Oklahoma Chef Kurt Fleischfresser and Barbara Charlet in a recent visit to Stuttgart, Germany demonstrating Oklahoma Products

Oklahoma Chef Kurt Fleischfresser and Barbara Charlet in a recent visit to Stuttgart, Germany demonstrating Oklahoma Products

Another great piece in the October 13, 2015 edition of The Journal Record by Brian Brus about the continued efforts of the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture’s Barbara Charlet.

Charlet, who serves as the department’s international market development coordinator, recently traveled to Germany with OKC Coach House Chef Kurt Fleischfresser to promote Oklahoma-made food products in Europe’s largest economy.

As noted in the piece by Charlet, who is also a member of the Oklahoma Governor’s International Team, food stuffs made in Oklahoma such as Griffin Foods and Clements peanut butter are already on the shelves of many German stores.

Fleischfresser gave a his take on the draw of products from this part of the U.S. to international consumers, saying ““The thing about overseas market is that they’re intrigued by the old Southwest,” he said. “Oklahoma has a musical named after it that everyone seems to know.”

Read the full article by Brian Brus here.

Charlet is a regular attendee at trade shows and export conferences around the world, spreading the good word about Oklahoma’s food offerings. And it’s not just German stores that are fans of ‘Okie-made products. Charlet cites Ponca City’s Head Country  as a success story for its increasingly popularity in Scandinavia, where a Swedish importer began buying the Oklahoma-based company’s BBQ sauce and repackaging it for resale under another name.

Though the energy industry receives much of the coverage for its impact on Oklahoma, the state boasts a wide range of sectors and products that appeal to foreign markets.

Subrina Chow - Courtesy of

Subrina Chow – Courtesy of

The Journal Record’s Brian Brus chronicled the visit of a delegation from one such market who visited Oklahoma City this week. Subrina Chow, a representative at the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in San Fransisco met with a number of government and commercial representatives in a stop at the state capitol, including Governor Mary Fallin.

According to the article, Chow’s visit was to learn more about suppliers for Hong Kong’s growing need for food products, manufactured goods and computer equipment. The state’s aerospace and biotech sectors were also areas of interest for the former British colony, which since 1997 has been a part of the People’s Republic of China under the “One country, two systems” governing strategy.

Of $40 billion in U.S. exports to China in 2014, Oklahoma exports only accounted for $41 million, a drop  from the $43.7 million the state sent to the People’s Republic in 2002 when then-Oklahoma Governor Frank Keating visited the island as a member of a trade delegation.  However, Oklahoma’s solid agricultural base provides opportunities for the steady, if slowing, Chinese economy.

By Daniel Mayer - via Wikipedia Commons GDFL.

By Daniel Mayer – via Wikipedia Commons GDFL.

Though the American beef industry’s exports have been hard hit due to a rising U.S. dollar and overhang from last year’s West Coast port strikes,  there was growth in the U.S.’s 2014 beef exports to Hong Kong, which is now the third highest beef importer globally behind Japan and Mexico according to an article at Oklahoma Farm Report by Oklahoma State University’s Derrell S. Peel. While Peel notes that January beef exports to Hong Kong were down by 33 percent, the end of the port strikes and demand in Hong Kong will likely return exports to a positive output.

If you would like to read the full report from The Journal Record about Ms. Chow’s visit, please click here. If you or your business would like to learn more about doing business in Hong Kong, please visit the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office’s website here.