Myanmar team visits JD Farms in Poplarville, Mississippi! (Don is in the red shirt in the very back!)
>USHBC exhibited at the International Dairy, Deli, Bakery Association (IDDBA) annual meeting and exposition in New Orleans. A great gathering of the food industry and you will read more about this in a future blog post.
|The joy of picking berries!|
>Enrique called the coordinator and next day a great group of Burmese visitors were gathered at the USHBC booth. This included two representatives of CityMart holdings which is the leading retailer in Myanmar. Others included major importers, food distributors and bakers and suppliers. These are exactly the contacts that will make things happen in this up and coming Southeast Asian nation formerly called Burma.
|Group gathers at USHBC booth. That is Enrique on the left!|
|Group picks berries at Sandy Run Farm with Mr. Congeniality Ethan Goggins as host!|
>Called Don Van De Werken of J& D Farms of course. I know that a van load of Burmese visitors was the last thing he needed during harvest -- but he graciously said, "I'd love to meet the group." Don is a pioneer in exporting fresh and frozen blueberries to India.
>Don, a true Southern Gentleman and Internationalist dropped everything and hosted the group to his farm. Everyone loves to pick and learned all about the soon-to-be Burmese favorite!
>Next the group journeyed down the road to hook up with my good friend Ethan Goggans of Sandy Run Farm. He escorted the group down the road to Miss-Lou Coop where they saw blueberries packed. Luis Monterde runs, who we all know from USUBC runs Mis-Lou Cooperative which runs like a Swiss Watch. The group was amazed!
|Luis Monterde is on the far right explaining the art of blueberry packing to future buyers from Myanmar.|
>Then out to Sandy Run Farm with Ethan for one final pick!
|Nobody wanted to go home! Some said Mississippi was a lot like Myanmar, especially the true Southern Hospitality.|
Only regret -- the group had to get back to New Orelans, for an appointment. All wanted to stay or move in with Ethan and his wonderful dogs which were a hit! We had a catfish fry planed, but we will need to do this next time. The group did invite us all for some traditional Burmese curry catfish when we visit Yangon!
What could top off this perfect day?
USDA-APHIS announced that fresh blueberries are now allowed into Myanmar! More on that later.
Good night from Mississippi-Myanmar!