USMEF Earns Highly Effective Rating in FAS Review

The U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) has earned the highest category ranking possible from evaluators at the Foreign Agricultural Services (FAS), which reviews participants in the Cooperators Programs for receipt of USDA Foreign Market Development (FMD) and Market Access Program (MAP) funds.

“USMEF’s program and UES (Unified Export Strategy for 2010) were rated as ‘highly effective,’” wrote Bonnie Borris, director of the FAS Cooperator Programs Division. “USMEF does an excellent job of adjusting to market conditions and making changes to marketing plans accordingly…Overall, we are very pleased with USMEF’s market development operations…Thank you again for your continuing participation in the market development programs and your dedication to the U.S. red meat industry. My staff and I are truly looking forward to working with you over the coming year.”

“USMEF welcomes this valuable feedback, especially in an environment that has become increasingly competitive for funding from all sources, including our leading funding source, the USDA,” said Philip Seng, USMEF president and CEO. “This is great news for our members, because MAP and FMD funding are key components of the revenue mix that enable USMEF to multiply the value and strength of producers’ Checkoff dollars.”

Seng noted that USMEF anticipates spending just over $18.7 million from the USDA’s MAP and FMD programs in the current fiscal year. While some of the USDA funds are utilized to cover the costs of USMEF’s network of international offices, the majority of the funds are applied to the programs that support beef and pork exports. There they are combined with funding from the Beef Checkoff and Pork Checkoff, sizeable contributions from the Corn and Soybean Checkoffs and substantial foreign third-party contributions to USMEF promotions.

This unique funding formula increases the purchasing power of beef and pork producers’ checkoff dollars nearly 300 percent. For every $1 in funding their checkoff programs supply to support USMEF’s programs, the USDA, third-party contributions and the Corn and Soybean Checkoff programs add more than $2.99.

USMEF annually submits its Unified Export Strategies to FAS for review, assessing conditions in each target export market. The current UES for FY11, submitted June 18, analyzes the United States’ position in each market relative to domestic products and international competitors, and looks at the potential for sales growth in key sectors: processing, retail and hotel/restaurant/institutional. Specific strategies are outlined for each market.

The FAS analysis of its cooperator programs fell into the following categories: “highly effective,” “moderately effective,” “adequate” and “results not demonstrated.” USMEF’s program earned the highest category ranking.

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The U.S. Meat Export Federation (www.USMEF.org) is the trade association responsible for developing international markets for the U.S. red meat industry. It is funded by USDA; the beef, pork, lamb, corn and soybean checkoff programs, as well as its members representing nine industry sectors: beef/veal producing & feeding, pork producing & feeding, lamb producing & feeding, packing & processing, purveying & trading, oilseeds producing, feedgrains producing, farm organizations and supply & service organizations.

For more information, contact Jim Herlihy at jherlihy@usmef.org.

USMEF complies with all equal opportunity, non-discrimination and affirmative action measures applicable to it by contract, government rule or regulation or as otherwise provided by law.

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