|Our Mission: The District Export Councils contribute leadership and international trade expertise to complement the U.S. Commercial Service’s export promotion efforts through counseling businesses on the exporting process and conducting trade education and community outreach.|
|Governor Presents Four Arkansas Companies Excellence in Global Trade Award|
|Wednesday, May 23 2012 15:22|
LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas (May 23, 2012) – Four Arkansas companies were honored today for leading the way in exporting goods and services throughout the world.
Governor Mike Beebe presented the companies with the Governor’s Award for Excellence in Global Trade during an awards luncheon at the Governor’s Mansion.
This year’s winners are:
“The success of these four companies shows that using innovation in reaching international markets can build your overall success,” Beebe said. “Whether large or small, Arkansas businesses have tools available to take their entrepreneurship onto the global stage.”
This is the third year for the program which is co-sponsored by the Arkansas District Export Council, the Arkansas Economic Development Commission, U. S. Commercial Service Export Assistance Center Arkansas, and the Arkansas World Trade Center.
Judging criteria was based on factors such as most recent percentage of export sales to total sales, growth of export sales over the past three years, the company's goals and commitments internationally and the number of jobs saved or created due to the company's export performance if applicable.
According to U.S. Census Bureau data, Arkansas’s export shipments of merchandise in 2011 totaled more than $5.6 billion. The state’s largest trade partners in 2011 were Canada ($1.3 billion), Mexico ($679 million), China ($413 million) and Japan ($213 million).
The Arkansas District Export Council is composed of business leaders appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce. District Export Councils contribute leadership and international trade expertise to complement the U.S. Commercial Service’s export promotion efforts through counseling businesses on the exporting process and conducting trade education and community outreach.
"The Arkansas District Export Council can show small and medium size businesses how to increase sales through exporting using proven techniques without huge risk and uncertainty,” said S. Graham Catlett, chair of the Arkansas District Export Council.
ABOUT THE WINNERS:
Riceland Foods, Inc.
Riceland Foods is a cooperative of family farmers, originally formed in 1921 to market rice. Today, it markets rice, soybeans, wheat and corn grown by more than 7,000 farmer-members primarily in Arkansas. From its Stuttgart headquarters, Riceland has grown to become the world’s largest miller and marketer of rice and one of the nation’s top 10 grain storage companies with 32 locations. Each year, Riceland’s 1,500 employees store, transport, process and market more than 100 million bushels of grain as raw grains and products, including rice, rice flour, rice bran oil, soybean oil, soybean meal and feed ingredients. Riceland’s annual sales exceed $1 billion with one-third of its rice and all of its wheat exported to more than 65 foreign destinations. Riceland has vigorously promoted export sales throughout its history. The farmer-owned cooperative earned the Presidential “E” award in 1964 for its export activities, and the Presidential “E Star” in 1970 for “outstanding efforts to promote sales of U.S. products abroad and continued superior performance in foreign market activities.” Of the dozen businesses to be so honored by the president of the United States in 1970, Riceland Foods was the only agricultural industry and the only Arkansas industry to receive the distinction.
Coleman Dairy Products
Little Rock, AR
Coleman Dairy is the 13th oldest business in Arkansas and the oldest dairy west of the Mississippi. The Coleman sign is familiar to Arkansans traveling along Interstate 30. What most Arkansans do not know is that Coleman Dairy Products are also available to shoppers on Grand Cayman, Jamaica, Turks, and St. Kitts, among other Caribbean islands. Thanks to an innovation upgrade that Coleman Dairy invested in 2003, they were able to extend the code date (shelf life) of their dairy products from the industry standard 16 days to 21 code days. This investment permitted Coleman Dairy to expand into Caribbean markets and increase sales. The extended number of code days and international sales have resulted in sales increases during the past three years; compared to other dairy operations that are suffering significant losses. The Coleman Dairy export success story represents a unique approach to company growth by utilizing innovative technology and taking advantage of opportunities wherever they may emerge.
Trump Tours, Inc.
Trump Tours’ company motto is “One Good Idea! All it takes is one good idea to pay for your trip.” Tiffiny Trump-Humbert used her background, helping on her family’s grain farm in Northeast Missouri, to launch an innovative travel business focused on bringing international visitors to the U.S. for farm tours. The idea is that Trump Tours organizes farm tours for international visitors interested in learning more about American agriculture, whether it is grain farming, dairy, cattle, vegetables, fruits, forestry, cotton, research, etc. Trump Tours customizes the tour based on the group’s interests and needs. Tiffiny credits several factors to the phenomenal growth of her business: 1.) International networking; 2.) International marketing & sales; 3.) International fluency; 4.) Software investment; 5.) Weaker U.S. dollar; 6.) American innovation and technology. She also credits her German husband, Raif, for helping shape the vision. Between Tiffiny, Raif, and their five employees, they speak German, Portuguese, and Spanish fluently. Their tour guides speak French, Portuguese, Spanish, Swedish, Dutch and German. According to Tiffiny, American agriculture & research are among the best in the world. Not only can international visitors meet with top agriculture companies, they can learn about high tech innovation and state-of-the-art equipment and technologies that revolutionize farm management. Trump Tours brings together an incredible mix of originality, customer service, attention to detail, and America’s extraordinary agribusiness to a pleased and growing international business clientele – that’s more than one great idea.
Keith Smith Company
Hot Springs, AR
The Keith Smith Company was among the first Arkansas companies to be recognized by the Governor’s Awards for Excellence in Global Trade in 2010. Although a SME operation, the Keith Smith Company had identified international markets and exporting as an important growth strategy. Three years later, Keith Smith Company’s exports have grown to an impressive 45 percent of sales. Keith Smith, grandson of the company’s founder and son of company president, James K. Smith II, aggressively focused on developing markets in the Western Hemisphere. In addition to Keith’s fluent Spanish, they expanded their bilingual sales staff, who handle customer service as well as sales. They upgraded their export documentation expertise and improved their export transport strategies to include overland trucking, air, and maritime transport. The success of Keith Smith Company continues to be based on strict adherence to an excellent export strategy with keen market analysis, strong customer service, and an uncompromised dedication to quality and efficiency, based on company values of integrity and trust. With a time-sensitive product and complex customer demand, Keith Smith Company excels in solving problems, meeting complex challenges and serving clients to create mutual success.