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Food Export Blog

What is the Export Advisor Program?

May 13, 2020

The Export Advisor Program is a year-long service that provides customized assistance from an experienced advisor to help your company enhance your exporting efforts. The program is a great opportunity to help you focus on exporting goals whether you are an experienced exporter or brand new.

The Export Advisor Program is a great way to start to develop an export strategy based on research and data analysis, not speculation. Your advisor will look at numerous databases and reports to determine the best markets for your product. This program is also a wonderful way to start thinking proactively about your market opportunities rather than just reacting to trade leads.  And finally, it will help you focus your export development activities more efficiently to target individual markets instead of the whole world.

Export Advisor Program

While the program is customized to you, here are a few examples of things our Advisors will be able to help you with:

  • Creating an export strategic plan that supports your overall company mission
  • Identifying target markets
  • Identifying resources for any product modification that may be necessary such as labeling changes (certifications, labeling requirements)
  • Following up on leads
  • Supporting your participation in other Food Export activities by recommending specific programs and services that fit your needs

_Export Advisor Requirements 2

Meet the Advisors

Wayne BatwinWayne Batwin is President of PRIME Market Access International in Napa, CA, a management consulting firm, and has more than 40 years of experience in international food and agriculture research and policy, marketing and market development.  Mr. Batwin has directed over 160 international studies, primarily for private companies and trade associations, on the trade and investment opportunities and strategies for successful market entry in 46 foreign markets in Asia, Latin America, Europe, North America and Africa.  From 2006 to 2010 he was the Director of the Agricultural Trade Office at the U.S. Consulate in Shanghai, China.  When he returned to the U.S., Mr. Batwin spent several years as an exporter of U.S. wine to China.  He has been an Export Advisor at Food Export - Northeast since 2012. Wayne primarily works with Northeast suppliers.


Gary WingetWith more than 30 years of accomplishments in international trade, W. Gary Winget brings extensive experience and broad knowledge to each project and client.  He has received many awards for his work, including the prestigious U.S. Presidential ‘E’ Award for outstanding contributions to the export expansion program of the USA. Winget has provided organizational training, development and technical assistance to companies and organizations transitioning from domestic to global visions, strategies and operations.  He has guided companies in obtaining national quality certification approvals and organized and managed a chain-of-custody certification program for a regional industry association. He is co-author of the books Fast-Track Exporting and FasTrack Export Step-by-Step Process and numerous market research studies. Gary primarily works with Midwest suppliers.

How Does the Program Work?

The Export Advisor Program is designed to work in a series of phases that progresses with the individual supplier as they grow. 

Phase 1 - Assessment Call

The preliminary stage of the program is an assessment call that is designed to introduce the Advisor to your company, so they understand your specific export needs, and to provide the company with an opportunity to ask questions about the program and determine that it will address their needs.  In this call, we will discuss: an overview of your organization, your domestic distribution, what experience (if any) you have with exporting, exporting goals and current strategy, and your expectation for the program. Once the initial call has been conducted, the Advisor will determine if your company is a good fit for the program.

Phase 2 - Market Research

The next step in the program is the research phase. During this phase, the Advisors will review any Food Export educational services that may be needed for you to review, such as Webinars or Export Essentials. While you are focusing on that, the Advisor will conduct primary market research to assess which markets would be a good fit for your product and identify those for you. Once the Advisor conducts primary research, you will receive that information and decide which market will become your primary focus and secondary research will be conducted as needed. The Advisor will also address any immediate questions or needs that you have.

Phase 3 - Export Strategy Plan

From that, you will work with your Advisor to create an Export Strategy Plan. This plan will help identify your target export markets and which Food Export activities you should participate in to help you ease into market entry and expansion.

Export Advisor

Phase 4 - Ongoing Support

Once the initial research is conducted and you have an Export Strategy Plan, the advisor will continue to work with you to determine which sales channels are right for you, and will work with you through distribution, pricing strategy and what products should be highlighted.  The Advisor can also assist with things like shipping, warehousing, export documentation requirements, certifications, in-country marketing and promotion planning and distributor agreements.

Once in the program you can renew your registration every year to continue to receive the support from your advisor!

What Do Other Suppliers Say About It?

“The Advisor program is essential for every supplier looking to export and provides incredible support and guidance in navigating this tricky process. Wayne is dedicated and committed to get you there. For us, I can honestly say it would be nearly impossible without his assistance.” – Faigy Spitzer, Katz Gluten Free

“Through working with Gary in the Advisor Program, we have gotten very valuable information about the new markets before we go to international sales trips and tradeshows to identify who are the major players are and what type of products are most likely to be well received.  Market and industry reports are very expensive, and they are often out of reach for a small supplier like us.  Armed with the market intelligence provided by the Advisor Program, we are better prepared, which will lead to higher ROI on our investments.” – Akie Funai, Dakota Specialty Enterprises, Inc.

“The Advisor Program was very helpful and a big part of putting in place an effective go to market strategy of introducing our specialty products internationally. Wayne Batwin’s data driven presentations defined an accurate road map of specific countries our new products would perform well. Wayne was a pleasure to work with and very knowledgeable of defining the key opportunities for us to succeed.” – John Molinaro, Godshall’s

“Gary is very experienced and well-connected in the export world.  When I had a difficult problem, I was always able to call on Gary to walk me through and figure out a few solutions.  I really appreciate that Food Export can offer the advisory program to us.”  – Nancy Tuohy, Trueline Foods