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Trade Association Offers Opportunities to Promote U.S. Agriculture Worldwide

Trade & Development - Import-Export

NEW ORLEANS – For small businesses looking to enter foreign markets, the cost of participating in trade shows and other promotional events can be daunting. The Southern U.S. Trade Association (SUSTA) provides low-cost opportunities to help these firms promote U.S. food and agricultural products without breaking the bank.

With over 80 projects planned for 2011, SUSTA makes a variety of promotions available to small companies that otherwise might not consider participating in trade shows or missions in markets like China or Argentina. "We provide booth space at a reduced cost at major international trade shows," said SUSTA Deputy Director and International Marketing Director Bernadette Wiltz. "Many companies think they can't afford to exhibit at these shows, until they hear that we can help them get there for less."

Activities are designed to promote a wide array of agricultural products from the southern United States, ranging from seafood to horticulture to processed food products. Some events will take place in established markets, such as Canada, the European Union and China, while others will venture into markets less familiar with American products, like Kazakhstan, Peru and Qatar.

"We are proud to extend the global reach of southern U.S. products through these events," said Jerry Hingle, SUSTA's executive director. "By participating in these shows and missions, many companies see that exporting is a viable way to not only sustain but grow their business during challenging economic times."

In addition to offering assistance with logistics, interpreters and other services related to trade events, SUSTA in-market representatives can provide counseling to new exporters in top markets such as Canada, China and the European Union.

SUSTA is a non-profit trade development association comprised of the Departments of Agriculture of the 15 southern states and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. Since 1973, its programs and services have assisted exporters of high-value food and agricultural products. SUSTA is funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS), its member states and private companies.

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