Officials sign a trade agreement making a Chinese company the exclusive distributor of Wisconsin ginseng in China.
Governor Jim Doyle says customers regard Wisconsin ginseng as the world’s highest quality.
“In China, I know from my travels there, when you say ‘Wisconsin,’ people in China know the word … because it is symbolic with particularly high-quality and very mild ginseng.”
China is Wisconsin’s primary market for the ginseng root. It’s estimated that this new deal with the largest producer of traditional Chinese medicine will bring more than $12 million back to Wisconsin in the next five years.
“While 2009 has been a very difficult economy for a lot of businesses, in the first part of 2009 the exports of ginseng from Wisconsin have increased by 70%.”
Established over 340 years ago, Tong Ren Tang (TRT) is one of the oldest and widely recognized brand names in China. The president of the Chinese pharmaceutical company says “Wisconsin-grown ginseng is the best in the world” for tea, capsules, cosmetics and other dietary supplements.
Kirk Baumann Vice President of the Ginseng Board of Wisconsin says this deal with the well-known and highly-respected TRT will help to market Wisconsin ginseng sold in China and protect its good name from knock-offs.
Wisconsin grows about 95% of the total ginseng crop in the United States. In 2007, the state’s ginseng farmers harvested 400,000 pounds of the herb, worth $10 million.
NOTE: Governor Doyle first traveled to China on a 2004 trade mission, and he returned to the world’s most populous country in September of this year.