Branded Program Master Class: How to Apply

To help make the applications process as easy as possible, we outline the 5 basic steps to qualifying, applying, and utilizing the Branded Program.

Every year on August 1st we open registration for the Branded Program for funding for the following full calendar year.  

To help make the applications process as easy as possible below we outline the 5 basic steps to qualifying, applying, and utilizing the Branded Program.


This is the first step of the process that only takes 5 minutes to complete and has no cost to suppliers! 


Visit our website and either log into your account or create an account if you don’t have one. Then you go to your Branded Portal, click the Branded Program tab, and then click 2023 “Submit a Pre-Qualification” tab to fill out a short questionnaire. 

Once your pre-qual has been received, and we have verified that you meet the program requirements, you will receive a pre-approval email and can continue in the application process.


Now that you are pre-qualified, and have been pre-approved in the program, you can apply for funding. This step usually takes under 30 minutes to complete.

In your Branded Portal under 2023 click “Submit Application”.
In the application phase we are looking for details about the following information:

  • Which eligible products will you be promoting
  • Which international markets will you be pursuing 
  • Estimated costs for the eligible expenses you are planning 
  • Your estimated export sales projections

Once you have filled out your application and are ready to proceed to submitting it online, there is a non-refundable $250.00 application fee.

As soon as your fee is received, your application goes through an internal review process. During this review process, our team may reach out with additional questions about your Country Marketing plans and your requested expenses.  

Once the review has been completed it is time to move on to Step 3!


Once your application has been approved, and your funding for the program year has been finalized, you will receive an “Action Required” email.  This email will confirm the amount that you have been approved for and your contract effective date, which is the date that you submitted the application.  

This email will include the following:

  • Attachments of the actual contract to be signed
  • A link to the Branded Program Manual 
  • A PDF version of the U.S. origin statement
  • A W9 form for the program year to be completed
  • An invoice for the 6% administrative fee 

Once we receive your administrative fee payment, either by check, ACH payment or credit card, and the completed W9 form and signed contract are emailed back to the Branded Program Manager, a supplier is considered ‘Contracted’ and can begin to prepare for claim submissions.


Once you are Contracted and an eligible activity has taken place, you can begin to your submit claims for reimbursement.

To get started you can go to your Branded Program portal and click “Submit Reimbursements” under the Reimbursements section. Submitting claims includes uploading your claim documentation, including the invoiceproof of payment, and proof of activity.
reimburse2Once all your correct documentation is submitted, we can begin to process the claims and prepare them for reimbursement. 

We recommend submitting all claims as soon as possible after the activity has been completed. Submitting claims later in the program year can yield a longer waiting period for processing. 


All contracted participants are required to complete an evaluation of the program, per the contract.

Evaluations typically are open and ready for you to complete starting in December. All evaluations must be received by February 28th.

In your evaluation, we are looking to compile the following information:

  • What sales have you generated as a result of utilizing the Branded Program?
  • How many hours did you devote to the Branded Program during the program year?
  • What was the cost?

Once the evaluation is reviewed online and approved all steps in the process are completed!


The Food Export – Midwest and Food Export – Northeast Branded Program teams are here to help guide you through the steps above.  Please reach out to your Branded Program contact if you have any questions, or to your state Liaison to get started on your application for the first time.