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Lawrenceville-based company leaving international footprint with food exports

From left to right are Paul Jaretsky, sales manager for Pexim, Yousuf Pochi, the company’s president, and Asif Pochi, vice president. The Gwinnett-based company is a domestic distributor and exporter of food products.

From left to right are Paul Jaretsky, sales manager for Pexim, Yousuf Pochi, the company’s president, and Asif Pochi, vice president. The Gwinnett-based company is a domestic distributor and exporter of food products.

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Products managed by a company right here in Gwinnett, Pexim Inc., are making their way across the Atlantic and Pacific oceans to countries in Asia, Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

LAWRENCEVILLE — Products managed by a company right here in Gwinnett are making their way across the Atlantic and Pacific oceans to countries in Asia, Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Asif Pochi, vice president of Pexim Inc., the Gwinnett-based domestic distributor and exporter of food products, said he didn’t expect the mid-size business to be exporting to more than 30 countries by 2013. After all, the business only incorporated in 2009 and started exporting in 2010.

“We actually didn’t expect to be this ahead of ourselves,” Pochi said. “We thought initially it would be just a few countries.”

Pexim’s success in the international market has been facilitated by the Southern United States Trade Association, or SUSTA, a federally funded nonprofit that helps small American businesses export food and agricultural products overseas.

While Pexim’s main market is the Middle East, the company recently began exporting to Asia.

The primary way SUSTA facilitates exporting to other countries is through trade shows, which SUSTA members can attend for very little cost. The nonprofit provides interpreters and asks that businesses simply show up and sell their products.

“The opportunities are huge for American food and agriculture and we really want to see more small businesses take advantage of that trend,” said Jerry Hingle, executive director of SUSTA.

Hingle said only one in 100 companies in the United States exports overseas and that 95 percent of the world’s consumers are outside the U.S.

“We’re trying to get more small businesses like Pexim involved internationally,” he said.

Hingle said globally, food and agricultural demands will double by 2050 and there will be 9 billion people to feed.

“Our goal is to help get more companies involved in doing just that,” he said. “We’ve helped thousands of companies like Pexim do what they do.”

Pochi said SUSTA has been invaluable to Pexim.

“Overall it’s given us an awareness of what’s going on (in the countries where we want to export),” he said. “We kind of know before we go there.”