Negotiation Team participants

Negotiation Team participants (left to right)

Jim Guinn, Director, Asia Promotion Programs, USA Rice Federation; William Li, Overseas Director, Shenzhen Yintuo & Vice President, Dragon Ocean Hing Group, Jim Levy, U.S. Consul General to China, U.S. Embassy; Chris Zhang, President, Dragon Ocean Hing Group; Erin O’Donnell, Assistant Vice President of Global Rice Trading, Sun Valley Rice; Bobby Richey Jr., Minister-Counselor for Agricultural Affairs in China, USDA

Sun Valley Rice, a member of the LaGrande Family Foods Group located in the Sacramento Valley, in California, has just signed the very first contract for a US company to export and sell rice to China.

Ken LaGrande, CEO of Sun Valley Rice, said, “Fifteen years of patience and hard work have paid off. It is truly an honor and a privilege to blaze this trail of trading history — American rice in China."

Sun Valley Rice will be providing their premium California Calrose medium-grain rice to Shenzhen Hong Tai, one of the largest importers of rice into China. The rice will be delivered in time for the upcoming Mid-Autumn Festival, held in September in China and be available for retail and food service distribution.

William Li, Overseas Director, Shenzhen Yintuo & Vice President, Dragon Ocean Hing Group, said “We chose Sun Valley Rice because when we first toured the U.S., we went to California and witnessed that Sun Valley Rice had clearly studied Asian cultures deeply (especially Japanese and Chinese).”

LaGrande, whose family has been in agriculture in the Sacramento Valley for almost one hundred years, believes that the demand for quality California rice in China will only expand over time. The LaGrande family moved from France and eventually settled in the Sacramento Valley in the 1850s, just north of the Sacramento River Delta in one of the most fertile agricultural areas in the world — one of the few regions able to grow both short and medium-grain rice.

“We understand the role that small, local family farms play in feeding the world — since we come from one,” says LaGrande.

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