Another great article about Oklahoma’s international commercial ties from The Journal Record‘s Brian Brus on Jun 18, as he profiled OKGIT member and Oklahoma Department of Agriculture International Marketing Coordinator Barbara Charlet.
Working under the department’s “Made in Oklahoma” coalition, Charlet is a regular attendee at trade shows and export conferences in Canada, Europe and Asia where she spreads the good word about Oklahoma’s food offerings.
“I basically encourage our food manufacturers to try to think outside our Oklahoma borders,” Charlet told the state’s business paper. “We have to think on an international scale and find ways to get their products into the world’s markets.”
Charlet cites Ponca City’s Head Country as a success story for its increasingly popularity in Scandanavia, where a Swedish importer began buying the Oklahoma-based company’s BBQ sauce and repackaging it for resale under another name.
The Oklahoma food product advocate also notes that one of her biggest obstacles is to convince Oklahoma producers that exporting will cut into their profits. As Charlet points out, the opposite is often true, with international importers in search of a unique American brand willing to pay more to compensate for added costs associated with bringing a product to their own domestic markets.
(Photo courtesy of the Journal Record – by Brent Fuchs.)