USMEF: Branded products promotion program to begin
Brand names are of increasing importance to global consumers looking for quality and consistency. Small US meat companies, however, may have an uphill battle in making their brand names familiar to international buyers.
The USDA's Branded Products Promotion Program – the red meat portion of which is administered through the US Meat Export Federation (USMEF) – has had success in helping small companies gain entry and establish their branded products in a variety of international markets.
Companies participating in the USMEF Branded Products Promotion Program use their own money, leveraged with matching funds from the program, to develop export markets for their US red meat exports. The 16 companies involved in the 2008 program exported pork and beef to markets that included Mexico, Japan and Europe and reported sales of US beef and pork valued at almost $12 million. In doing so, the companies exceeded their projected sales goal by 26 percent. Participation in the program is limited to small companies as defined by the Small Business Administration, i.e., eligible companies with 500 or fewer employees, or be a producer cooperative or an association.
In their applications, all branded program participants are required to set measurable performance goals based on projected export sales to targeted markets. If attending a trade show, the companies are asked to report on the number of sales made at the show, sales as a result of contacts made at the show, and sales of new products.
The branded program is a small part of the larger coordinated USMEF effort that includes generic funding from USDA's Market Access and Foreign Market Development programs, private industry funds and funding from the beef, pork, corn and soybean checkoffs to promote foreign sales of US red meat.
Funds from this program can help companies conduct a variety of activities in international markets, including:
• Attend trade fairs and exhibits, including US domestic trade shows with large international attendance
• Offset costs of promotional materials used in connection with a promotion
• Help pay for costs of retail promotions, including fees for chefs, costumes, signs, displays and fees for demonstration staff
• Help cover the cost of seminars, including interpreters, seminar materials, set-up costs/room rental, slides and production
• Translate educational materials such as company brochures and product sheets
• Conduct retail and HRI promotions
USMEF is now accepting applications for its FY10 fiscal year from US companies interested in receiving matching funds to promote their branded US red meat products in international markets.
• Promotions funded under this program must be conducted between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31, 2010. Applications will be accepted as long as funds are available.
• Companies that receive funding from USMEF will be charged a 5 percent administrative fee for participation in the program. The fee is 5 percent of USMEF's contribution to the activity budget.
• USMEF requires a $100 submittal fee to accompany the company's request for funding. If the company completes the contracting process, these funds will be applied toward the 5 percent administrative fee.
To comment, login here
Or register to be able to comment.