[Press Release] Nearly 600 companies from Latin America and the Caribbean generate deals for $26 million


With the goal of supporting agrifood chain businesses from the region to strengthen and diversify their markets, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), the Executive Secretariat of the Central American Agricultural Council (SECAC) and the Secretariat of the Central American Integration System (SIECA) organized a new edition of the Virtual Business Roundtable, on the Central American Trade Network (REDCA) platform.

In its seventh edition, the Virtual Roundtable of the Agrifood Chains of Latin America and the Caribbean registered commercial intent for $25.9 million and promoted the participation of 584 companies, including 300 from Central America, 247 from South America and 37 from North America and the Caribbean.

Buying and selling companies of all sizes were present at the event, from such countries as Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Belize, Dominican Republic, Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Uruguay, Paraguay, Peru, Venezuela, Cuba and Jamaica. In developing their business agendas, the companies increased their networking, creating the opportunity to close deals and diversify their markets.

The sectors with the highest representation at the Virtual Roundtable were fruits and vegetables, dairy products, sea products, tea, coffee and cocoa, natural juice drinks, basic grains, seeds, meats, honey, tubers, bread products, sauces and condiments, in addition to services in customs and foreign trade consultancy, packaging, transport and logistics, machinery and equipment, and agricultural innovation.

This edition stood out for the participation of companies led by women and young people under 40, representing respectively 35 percent and 53 percent of the total companies.

Since 2020, and over seven editions of the Virtual Business Roundtables, 3832 companies have participated from different Latin American countries, making business deals for a value of $173.9 million in business intent.

Edith Flores de Molina, Director of the Center of Studies on Economic Integration (CEIE) of the SIECA said: “We are pleased to be part of this partnership with solid institutions and clear goals in promoting trade and food security; the results garnered at the seventh edition of the Business Roundtable, held on the Central American Business Network REDCA platform, as in previous editions, are a source of great satisfaction to the SIECA, as companies from different parts of the Latin American region and the Caribbean are breaking down the barriers of time and distance, making deals that have allowed them to commit to sales for a value of around $26 million.”

CAC Executive Secretary Lucrecia Rodríguez noted that one of the goals of the Central American Agricultural Policy is the facilitation of actions so that farmers and their associations can access local, regional and international markets with their products. “We are excited to work on this joint regional agenda promoting the development of rural territories in the region, as that is where farming is concentrated in our countries.”

Daniel Rodríguez, Manager of IICA’s International Trade and Regional Integration Program, said he was very pleased with these inter-institutional efforts, as after seven editions the virtual business roundtables of the agrifood chains of Latin America and the Caribbean have become a regional public good, facilitating greater participation in export markets for the different stakeholders in the chains of the region. Rodríguez also said that this edition featured a large number of companies that had participated in previous editions, confirming the usefulness of the roundtables to fulfil their commercial goals, as well as companies participating for the first time, which motivates us to continue promoting new editions of this successful initiative.

FAO Trade and Agrifoods Systems Officer Pablo Rabczuk stressed that the FAO is committed to promoting SMEs and family farming organizations in international agrifood trade chains, as it contributes to the region’s food and nutrition security.

Rabczuk said, “The virtual roundtables organized by FAO, SECAC, IICA and SIECA consolidate commercial opportunities that have an impact on economic development and make a better life for small and medium-sized agrifood sector business owners, their families and their communities. We can also highlight the participation of young people and businesswomen, whose numbers have gradually increased at every edition of the virtual roundtables, which shows that these virtual spaces are useful tools for strengthening capacities to access international markets.”

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