Johnny Barnes, president of the American Sweet Potato Marketing Institute (ASPMI), has announced that the body has been the recipient of US Department of Agriculture/Foreign Agricultural Services (FAS) Market Access Funds to the amount of US$200,000 for the promotion of US sweet potatoes in western Europe.
Promotional activities will be conducted during the 2014/15 marketing year which begins 1 July 2014 and ends 20 July 2015.
ASPMI, founded in 2013, is now a recognised partner/cooperator with the FAS and, as such, represents the interests of the US sweet potato industry in matters relating to international trade.
The promotional funds will be utilised for the generic promotion of US sweet potatoes both in fresh and processed form in western Europe. Targeted customers include consumers, retailers, foodservice establishments and food manufacturers.
The Phaff Export Marketing Agency, located in the Netherlands, has been selected to conduct the promotional activities on behalf of ASPMI. The funds available from FAS may only be utilised for promotional activities; overhead for management of the programme comes from industry contributions.
Companies interested in participating in the ASPMI marketing process are encouraged to contact ASPMI and join the organisation.
ASPMI staff are now in the process of completing an application for 2015/16 Market Access funding, and expect to add additional countries and regions to the promotional plan, including Canada and Mexico.
“The Market Access Program allows us as an industry to pursue continual funding for promotional programmes in key export markets,” Barnes explained, adding “Without such funding our promotional efforts would be limited to individual companies or state specific activities that are not coordinated and prove inefficient.”