The U.S. Dept. of Agriculture wants to pitch eight influential Chinese food bloggers from three provinces to burnish a “strong U.S. food image among Chinese consumers,” according to a solicitation for PR support.

“We need to outreach and educate food bloggers about the values of U.S. agricultural foods and U.S. food cultures,” said a statement from the USDA’s Agricultural Trade Office.

The USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service has identified the group of bloggers from Beijing, Shanghai and Sichuan province and is looking for an agency or consultant to develop a media tour-type program for educating the writers to “facilitate them to report about the great values of American agricultural products, U.S. dining trends and cultures,” according to an RFP released June 25.

The ATO notes that its experience indicates social media is more receptive than traditional media to ATO messaging and publish “more quickly and more often,” with greater potential for republishing of stories.

“Food bloggers are an important and influential part of social media in China, but ATO has not involved them in our marketing and promotional activities yet,” said a statement from the office.

The USDA suggests a tour of six cities/states, including visits to U.S. farm or manufacturing sites, grocery stores, popular restaurants, cooking schools and other food-oriented landmarks. The locations are to include New York City, Virginia/North Carolina, Florida, New Orleans, Los Angeles and Portland.

Proposals are due July 6. View the solicitation at