Big Picture Report: January 2019
Bernadette Wiltz, SUSTA
In collaboration with World Perspectives, Inc.
2018 was a very interesting and exciting year for the Southern U.S. Trade Association (SUSTA). In addition to navigating a series of global trade challenges, SUSTA made the necessary and timely choice to step back and evaluate a key pillar of the organization’s effort. We are now poised to hit the ground running in 2019 and better serve you – our customers, the small- and medium-sized agri-food businesses across the Southern U.S.
Throughout the course of 2018, SUSTA engaged with a third-party consultancy to evaluate the association’s marketing & outreach efforts. We learned a great deal. Importantly, we were also reminded that marketing & outreach is the foundation of all that we do. Without appropriate, targeted, and timely outreach and communication to Southern U.S. companies, we cannot help you take advantage of the excellent SUSTA-sponsored export promotion programs that are at your disposal.
One of SUSTA’s goals for 2019, which evolved throughout the course of our retrospective look at marketing & outreach, is to grow the 50% CostShare program. SUSTA’s flagship program is as straightforward as it sounds: up to 50 percent of a company’s costs incurred via certain international marketing efforts can be reimbursed. Eligible costs may fall under advertising, direct mailings to foreign buyers, freight/shipping costs, in-store demonstrations/food promotions/displays, packaging/label modifications for product alignment in global markets, international trade shows and seminars, etc.
SUSTA has developed a user-friendly 50% CostShare program manual that provides all the details a company might need in order to 1) understand the program, and 2) maximize their opportunity to defer costs incurred via export promotion efforts.
Going forward, SUSTA is redoubling our efforts to ensure that companies across the Southern U.S. know what the 50% CostShare program is, and how it can help them succeed. And so, ultimately, our New Year’s resolution for 2019 is directed at you: the many Southern U.S. agri-food companies who are ready to grow their businesses with exports to foreign markets across the globe.