brown and Associates will represent Virginia's agricultural and forestry interests in Europe. The consulting firm has more than 20 years of experience in agribusiness market development in Europe and is currently active in more than 10 European countries. An affiliate of ABA in St. Petersburg, Russia, will work with the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) on agricultural export opportunities in that country.

McDonnell secured new international marketing funds from the Virginia General Assembly over the course of the administration for VDACS to open agricultural trade offices in India, China, Latin America, and Europe, regions that contain some of the world’s largest and fastest growing economies. Later this year, Virginia will have an agricultural trade representative in Canada.

According to the governor’s office, agriculture and forestry are Virginia’s largest industries, with a combined economic impact of $79 billion annually: $55 billion from agriculture and $24 billion from forestry. The industries also provide approximately 500,000 jobs in the commonwealth according to the Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service at the University of Virginia.

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