Purdue News

July 14, 2005

Purdue Extension seeks businesses for international research

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service is looking for Indiana agribusinesses and farmers to participate in an international market research program. The purpose is to increase trade between Indiana and Latin America.

Agribusinesses will work with Purdue Extension staff and market researchers during the project. The goal will be to focus on boosting Indiana's economy by increasing trade internationally with Latin America and targeting consumer-buying habits of Latinos.

"The research obtained abroad will help companies direct their products and services toward Latino consumer needs. This could help businesses capitalize on the advantages of international trade," said Kelli Selby, international coordinator for Purdue Extension.

"For instance, Costa Rica is experiencing a rise in the number of movie theaters. An Indiana popcorn farmer may be able to link up with that industry and provide cinemas with their food needs," Selby said.

The program is funded through a U.S. Department of Agriculture grant.

"With this program, we are able to do the groundwork for small businesses that wouldn't ordinarily have the time or funds to manage market research like this," Selby said.

Graduate students, Extension professionals and agriculture educators in the state of Indiana will represent businesses as market researchers in Costa Rica. They will be trained in the spring semester through a Purdue Extension distance-learning course designed for international trade. Then participants will use ideas from the spring course and objectives proposed by the company to conduct a 10-day research study in Costa Rica for participating agribusinesses. Purdue's staff will guide participants in their research before, during and after their trip.

"Data will be collected from a variety of food and agriculture sources, including restaurants and grocery stores. Researchers will also gather information from residents of Costa Rica and professionals involved with international trading," Selby said.

Companies should expect to meet with their assigned market researchers twice before the Costa Rica trip to discuss their goals for the study. Each participating company will receive a report and a presentation from their market researcher upon completion of the international trip.

"Through this program, we have the resources to improve Indiana's economy," Selby said.

The project includes a variety of Purdue Agriculture experts, the Indiana Economic Development Council and the Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center in Turrialba, Costa Rica. The team will coordinate participants and businesses, structure the material for classes and lead the market researchers during the international travel experience.

Companies who are interested in participating in the research project should contact Selby at (765) 494-9831 or camersonselby@purdue.edu.

Writer: Stephanie K. Miller, (765) 494-8402, millersk@purdue.edu

Source: Kelli Selby, (765) 494-9831, cameronselby@purdue.edu

Ag Communications: (765) 494-2722;
Beth Forbes, forbes@purdue.edu
Agriculture News Page

 

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