USDA ANNOUNCES $234 MILLION TO PROMOTE U.S. FOOD AND AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTS OVERSEAS
WASHINGTON, Sept. 30, 2008—The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced that it has funded more than $234 million in fiscal year 2008 to 70 U.S. trade organizations to help promote American farm products overseas.
"Agricultural trade is absolutely vital to the U.S. economy," said Agriculture Secretary Ed Schafer. "This funding will help U.S. farmers and ranchers develop overseas consumers who value the United States as an excellent supplier of superior agricultural products."
The funding announced today has been allocated under the Market Access Program (MAP) and the Foreign Market Development Program, both administered by USDA's Foreign Agricultural Service.
The Market Access Program uses funds from USDA's Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) to share the costs of overseas marketing and promotional activities with U.S. agricultural trade organizations, state regional trade groups, and cooperatives. Activities conducted with MAP funding include market research, consumer promotions for retail products, and seminars to educate overseas customers.
Under the Foreign Market Development program, USDA 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 U.S. products.