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USMEF’s Branded Products Promotion Programme

by 5m Editor
16 November 2011, at 8:03am

US - While brand names are of increasing importance to global consumers looking for quality and consistency, small companies often have an uphill battle promoting their brand names to international buyers.

The USDA’s Branded Products Promotion Programme – 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 the identity of their branded products in international markets.

Companies participating in the USMEF Branded Products Promotion Programme use their own money, leveraged with matching funds from the programme, to develop export markets for their US red meat exports. The 16 companies that participated in the 2010 programme exported pork and beef to markets that included Mexico, Japan and Europe, and reported estimated sales valued at $8.6 million (final figures for 2011 are not yet available.) In doing so, the companies exceeded their 2009 sales by 64 per cent despite a tough economic climate. Participation in the programme is limited to small companies as defined by the Small Business Administration, i.e., eligible companies with 500 or fewer employees, and to producer cooperatives and associations.

Funds from this programme 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 FY12 fiscal year from qualified US companies interested in receiving matching funds to promote their branded US red meat products in international markets.

  • Promotions funded under this programme must be conducted between 1 January and 31 December 2012. Applications will be accepted as long as funds are available.

  • Companies that receive funding from USMEF will be charged a 5 per cent administrative fee for participation in the programme. The fee is 5 per cent of USMEF’s financial 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 per cent administrative fee.

The branded programme is a small part of the larger coordinated USMEF effort that includes generic funding from USDA’s Market Access and Foreign Market Development programmes, private industry funds and funding from the beef, pork, corn and soybean checkoffs to promote international sales of US red meat.

Companies interested in the programme should contact Tracey Zarlengo at the USMEF Denver office — (303) 623-6328 — for guidelines and proposal format. The application and information on the programme also are available on the USMEF website.