Trade association offers Manatee County businesses an opportunity to go global

April 2, 2013 

The Southern United States Trade Association (SUSTA) is accepting applications to help companies promote their food and agriculture products internationally.

SUSTA, through the federal Market Access Program, reimburses companies up to 50 percent of their export promotional costs - such as product advertising in foreign markets, exhibiting at international trade shows and adapting their product labels for foreign laws - to help them become competitive in global markets. Last year, companies enrolled in SUSTA's programs exported more than $41 million in American food and agriculture thanks to the funding and assistance.

"Demand for American food and agriculture is rising sharply around the world, particularly among growing middle classes that recognize our products for their quality and safety," said SUSTA's executive director, Jerry Hingle. "We're always thrilled to see small businesses tap new export markets that otherwise are unreachable without the assistance we offer."

The Market Access Program is administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS), and SUSTA directs money to small- and medium-sized companies based in the southern U.S.

"Funding is limited, so we encourage companies that want to take advantage of this program over the coming year to get their applications in early," said deputy director Bernadette Wiltz. "The process is very easy, and we gladly walk applicants through it all." To be eligible, companies must be considered small according to U.S. Small Business Administration standards, have yearly sales of at least $100,000 and promote a brand-name product that is of at least 50 percent U.S. agricultural origin..

Companies can complete a pre-qualification form on SUSTA's web site, www.susta.org. Additional information is available by calling (504) 568-5986.

Bradenton Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service