The US Government has announced funds of more than $173 million to be used next year to increase exports of American agricultural products.
Washington apple growers, Florida citrus producers, California’s table grape sector and the Northwest pear industry are among those set to benefit from multi-million dollar allocations.
Cranberry, cling peach, cherry, sweet potato, tomato, and organic produce organisations are also among the recipients.
Through the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Market Access Program (MAP), the Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) will provide $173.2 million (up from nearly $172 million last year) to 62 nonprofit organisations and cooperatives. Participants contribute an average 214% match for generic marketing and promotion activities and a dollar-for-dollar match for promotion of branded products by small businesses and cooperatives.
MAP focuses on consumer promotion, including brand promotion for small companies and cooperatives, and is used extensively by organisations promoting fruits, vegetables, nuts, processed products, and bulk and intermediate commodities.
Meanwhile, under the Foreign Market Development (FMD) Program (also known as the Cooperator Program), FAS will allocate $26.7 million (up from $24.6 million last year) to 22 trade organizations that represent U.S. agricultural producers.
The FMD program focuses on trade servicing and capacity building by helping to create, expand and maintain long-term export markets for US agricultural products.
An independent study released in 2010 found that trade promotion programs like MAP and FMD provide $35 in economic benefits for every dollar spent by government and industry on market development, the USDA said in a press release.
“The past six years represent the strongest period for U.S. agricultural exports in the history of the United States. Farm exports in fiscal year 2014 reached a record $152.5 billion and supported 1 million jobs in the United States,” it also said.
Here is our summary of this year and last year’s funding most relevant to the fresh fruit and vegetable sector: