US commodity groups receive funding to build export markets

WASHINGTON, DC, US — Several US commodity groups received allocations through the Market Access Program (MAP) and Foreign Market Development (FMD) Program to help build commercial export markets for US agricultural products and commodities.

The Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) of the US Department of Agriculture allocated a total of $174.3 million for 2024 in MAP funding and $27 million in FMD funding. The FAS provides cost-share assistance for activities such as consumer advertising, public relations, point-of-sale demonstrations, participation in trade fairs and exhibits, market research and technical assistance.  

FMD focuses on generic promotion of US commodities, rather than consumer-oriented promotion of branded products. Preference is given to organizations that represent an entire industry or are nationwide in membership and scope.

The American Feed Industry Association (AFIA) received $172,908 in MAP funding and will use it to continue its work on expanding the US animal food industry’s exports. The work entails educating Vietnamese and Chinese stakeholders on the benefits US animal food products bring to farmers in terms of improved animal production and health. It also includes providing pet owners with information about the importance of complete and balanced pet diets.

“The US animal food industry has the potential to sustainably enhance the efficiency and quality of global animal nutrition practices and pet food diets,” said Constance Cullman, chief executive officer of the AFIA. “However, existing foreign regulatory and policy constraints hinder fair competition for these products in foreign markets. We appreciate the opportunity to continue collaborating with the USDA to overcome these trade barriers and promote our products.”

USA Rice Federation and US Rice Producers Association received $5.2 million. Leadership met to develop a proposed MAP/FMD budget, which will be presented for approval to the USA Rice International Promotion Committee.

“Since our crop has rebounded this year, we’re seeing many interested in importing US rice again and joining in our promotional programs,” said Peter Bachmann, president and CEO of USA Rice.

USA Rice utilizes a combination of state checkoff funds, industry dues, and federal funds to conduct marketing activities aimed at increasing the volume and value of all types and forms of US rice exports in nearly two dozen overseas markets.

“These funds have helped us maintain exports to Japan and the United Kingdom, build consumer preference for US rice in Mexico and the West Bank, and expose new importers to US rice throughout the world,” said Steve Vargas, senior vice president of global rice trading for Sun Valley Rice and chair of the USA Rice International Promotion Committee.

USA Rice also received an additional $77,877 on behalf of the US wild rice associations, the California Wild Rice Advisory Board and the Minnesota Cultivated Wild Rice Council, to develop promotional activities for those products as well.

Other grain- and oilseed-related MAP and FMD awards included: American Soybean Association, $13 million; North American Export Grain Association, $271,238; US Grains Council, $11.5 million; and US Wheat Associates, $8.2 million.

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