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Big Picture: July 2020


Bernadette Wiltz, SUSTA

Reflecting on 2019 and Planning for 2021

We’re half-way through 2020, a year that has so far presented so many challenges, and still remains uncertain. One thing that you can be certain of, however, is SUSTA’s commitment to adapt and move ahead to support your export strategies to the best of our abilities. We have a host of virtual on-line events scheduled, from one-on-one consultations with in-country experts, to educational webinars to better help understand changing export markets to the ins and outs of logistics. We also have a number of virtual trade missions scheduled, and I really encourage you to check-in on your MySUSTA webpage to see the schedule of upcoming events and activities.

Meanwhile, as we adjust and adapt to the current situation, we’ve been thinking ahead and are already deep into planning our strategy for 2021 based on lessons learned and your input and feedback.

As you know, we ask all of our companies to complete a survey and evaluation after each Global Event activity as well as a six-month follow-up. Companies in 50% Cost-Share also complete a year end review. Thank you everyone who gave us critical feedback from your marketing activities last year. The responses and data we receive from you are absolutely vital to effectively managing the Global Events and 50% CostShare efforts. Rest assured, we pore through each and every response.

I thought this mid-year mark would also be a good time to share an update about the results from the 2019 MAP program year – a year which had some challenges in its own right.Here are a few key highlights:

  • Companies participating in SUSTA’s activities came from every state in the region, plus Puerto Rico
  • SUSTA’s export readiness and training programs saw 845 new companies participate
  • SUSTA companies made sales to more than 70 countries, located on every continent but Antarctica
  • There were 112 first time export sales to new markets
  • More than 550 new distributorships were established, and
  • A total of $229.24 million in sales were booked

I’m happy to report that companies participating in SUSTA’s programs saw an overall return of $41 in export sales for each dollar invested in our Global Events activities and the 50% CostShare program.

By the time you read this, members of our SUSTA team will be participating – virtually this year – in the U.S. Ag Export Development Council meeting, where we’ll be meeting with seasoned industry veterans and top U.S. trade officials, including the agricultural attaches from U.S. embassies around the world hearing first-hand about the opportunities for exporting Southern U.S. food and agricultural products.

We are working hard to finish strong in 2020 and regain our momentum moving forward.

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