The state of Iowa sold approximately nine million dollars worth of pork and grain to Cuba on a recent trade mission. In addition to grain sales, this mission marked the first time that Iowa has sold pork products to Cuba since the embargo more than forty years ago.

The Iowa delegation, which included members of the Iowa Pork Producers Association, met with Cuba officials, including President Fidel Castro and Pedro Alvarez, head of the Cuban import company, Alimport.

The delegation spent several days negotiating new trade agreements. With this additional nine million dollars, Iowa companies, to date, have successfully sold more than eighty million dollars of agricultural goods to the Cuban government since agricultural trade resumed three years ago.

Although the restrictions on trade with Cuba still stand, and the travel ban to Cuba has been tightened, agricultural products can be sold to Cuba on a ‘cash only’ basis.

Iowa Agriculture Secretary Patty Judge says, “Iowa is growing what the Cuban people need. To be competitive in the world market, we need to sell our agricultural products. This helps boost Iowa’s economy. We need to continue developing and strengthening our trade with Cuba. This is of benefit to Iowa producers, as well as the state and nation.”

For more information, go to: www.agriculture.state.ia.us

Iowa Department of Agriculture