Big Picture Report: December 2019
Bernadette Wiltz, SUSTA
Take Advantage of SUSTA’s Resources
As 2019 winds to a close, we are working hard with our member States and companies to plan for a successful 2020. We urge you to do the same and to take advantage of SUSTA’s activities around the globe next year. SUSTA also offers a number of educational opportunities as well as research to prepare you for the international marketplace.
Indeed, one great resource is the SUSTA website (www.SUSTA.org); as you are putting together your international marketing plans for the year, check out the Resources page. It will give you full access to the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service’s (FAS) timely and in-depth market reports through a series of quick links to FAS’s Global Agricultural Information Network (GAIN) database. SUSTA posts the reports that correspond with our marketing activity plan for the year; there are 30 reports filed from Osaka to Ottawa, from Berlin to Bogota and more. There are also special reports, custom made for SUSTA companies, on key topics.
There’s also a section with videos on market developments and opportunities in Scandinavia, India, and Canada, and more specific topics such as marketing beer and wine or meeting labeling requirements in Europe. We also list all the upcoming 2020 events by calendar and country, so you can find the SUSTA activity that best supports your plans, and an explanation of how each of SUSTA programs work, outlining the eligibility requirements. You can find a schedule of the webinars we hold about markets and topics of interest to our companies.
Did you know that SUSTA maintains a network of top-notch marketing professionals as in-country consultants around the globe, including China, Hong Kong, India, Canada, Europe and now Mexico too? These experts are great resources to SUSTA companies.
Last month, we had our in-country consultants in Baton Rouge to meet with companies – and the State Departments of Agriculture – to answer their questions and provide some valuable insights into the various markets. For example, did you know that in Europe, retailers don’t import directly, nor do they or European distributors work with independent sales agents as in other part of the world? Importer/distributors play a key role.
Or that in India, independent retailers account for about 90 percent of grocery sales, while supermarket chains are less than 10 percent of retail food sales? Many U.S. exporters to India may need to work with freight consolidators to target the right customers for their products.
Conversely, in Mexico, major national and regional chains make up about 97 percent of retail food and grocery sales. Moreover, about 80 percent of all U.S. exports to Mexico go through one of three border crossings, with the majority of grocery items, beverages and dry goods crossing at Laredo, Texas, located in the SUSTA region. All this information – and much, much more, such as what you should expect for in-country markups and margins – is available via your MySUSTA account under the Export Education section.
Getting small U.S. food and agribusinesses export-ready is one of our goals at SUSTA, as well as helping them through the process of gaining export sales. Now is the time to start planning your 2020 export strategy. We have educational events coming up early in the year, including how to adapt your labels to the Canadian market and understanding of the export logistics to Mexico. I hope you’ll take advantage of SUSTA’s education and research support to make 2020 a very happy and prosperous new year.