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Looking Back and Moving Forward – SUSTA’s 2016 Program Year Recap


Bernadette Wiltz, SUSTA

In collaboration with World Perspectives, Inc.

Following the late-spring completion of concluding activity surveys for Global Events and year-end 50% CostShare surveys, SUSTA’s team carefully compiles and analyzes final performance results for the previous program year. This is a very exciting time of the year for SUSTA, as results and lessons learned from the previous year provide a springboard for the upcoming year’s strategies.

This effort also marks a key step in the comprehensive approach that SUSTA takes to measuring performance, strengthening accountability and ultimately improving customer service. To ensure the credibility of performance measures when they are reported to USDA/FAS, SUSTA’s team collects activity results directly from Global Events and 50% CostShare participants via a multi-step process that includes several levels of vetting – which strengthens accountability. The organization’s cutting-edge technology platform ensures that the process is user-friendly and objective, and dedicated follow-up and confirmation steps validate reported data. This investment in technology was part of an overall effort to improve customer service. Finally, because of this approach SUSTA is confident in the methodologies and final results of reported performance measures.

SUSTA recently finalized results for the 2016 program year. These results – combining Global Events and 50% CostShare – are displayed below.

Performance Measure 2016
Actual export sales $476 billion
Total U.S. company participants 227
New U.S. company participants 71
First-time export sales 64
Companies making actual export sales 139
Average customer service rating 4.65
New jobs 42
Projected sales for next program year $208 billion
New product intros 2024
Buyer-seller intros 7778
New distributorships established 493
Company contributions $7.7 million

Results such as those displayed above are meaningless without a robust, transparent methodology that can be referred back to as the good news is spread to SUSTA members states, company participants, USDA/FAS, and the general public. Every year, SUSTA reviews these methodologies to ensure they remain effective.

Thus, amid the activities of the 2017 program year, and with the strategic planning process for the 2018 program year underway, SUSTA is proud to report that 227 participant companies reported actual export sales of over $476 million in 2016, plus 64 first-time export sales and an upward-trending 4.65 customer service rating (on a scale of 1-5).