Matching Funds Available for Meat Companies to Open International Markets

USMEF is gearing up for next fiscal year of branding promotion.

The USDA's Branded Promotion Program helps smaller meat companies establish their branded products into international markets. The U.S. Meat Export Federation administers the red meat portion of the program and is now accepting applications for its FY09 fiscal year from U.S. companies interested in receiving matching funds to promote their branded U.S. meat products.

The companies involved in the 2007 program exported pork and beef to markets that included Mexico, Japan and Europe and reported sales of U.S. beef and pork valued at more than $42.5 million in fiscal year 2007.

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 U.S. red meats.

Funds from this program can help companies conduct a variety of activities in international markets such as attending trade fairs and exhibits, offsetting the costs of promotional materials and retail promotions, and cover the cost of seminars.

Companies that have an activity in mind should contact USMEF to see if they qualify. Promotions funded under this program must be conducted between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31, 2009. Applications will be accepted as long as funds are available.

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