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Big Picture August: Are you ready for 2021?


Bernadette Wiltz, SUSTA

Are you ready for 2021?

We are too! In more ways than one.

Of course, we are all looking forward to business getting back to normal. This year has posed some unprecedented challenges to doing business, both international and domestic.

But, we are also ready for 2021 with a whole suite of export promotion activities. SUSTA programs for next year are now open, and many of you may have already received a reminder to update your MySUSTA account on-line.

Certainly, there is much more to be done in 2020; we still have more than 4 months left in in the year and we have more than a dozen activities still on the books, including virtual trade missions for Mexico, Canada, India, Europe and Colombia. These on-line activities are all in markets where there were successful trade missions 2019.And of course, we continue to support companies’ marketing efforts through the 50% CostShare program.

We are adding a new activity in 2021 – a trade mission to Peru. In 2019, retail sales in the packaged food sector in Peru was estimated to be $USD8.8 billion according to Euromonitor, with a growth rate of 1more than 19 percent since 2015. The Peru trade mission will include one-on-one meetings with buyers, site-visits, and in-depth briefings on the market. To learn more, visit the SUSTA events calendar on-line, and check out the many other resources at your disposal, including market research, export readiness training, and trade leads.

In these uncertain times, considerably more patience and persistence is needed, as are well-planned strategies. The new 2021 program year offers the opportunity to really focus on strategies that will be successful for the long haul.

Of course, export marketing is always a long game. Here is a great reminder of that. Flying Dog Brewery in Frederick, Maryland, confirmed that they shipped an order to Canada late last month, after developing a relationship with a buyer the company met in Baltimore at one of SUSTA’s inbound trade missions in July 2018.

Flying Dog’s Kyle Chittim says, “We’re truly passionate about craft beer, …. We always love the opportunity to link up with likeminded partners outside our borders ….”

Do not let the challenges of the moment interrupt the momentum you built over time; it is not uncommon for sales to develop years after making initial contact with a buyer.

What potential future customers can you link up with at an upcoming SUSTA event?

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