USMEF’s Branded Products Promotion Programme

US - Brand names are of increasing importance to global consumers looking for quality and consistency.
calendar icon 13 December 2010
clock icon 3 minute read

Small US meat companies, however, 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 branded products program, to develop export markets for their red meat products. The 16 companies involved in the 2009 programme exported pork and beef to markets that included Mexico, Japan and Europe and reported sales of almost $23.7 million (final figures for 2010 are not yet available.) In doing so, the companies exceeded their 2008 sales by nearly $2.5 million despite a very 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. Producer cooperatives and associations also are eligible.

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 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 FY11 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 1 January and 31 December 2011. 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 programs, private industry funds and funding from the beef, pork, corn and soybean checkoffs to promote foreign sales of US red meat.

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