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  About Us

The CBATO and the Caribbean

   

 

Meet Our CBATO Staff

FAS Offices

About FAS-USDA

The Caribbean Basin Agricultural Trade Office and USDA in the Caribbean Region

 In January 1996, the USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) established the Caribbean Basin Agricultural Trade Office (CBATO) just south of downtown Miami.  The CBATO is the only FAS overseas post, which due to logistics and cost, is located in the United States. 

 The CBATO provides country coverage for the Lesser Antilles and Cuba, over 23 island nations, territories and dependencies, in total.  This responsibility includes, among other actives, the dialogue between the governments of these island nations and the United States on matters related to food and agriculture and to making relations in these fields closer.

 The CBATO provides “one stop shopping” for U.S. companies interested in learning about export opportunities to this region.  The CBATO offers U.S. food and agricultural product companies a wide variety of trade services geared at understanding, promoting and selling in this dynamic marketplace. 

 The CBATO also assists companies in this region looking for U.S. products. 

 Among the services that are available for free through the CBATO are:

 Sector reports: which provide important data and analysis on various food distribution sectors.   These reports are developed at a country or a Caribbean regional market level and are available to U.S. companies following the transformation of the food distribution industry. 

 Product briefs:  which highlight market segments that are expanding in the region.

 Promotional opportunities: which provide information on U.S. trade promotion activities being conducted in the region.

 Trade Shows in the U.S.:  which identify U.S. agricultural fairs that attract regional participants due to the show’s focus on the international marketplace, particularly the Caribbean region.  The CBATO collaborates with State Regional Trade Groups (SRTGs) to recruit international buyers to attend those events.  Our goal is to help foreign companies find potential U.S. suppliers, thus stimulate commercial relations between the U.S. and other countries.

 Technical visits and training:  which employ tools available through FAS to promote technical exchanges between the U.S., Caribbean countries and regional organizations to address local knowledge or informational gaps that may be inhibiting evolution in a given sector.  The Cochran Fellowship Program is a noted tool used to address an issue through technical seminars. 

 The Office of Agricultural Affairs (OAA), based in the U.S. Embassy in Santo Domingo, is the CBATO’s sister office that provides country coverage for the Greater Antilles - Dominican Republic, Jamaica and Haiti.

 The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) operates two regional offices, in Santo Domingo and in Port of Spain.  APHIS is responsible for procedures regarding the sanitary and phytosanitary inspection of animal and plants exported from and import to the United States.

 As a market, the Caribbean region comprises the ninth largest regional market for U.S. exports of food and agricultural products.  In 2014, U.S. exports of food and agricultural products to the Caribbean exceeded 4.13 billion, with the CBATO region accounting for over a third of this trade. With limited arable land, the islands depend largely on imports to satisfy their domestic food requirements and that of the 23 million stay-over tourists who visit the Caribbean annually.

 

 
 

This page was last updated: 10/26/2017