(May 20) TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services hopes to build export marketing channels in India for the state’s fresh fruits and vegetables.

Florida Agriculture Commissioner Charles Bronson dispatched a team of marketing representatives to the world’s most-populous democracy in mid-May. The trade initiative is a partnership with the Southern U.S. Trade Association and the Alabama International Trade Center.

Gathering market intelligence and establishing key trade contacts are among the goals of the trip to India, where Florida representatives will focus on opportunities for citrus, celery, lettuce and tomatoes, among other items.

A member of the World Trade Organization, India boasts a population of more than 1 billion, including a middle class estimated to be larger than the entire U.S. population, according to the news release.

Information gathered during the India trade mission will be presented to suppliers and exporters from Florida and other Southern states during a workshop Sept. 19-20 at the Renaissance Orlando Resort at Sea World.

For information about the workshop, call SUSTA at (504) 568-5986 or Florida’s Agriculture Department at (850) 488-4366.