The October 24 announcement by the U.S. Department of Agriculture that $1.3 billion in funding would be made available to support trade promotion was welcome news to organizations like Food Export- Midwest and Food Export-Northeast, who work with small- and medium-sized food and agricultural companies interested in exporting their products overseas.
The USDA agreed to utilize Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) funds to help state and regional trade associations market their commodities and products internationally. The market promotion funding will create the Regional Agricultural Promotion Program (RAPP) to support organizations like Food Export who help small businesses export their food and agricultural-based products into new markets and increase market share in growth markets.
“There is a growing interest among U.S. food companies to expand their markets and sales internationally,” Brendan Wilson, CEO and Executive Director of Food Export-Midwest and Food Export-Northeast, said. “The additional funding that USDA is making available through the Commodity Credit Corporation could allow us to expand programs and look at new opportunities in support of our 23 member states. We are thrilled the USDA is making this investment. It is a strong example of a successful public-private partnership. We thank the USDA and Congressional leaders for their support of the U.S. agricultural industry.”
In the funding announcement, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack said, “The Commodity Credit Corporation and USDA’s market development and aid programs are critically important at this time, and with this additional support we can strengthen U.S. agriculture’s presence in existing markets, open up new market opportunities, and build on our relationships and connections to ensure that high-quality American agriculture and food products reach where they are needed in the world.”
Wilson expressed his deep appreciation for the USDA and its efforts to support agricultural-based exporting.
“Partnerships like the one between Food Export and the USDA allow small- and medium-sized suppliers to reach new markets and to expand the U.S.’s reach in the global food industry. We are appreciative of the support from the USDA and look forward to learning more about RAPP in the coming weeks,” Wilson said.
With the announcement of RAPP funds and continued support for a trade-promotion friendly USDA, small- and medium- sized food and agricultural companies will be well-positioned for the future.
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