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Know Before You Go


Big Picture Report: April 2024
Bernadette Wiltz-Lang, SUSTA

Take Advantage of SUSTA’s Educational Resources Before Traveling to Market

After the first quarter, SUSTA’s 2024 program year is off to a strong start. We are looking forward to continuing that momentum through mid-year. If you haven’t yet, we encourage you to develop a strategy for your export marketing through SUSTA’s programs in 2024.

There are plenty of resources available that can help you pinpoint the most effective elements of a solid strategy. Last year, for example, SUSTA provided access to USDA’s Foreign Agriculture Service for briefings and market overviews at select activities. We heard from companies that presentations by the U.S. embassy was “especially valuable” and that SUSTA’s coordination with FAS on briefings and market outlooks made for “more robust participation.”

Of course, you don’t have to travel to a trade show to benefit from the market insights SUSTA provides. We offer the chance to research and size up markets before you go. SUSTA continues to make available our in-country consultants for virtual one-on-one meetings. These one-on-one virtual meetings are an opportunity to expand your market research and get direct expert feedback on topics from market trends, the chances for success for your product, and get answers to certain technical questions. We heard from one company that said the in-country consultants’ “market research and route to market presentation was extremely informative.”

We’re pleased to have added Africa to this line up of consultations. SUSTA companies have seen strong growth potential in Africa. With a fast growing and young population of 1.4 billion, Africa is set to be a top consumer market in the coming years. A special webinar, Southern Africa: Anchor of the African Economy, is scheduled for May. Southern Africa is the most diversified region on the continent with the highest per capita income, where English is widely spoken. Moreover, the logistics infrastructure is well established and world class.

Latin America and the Caribbean has been the fastest growing market for SUSTA exporters in recent years, and is a natural market for products exported out of the Southern U.S. Virtual consultations can be scheduled for this key region as well.

Plus, SUSTA has other export education and support services, such as the Export Helpline which can help provide answers to questions that arise, whether you are a new-to-export company or a seasoned veteran. Additionally, SUSTA’s Export Readiness Training, which helps a company assess their export capacity, identify target markets, and better understand export marketing fundamentals – all critical factors for success.

In short, educating yourself about the markets you are considering is time well spent. Be sure to keep current with our events calendar on the SUSTA website for both currently scheduled events and anything that might be added later this year.