22 Apr 7 highly useful websites for exporting and food
Having good information is key in the business of food. But, it’s not always so easy to find. The quantity of information out there with just one click is so extensive that it’s tremendously complicated to choose what to read. That’s why we’ve created a short list of websites that are quite interesting and of great use when it comes to making those important decisions for your company. And we’ve done so based on our experience because they’ve been of immense help at some time or another in our more than 100 years operating in the sector and we hope they can be for you too.
The European Statistical System offers data on the European Union thanks to the harmonization of the statistical methods used in all EU Member States. Some of its most important tasks include building macro-economic databases used by the European Central Bank to make decisions. Also of special interest are the regional data and NUTS classification, based on the nomenclature of territorial units for statistics, which is also used by the EU to guide its structural policies.
Its many monographic databases include one exclusively dedicated to agriculture with a large number of indicators. It also offers data on international trade as well as on population and living conditions in each Member State. Particularly relevant issues to be considered when exporting food products.
World Trade Organization (WTO)
This is a forum through which governments can negotiate trade agreements which must be known to all companies dedicated to exporting. These agreements establish the principles of liberalization, permitted exceptions and commitments undertaken by different countries to lower customs duties, among other matters. The Doha Development Agenda is currently underway. It began in the year 2001 and is aimed at reforming the international trade system by establishing measures that reduce obstacles in order to liberalize world trade.
The most interesting parts of its website are the news and events section, which disseminates all new developments within the institution, and the open data portal. Data can be collected through this portal on international trade, tariff indicators and outlooks for exporting.
Spanish Federation for Food and Beverage Industries
Whether your company is located in Spain or you engage in relations with Spanish companies in the food sector, you must be up-to-date on FIAB activities because it brings together a large number of associations in this field to defend their interests. It’s particularly committed to food safety in addition to economic, social and environmental sustainability. It produces a large quantity of reliable and necessary information. Especially useful is the calendar of international promotion activities, which includes the most important trade shows around the world. Also worth noting are the publications it disseminates in collaboration with other institutions which are offered for free at the website to help guide companies.
ICEX Spain Exports and Investments
The mission of this public business entity under the auspices of the Spanish Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism is to promote the internationalization of Spanish companies as well as foreign investment in Spain. Standing out among its many services are support programmes, financial advising for internationalization, aid and grants in addition to the organization of trade missions. Likewise, its section on market information and its business training programmes are of great use.
A port site
This is an information hub which has become the primary means of communication for the maritime-port industry in Latin America. Particularly interesting are the sections on the port industry, foreign trade and logistics. However, the most useful part of this site may be the exclusive content on Peru, Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Uruguay and Brazil. Thus, it’s a must for anyone who operates with those countries.
There are another two port-related websites with extremely valuable tools you should know about. One is the iContainers web platform which offers importers and exporters a real-time and free tariff comparison. However, you must be registered in order to use it. The other belongs to the digital platform Searates, which allows you to geolocate all ports in the world as well as calculate times and distances between them in order to estimate when goods may arrive.
This news portal defines itself as a legal, customs, transport and foreign trade newspaper that is committed to best trade practices. It offers international information of interest yet is mainly aimed at Latin American countries. However, the information is really quite helpful for anyone exporting to those places or anyone engaging in commercial relations in Latin America.
It also tracks online workshops and virtual seminars organized by major institutions like the World Customs Organization (WCO). This is another reference source for the food sector. Although the content may be a bit arduous for a non-specialized public, it’s essential to be up-to-date on their activities since it’s an intergovernmental organization that is responsible for developing international standards. Moreover, it offers guidance and support for customs administrations.
IFOAM Organics International
For nearly 50 years, this organization has been working for progress in agricultural sustainability throughout the world. It’s annual reports are must-reads for companies that produce organic foods and share a business philosophy marked by respect for the environment. Plus, the blog is an open door to an infinite number of interesting stories about everything involved with organic agriculture and the people who are working to build a sustainable world.