The Cheese Importers Association of America Announces New Retailer Trip to the Sial Trade Show

The Cheese Importers Association of America is excited to announce an opportunity for U.S. based retailers of cheese to join them for an all expenses paid trip to Paris to attend SIAL, the world’s largest food show, with huge exhibitions of cheese from around the world, from October 20-24, 2012.

CIAA President Tom Gellert thinks U.S. retailers will tremendously benefit from attending the CIAA’s trip to SIAL.  “The SIAL Show will offer U.S. retailers limitless possibilities to network and connect with international food manufacturers and professionals,” says Gellert. “With access to these resources, retailers will be able to better promote and market specialty cheeses, thereby increasing U.S. dairy consumption.”

Not only will trip attendees attend the fabulous SIAL Show, but there will also be special opportunities for retailers as part of the exclusive CIAA trip.  Attendees will have the opportunity to participate in all events and dinners that the CIAA members participate in, but they will also visit a French hypermarket and tour a French cheese manufacturing plant.

Gellert further remarked that “This trip will be a real educational experience for many cheese buyers.  As U.S. cheese importers, we want retailers to become familiar with the wide variety of wonderful cheeses from around the world.”

This all expenses paid trip will be open to only 10 representatives from retail companies.  The CIAA will hold a lottery drawing for trip participants, and retailers must apply for the lottery by July 30, 2012.  Applications for the lottery will be available on the CIAA’s website: or at this direct link:


In order to qualify for the lottery, a retailer must either have 20 retail establishments or buy 500,000 lbs. of wholesale cheese annually and that retailer applicants be category managers or cheese buyers.  The CIAA reserves the right to ask for validation.


This wonderful opportunity for U.S. retailers is part of the CIAA’s Qualified Importer Program.  Through this program, importers of products containing cow’s milk solids pay an assessment of 7.5 cents per hundredweight of imported products and notify USDA to send 2.5 cents per hundredweight to the CIAA; the remaining 5 cents goes to the National Dairy Board.  The CIAA’s Qualified Importer Program creates events and opportunities to promote consumption of imported dairy products, as well as fund research and consumer education aimed at increasing consumption of imported dairy products.


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