Gov. Little’s Mexico trade mission strengthens trade opportunities for Idaho businesses

Friday December 1, 2023

Boise, Idaho – Governor Brad Little completed a productive five-day trade mission to Mexico earlier this month. The Idaho Department of Commerce, the Idaho State Department of Agriculture, and 20 Idaho businesses and organizations joined the Governor for his third official in-person trade mission as Idaho’s 33rd Governor.

In 2022, Mexico ranked as the sixth largest export destination overall for Idaho and the second largest export destination for Idaho food and agriculture products. Total exports to Mexico exceeded $202 million last year.

“Throughout the trade mission, we forged valuable connections, reinforcing Idaho's longstanding trade partnership with Mexico. These interactions not only solidified the state's economic ties but also paved the way for fresh opportunities in trade and investment, contributing to the ongoing enhancement of Idaho's economy,” Governor Little said.

Mission highlights in Mexico:

  • Governor Little met with Roberto Velasco Alvarez, Chief Officer for North America at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to strengthen the bilateral relationship between Idaho and Mexico.
  • At the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CYMMIT), an international non-profit research and training center, Governor Little connected the organization with the University of Idaho College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and various Idaho commodity groups to begin discussions about research collaboration in wheat breeding, sustainability, and bean seed development.
  • Governor Little promoted an Idaho manufacturer of soil stabilization, dust control, and water treatment solutions to Grupo Mexico, a conglomerate that operates in mining, transportation, and infrastructure.
  • Governor Little and delegation members met with Walmart de Mexico y Centroamerica to promote Idaho potatoes, onions, cheese, health and body products, and cold chain monitoring technology to Mexico’s largest retailer with more than 2,800 retail outlets in the country.
  • At the Central de Abastos, the world’s largest wholesale market, Governor Little and delegation members visited with key importers of Idaho potatoes and Idaho-eastern Oregon onions to further expand sales opportunities for Idaho suppliers.
  • Governor Little promoted Idaho malt to Constellation Brands Mexico, the producers of more than 400 million cases of beer annually in Mexico.

The following 20 businesses and organizations joined Governor Little, the Idaho Department of Commerce, and Idaho State Department of Agriculture in Mexico:

  • Ag Concepts Corp.
  • Agropur
  • Copeland
  • Eagle Eye Produce
  • Eagle Forest Products
  • GP Tools
  • High Desert Milk
  • Hamilton Manufacturing Inc.
  • Idaho Bean Commission
  • Idaho Eastern Oregon Onion Committee
  • Idaho Farm Bureau
  • Idaho Potato Commission
  • Lactalis Ingredients USA
  • Melaleuca
  • Mountain Malt
  • Plant Therapy
  • Simplot Animal Sciences
  • Study Idaho—Boise State University, College of Idaho and Riverstone International School
  • University of Idaho College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (CALS)
  • Wada Farms

Quotes from trade mission participants:


“We had an invaluable experience and some great connections with Idaho Department of Commerce and the other Idaho businesses that made the trip. We had productive meetings with Mexican companies and have learned a lot about the Mexican market. Eagle Eye Produce is looking forward to growing our business south of the border.” - Eric Wilderson, Eagle Forest Products


“Hamilton Manufacturing Inc. attended the Governor’s trade mission with the expectations of meeting new partners in Mexico. What we experienced was so much more. Governor Little personally attended meetings with HMI to build what we see as lasting relationships to Mexican partners that will certainly grow our business. The Idaho team put us in the right place at the right time and set up meetings that will close deals. Since the mission we have already sent out three quotes for major projects that we expect to finalize within the coming weeks. We can’t thank you enough for making sure that our taxpayer dollars were well spent to support the growth of our small business based out of Twin Falls. Cheers to everyone who worked so hard to grow Idaho exports! - Matt Smith, Hamilton Manufacturing Inc.


“The Governor’s trade mission to Mexico this year was exactly what the Idaho potato community needed. We experienced firsthand how passionate Governor Little, Director Chanel Tewalt, and their staff are for the potato industry. The Idaho Potato Commission is grateful for the Governor and his staff for personally meeting with current and potential Idaho importers to increase sales of frozen, dehydrated, and fresh Idaho potato sales.” - Ross Johnson – Idaho Potato Commission


“The Idaho Farm Bureau Federation appreciated the opportunity to participate in the Governor’s Trade Mission to Mexico. It was a meaningful experience to meet with our Mexican partners face to face and share the value of doing business and collaborating with Idaho companies, organizations, and state agencies. Idaho farmers, ranchers, and businesses offer products and commodities that are among the very best in the world. It was an honor to represent and showcase Idaho agriculture to our friends in Mexico as the Farm Bureau continues to empower the agricultural industry in the state.” - Braden Jensen, Idaho Farm Bureau Federation


“Study Idaho's participation in the Governor’s trade mission to Mexico provided Idaho secondary and higher education institutions a unique opportunity to meet high quality and well-vetted partner institutions. Our meetings were productive and provided invaluable insight to the Mexican market that otherwise would have been inaccessible.” - Study Idaho


“This was a wonderful experience interacting with the Idaho companies and organizations on this trip that benefit from Mexico being the destination for many Idaho products. In addition, interacting with several universities and the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center afforded the opportunity for both faculty and student exchange that did not exist before. YES for the next trade mission!” - Michael Parella, Dean of the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, University of Idaho

"GP Tools is immensely grateful for the exceptional support provided by Governor Little’s trade mission to Mexico. The appointments with potential distributors and key contacts not only made our trip to Mexico City highly productive but has also paved the way for substantial business growth. The collaborative efforts of the mission team have undoubtedly created valuable opportunities that will significantly contribute to the expansion of GP Tools in the Mexican market." - Charlie Denning, GP Tools