Connecting With Cuba

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Citizens of Cuba soon will be eating Kentucky-raised buffalo and drinking Kentucky-made soft drinks as a result of a $7 million trade agreement. The state has all but closed a deal that would export processed foods, meats, tobacco, and wood products.

State agriculture leaders established the trade commitments during a U.S. Farm Expo in Havannah, Cuba. During the four-day expo, nearly 300 American businesses competed for a piece of the pie. Kentucky made up the third largest delegation. U.S. businesses expect to see a $75 million profit from the deal. In 2000, Congress passed a resolution allowing the trade of U.S. agriculture and food products.

Several businesses from South-Central Kentucky will soon benefit from the new relationship. A producer of nearly 100 products, Glasgow Spray Dry Inc. was one of those local companies that traveled to Cuba and came back a winner.

The Glasgow-based company manufacturers dairy and non-dairy products for companies such as Kraft and Pillsbury. Glasgow Spray Dry Inc. was awarded a $15,000 commitment for powdered milk. President, Billy Williams, is optimistic that the small purchase is just the beginning of a much bigger commitment.

Other area industries could also be cashing in on the Cuban boom. Area apple orchards such as "Jackson's Orchard" could soon be shipping its apple cider overseas.

In addition, WKBO was told that "Ski", the citrus soda produced in Green County, was a hit in Havannah and may see future Cuban business.