News 217 views last update:6 Aug 2012

Vilsack allocates millions for US food and ag exports

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on Wednesday announced the allocation of $234.5 million to 70 US trade organizations to help promote American food and agricultural products overseas.

“In today's highly competitive international markets, we must provide our exporters with the resources they need to compete overseas during the 21st century,” said Vilsack.
“When you consider the current global financial crisis, increasing production in key competitor countries and aggressive use of export promotion tools by our competitors, USDA's market development programs are more important than ever.”
The funding was allocated under the Market Access Program (MAP) and the Foreign Market Development (FMD) Cooperator Program, both administered by USDA's Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS).
Non-profit activities
The MAP uses funds from USDA's Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) to share the costs of overseas market development and promotional activities with US nonprofit agricultural trade organizations, state regional trade groups, and cooperatives.
Activities conducted with MAP funding include market research, consumer promotions for retail products, technical capacity building, and seminars to educate overseas customers.
Under the FMD program, USDA's CCC establishes a partnership with nonprofit U.S. agricultural trade organizations.
Funding priority is given to organizations that represent an entire industry or are nationwide in membership and scope.
Program activities focus on reducing market impediments, improving the processing capabilities of importers, modifying restrictive regulatory codes and standards in foreign markets, and identifying new markets or uses for US products.
More information can be found at FAS's market development programs (website)

Dick Ziggers

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