Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler is trying to expand foreign markets for North Carolina tobacco during a trade mission to Switzerland and Germany June 13-18.

Meetings with three of the world’s largest leaf buyers will take place in Geneva and Lausanne, Switzerland, and Hamburg, Germany.

“The future of North Carolina tobacco lies overseas,” Troxler said. “We’ve got to help our farmers reach out to international companies purchasing tobacco. We want these buyers to know that we have the highest-quality tobacco in the world.”

The European trade mission comes 10 months after Troxler led a similar trip to China. As a result of that trip, China purchased 52 million pounds of North Carolina’s 2009 tobacco crop.

In addition to Troxler, the 11-person delegation includes tobacco growers and representatives of leaf dealers. These travelers will cover their own expenses.