I want to start selling coffee from Chiapas, Mexico to the US market. How should I start?

I want to start selling coffee from Chiapas, Mexico to the US market. How should I start?

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  1. I’ve been to beautiful Chiapas a couple of times and obviously I tasted the coffee and I even brought a few bags back with me.
    I also visited a coffee plantation and one of the farmers told me with a big smile “You see all of those plantations over there? That’s being sold at Starbucks”.

    I want to start selling coffee from Chiapas, Mexico to the US market. How should I start?

    That means that there are some coffee producers in Chiapas already selling and exporting it to the US meaning that we already have the distribution channels.
    I have a friend from Chiapas whose family sell organic coffee but at a very very small scale. They don’t even have a label or brand and they sell it a very cheap price. I will try to get their contact. Meanwhile you can go down there and do some bussiness.

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  2. There are several things that need to be done from the US side. You should see what the import process is like. If you need permits, inspections, or other similar things done, make sure you know what those are and how to do them. You don’t want to start a company in the US, rent space, hire staff, and have customers lined up only to find that your inventory is all stuck at the US-Mexico border.
    Since the coffee will be for human consumption, you should look in to what rules (e.g. Food and Drug Administration, etc) you have to abide by. Each state you sell in may have different rules as well. It is possible these rules won’t be a big deal, but again, you don’t want to build your infrastructure in the US and sign contracts with customers… only to be shut down because the coffee in question hasn’t been certified for US sale.
    I’d be happy to be wrong on all of this, but in general, I would not expect importing food products from another country to be a simple matter. Permits, inspections, etc will likely need to be done.

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