Monday, September 10, 2007

Regional trade groups offer funding assistance to help small companies promote products overseas

In 2007, agricultural exports will set a new record of $78 billion, up $9.3 billion over last year and up $25 billion since 2002. This increase is largely due to the high demand for America’s bulk and value-added food products. As demand rises, four non-profit State Regional Trade Groups (SRTGs), with grant funds from the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service are helping small U.S. food producers and processors establish and expand their market presence in countries around the world.

The SRTGs administer a Branded Program, which reimburses small food and agricultural companies 50% of their costs for many international marketing and promotional endeavors. Eligible activities include: advertising and public relations, exhibiting at international trade shows, point-of-sale materials, package and label modifications, and more. Beginning in September 2007, the SRTGs are accepting applications for funding assistance covering promotional activities in 2008. For more information about applying to the Branded Program, visit the Web sites listed below.

Other activities and resources from the groups include outbound trade missions, inbound buying missions to the U.S., in-store promotions, market research and export education, trade seminars, and hotel and restaurant promotions.

Last year, these SRTGs provided programs and services to over 2,000 company participants. These companies reported actual increased export sales of over $700 million as a result of participating in the SRTG programs

Programs and services offered by the SRTGs are funded through the Market Access Program (MAP) of the USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service, State Agricultural Promotion Agencies and private industry. To find out more about each organization, please visit their Web site listed below:

State Regional Trade Group
Region - Companies may choose to participate in a region where they source products, have a headquarters, or have a production facility
Contact Information
Food Export Association of the Midwest USA
Midwestern states
Ph. 312.334.9200
Food Export USA – Northeast
Northeastern states
Ph. 215.829.9111
Southern U.S. Trade Association (SUSTA)
Southern states
Ph. 504.568.5986
Western United States Agricultural Trade Association (WUSATA)
Western states
Ph. 360.693.3373

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