The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) based at the U.S. Embassy in South Africa, is pleased to announce an opportunity to participate in a reverse trade mission (RTM) to the 2024 National Restaurant Association (NRA) Show in Chicago, scheduled for 17-21 May 2024. As part of the  “USA-Africa Buyers Showcase, ” the opportunity is designed to introduce importers from the continent to U.S. suppliers looking to expand exports to Africa. This event will provide opportunities for buyers from Africa to meet with U.S. companies and trade associations, receive first-hand education about business conditions in the U.S., participate in site visits, and network with other mission participants.

The NRA show is the largest annual gathering of food service professionals in the Western Hemisphere and welcomes over 51,000 attendees and over 1,800 exhibitors. The National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA), in partnership with FAS, organizes the A Taste of the States: Chicago pavilion at the NRA show to give meet and connect with small-and-medium-sized U.S. food and beverage exporters carrying premium product lines.

This will be a partially sponsored buyers’ mission with USDA defraying the cost of travel by covering round trip airfare, hotel, show registration, and some meals. USDA will also help organize visits to the USA Pavilion and business-to-business meetings. It is imperative that the buyer selected is fluent in communicating in English as all seminars will be presented in English only. Closer to the show, a list of the U.S. companies expected to have booths at the USA Pavilion will be sent out to the recruited buyers and the team at FAS Pretoria will assist in setting up meetings with all the exporters of interest.

USDA will provide:

  • Lodging at the LondonHouse Chicago Hotel for the duration of the show
  • Roundtrip economy airfare to Chicago and back.
  • Please note that our office will work with you to book your flights through our U.S. government-approved travel agent. We are happy to accommodate your itinerary preferences (different travel dates and/or routing) with the condition that you will be responsible for any additional cost if your preferred itinerary costs more than the economy rate for roundtrip airfare to Chicago for the travel dates of 15-22 May 2024.
  • Transportation to and from the show in Chicago
  • Educational Seminars with matchmaking with ready-to-export U.S. businesses
  • NRA Show registration
  • Some meals

The sponsored buyer will be responsible for:

  • Obtaining a U.S. visa, if needed
  • Airport transfers in Chicago and in your home city
  • Most meals
  • All other expenses associated with the trip, such as health insurance and medical expenses
  • Participating in seminars as well as attending all matchmaking meetings arranged for you by USDA
  • Please note: Organizations applying to be part of the mission are required to attend the entirety of the trade show.
  • Providing feedback on NRA as well as sharing general information about confirmed or projected imports of U.S. products as a result of attending the NRA show

Please see attached flyer for more information on the NRA show.

Interested applicants should complete the form below and submit to Nevolan Reddy ( no later than 9:00 a.m. on Monday, 4 March 2024. 

Application Form

  1. Full Name and Surname, including title (Prof./Dr./Mr./Ms., etc.):
  2. Job Title/Position:
  3. Company Information:
    1. Name:
    2. Company Address – Both Physical and Postal:
    3. Company Website:
    4. Company social media handles (if available):
    5. Have you or anyone from your company previously participated in a USDA-sponsored buyers’ mission or trade event? If so, please provide details (event and rough dates):
  4. Contact Information:
    1. Office Phone Number:
    2. Mobile/WhatsApp Number:
    3. Email Address:
  5. Trade History:
    1. Please provide a short description of your company, including what products you import:
    2. Has your company imported from the United States in the past?
    3. What products have you imported from the Unites States in the last 2 years?
    4. What U.S. products is your company interested in importing?
  6. Please explain why you would like to attend the NRA show and why you would be a good candidate to participate in this sponsored “USA-Africa Buyers Showcase” (250-word limit)

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