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Agriculture Press Release

May 5, 1998

Export Promotion Grants Available

TALLAHASSEE -- The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and the Southern United States Trade Association (SUSTA) are accepting applications for the 1998 Market Access Program (MAP) for value-added agricultural products.

The program provides matching funds to individual companies to promote the export of high-value agricultural products marketed under brand names.

"This program helps producers export high-value, brand-name products worldwide by sharing the cost of foreign marketing and promotional activities," Florida Agriculture Commissioner Bob Crawford said.

Branded foods, beverages, seafood, food supplements, pet foods and intermediate products produced in the United States are eligible for the program if they are of at least 50 percent U.S. agricultural origin by weight. In addition, the products may not be covered under other government export promotion programs. Eligible activities include advertising, production of promotional materials, participation in trade shows and in-store merchandising.

The deadline for receipt of applications is June 2, 1998. A fee of $250 is required at the time of application. In addition, an assessment fee of 5 percent of the approved MAP funding is required when the contract is signed. The minimum request is $5,000 per company, and no company will receive a grant of more than $270,000. Beginning with the 1998 fiscal year, only small businesses -- according to Small Business Administration guidelines -- and farmer cooperatives are eligible to participate. The grant funds will be available to companies for use from August 1, 1998, through July 31, 1999.

For application forms, call (850) 488-4366 or write:

Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
Division of Marketing and Development
415 Mayo Building
Tallahassee, Florida 32399-0800

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For More Information:

Tony Fendrick
(850) 488-4366


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