The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing in approximately 70 U.S. agricultural organizations to help expand commercial export markets for their goods in fiscal year 2012 (October 1, 2011-September 30, 2012). USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) has allotted $213 million for export promotion activities through the Foreign Market Development Program (FMD) and the Market Access Program (MAP). USDA’s international market development programs have had a significant and positive impact on U.S. agricultural exports. An independent study released in 2010 found that for every $1 expended by government and industry on market development, U.S. food and agricultural exports increase by $35.
Under FMD, FAS will allocate a total of $29.7 million to 24 trade organizations that represent U.S. agricultural producers. The organizations, which must contribute a minimum 50 percent cost share, will conduct activities that help maintain or increase demand for U.S. agricultural commodities in world markets. The National Renderers Association (NRA) received $894,580 in FMD funding for the 2012 fiscal year, a slight increase from last year.
FAS will provide $183 million to 67 non-profit organizations and cooperatives under MAP, whose participants must contribute a minimum 10 percent match for generic marketing and promotion activities, and a dollar-for-dollar match for promotion of branded products by small businesses and cooperatives. NRA was awarded $830,823 in MAP funds for 2012, a figure similar to previous years.
Currently, the American brand of agriculture is surging in popularity worldwide. Farm exports in fiscal year 2011 reached a record high of $137.4 billion – exceeding past highs by $22.5 billion – and supported 1.15 million jobs in the United States. The agricultural trade surplus stands at a record $42.9 billion. USDA also forecasts that new trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia, and Panama will add an additional $2.3 billion to the farm economy and support about 20,000 American jobs.
Other FAS fund recipients include the American Soybean Association, $5.3 million in FMD and $3.5 million in MAP, both slightly less than in 2011; U.S. Hide, Skin and Leather Association, $89,600 in FMD and $76,854 in MAP; U.S. Meat Export Federation, $1.4 million in FMD and $19.7 million in MAP, up from $16.2 million in 2011; and U.S. Poultry and Egg Export Council, $1.2 million in FMD and $5 million in MAP.
December 2011 RENDER | back