Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Tommy Irvin has filed a formal letter of support to the U.S. Secretary of Transportation Mary E. Peters for direct, non-stop flights between Atlanta and Shanghai, China.

We can load airplanes with ‘Georgia Grown’ fresh fruits, vegetables, poultry and other agriculture products and have them on dinner tables in China the next day,” says Irvin. “This is exciting, and it will help not only Georgia farmers, but agricultural interests nationwide.”

In his letter to Transportation Secretary Peters, Irvin cites China as being Georgia’s third largest export market with more than $22 million in annual sales of poultry, Georgia’s leading agricultural commodity.

The agriculture commissioner says China is a top destination of Georgia exporters doing more than $979 million in business.

“Georgia is proud of the growing number of Chinese companies that have headquarters here in our state. We welcome the opportunity to continue building important and valuable business relationships with China,” Irvin wrote to Peters.

“A direct flight is needed between China’s largest city and one of the largest cities in the South and one of the most important transportation hubs in America.”

Irvin’s request comes in support of a Delta Airlines proposal for a new non-stop direct flight between the two cities.