On September 1, the Hub hosted a specialty food workshop in Kigali, Rwanda. U.S. Ambassador to Rwanda Erica J. Bark-Ruggles opened the event alongside the Permanent Secretary Rwanda Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry Emmanuel Hategeka. Both distinguished guests emphasized their support for growing Rwanda’s specialty food industry and encouraged attendees to take advantage of opportunities for export, particularly through the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), which allows duty-free access for most goods to the U.S. – the largest specialty food market in the world.
Workshop lead, Mark Washburn, the Hub’s agriculture value chain specialist and specialty food company owner, led an interactive presentation with the 50 attendees. He addressed individual company products and suggested strategic approaches for marketing those products and finding interested buyers. One suggestion, explore your product’s uniqueness, sell the story and history, and find your niche. For Rwanda, it may be the organic market.