When I started this business nearly 20 years ago, I deeply internalized the truth that when countries trade together, they do not fight one another. Our ethos remains grounded in trust and respect with an overarching purpose to promote peace between nations through trade. The branded customers we attract, and the international partners with whom we trade, imbue the same values making our collaboration more than “doing business.” We “do life” by fortifying one another’s livelihoods and transcending language through food, beverages and nutritional products while building each other’s global support network.
In the face of distracting and sometimes destructive politics and posturing, we mustn’t lose sight of why two sides come together. People, and our common connection and shared values, are everything.
Today we need these shared goals and values more than ever. Recently I was contacted by a distributor in the West Bank, Palestine. He wanted to buy our U.S. products. We sent samples and entered negotiations. Sadly, I have not heard from him in a while.
For two decades, AMI has entered trade relations distributing nutritional supplements to Greater Russia, coffee to Lebanon, snack foods to Greater China, and beverages to Israel and Venezuela. Those are but a few nations we’ve worked with and with whom we do not always share their country’s political beliefs. Each year I attend trade shows worldwide and enjoy visiting country pavilions such as Syria, Yemen, Iran and others to discuss their global trade challenges and obstacles. In short order, it is evident that we are more similar than different. Some of these honorable and respectable people are now fine friends who have invited me to their homes.
We will continue to trade our nutritious products with people from all nations, regardless of that country’s political beliefs or religious preferences. In this way we play a role in reducing conflict by finding common ground.
It’s what we do at AMI. It’s in our DNA.
“Remember, you don’t fear people whose story you know.”