Export Marketing Funds Awarded

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