New Regional Agricultural Promotion Program to fuel export expansion in emerging markets such as South-East Asia 

Washington apple promotion in Vietnam

A Washington apple promotion in Vietnam

The Washington Apple Commission has secured additional funding for export promotion following the launch of a new trade development programme by the US government. 

In November 2023, the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service announced the new Regional Agricultural Promotion Program (RAPP). The programme was created to expand and develop market opportunities and trade possibilities for US food and agricultural products, focusing on Africa, Latin America, and South and South-East Asia.  

This funding programme will support 66 commodity groups who have been working to increase Market Access Program (Map) funding, which is provided through the Farm Bill, and has remained stagnant at US$200m for more than 15 years.  

US agriculture secretary, Tom Vilsack, authorised US$1.2bn in funding from the Commodity Credit Corporation for RAPP. The programme includes multi-year funding spread over five tranches, with US$300m allocated to the first tranche. Vilsack said, “By enabling US exporters to expand their footprint in diverse and dynamic new markets, RAPP will help make them more competitive and resilient in an increasingly volatile global trading environment.” 

WAC was awarded US$7m in the first tranche of RAPP which will be used over a five-year period, to help increase brand awareness and consumer loyalty for Washington apples in international markets.   

“The RAPP funds come at an excellent time,” said Todd Fryhover, president of the WAC. “With so many new apple varieties and increased production, it’s important we support continued international expansion through innovative programmes benefiting our growers, and these RAPP dollars will help take us to the next level. The Commission is very excited about the US$7m allocation and would like to thank everyone involved for getting the programme running so quickly.”  

The new RAPP funds will allow the WAC to build on the success of the marketing strategies put into place by the MAP funding and add to the US$5.4m MAP award allocation for the 2024/25 season.