DENVER – The highest category ranking possible from evaluators at the Foreign Agricultural Service (F.A.S.), which reviews participants in the Cooperators Programs for receipt of U.S.D.A. Foreign Market Development (F.M.D.) and Market Access Program (M.A.P.) funds, has been earned by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (U.S.M.E.F.).

“U.S.M.E.F.’s program and U.E.S. [Unified Export Strategy for 2010] were rated as ‘highly effective,’” wrote Bonnie Borris, director of the F.A.S. Cooperator Programs Division. “U.S.M.E.F. does an excellent job of adjusting to market conditions and making changes to marketing plans accordingly…Overall, we are very pleased with U.S.M.E.F.’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.”

“U.S.M.E.F. welcomes this valuable feedback, especially in an environment that has become increasingly competitive for funding from all sources, including our leading funding source, the U.S.D.A.,” said Philip Seng, U.S.M.E.F. president and chief executive officer. “This is great news for our members, because M.A.P. and F.M.D. funding are key components of the revenue mix that enable U.S.M.E.F. to multiply the value and strength of producers’ checkoff dollars.”

Mr. Seng said U.S.M.E.F. anticipates spending just over $18.7 million from the U.S.D.A.’s M.A.P. and F.M.D. programs in the current fiscal year. Although some of the U.S.D.A. funds are utilized to cover the costs of U.S.M.E.F.’s network of international offices, the majority of the funds are applied to the programs that support beef and pork exports. 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 U.S.M.E.F. promotions.

This funding formula increases the purchasing power of beef and pork producers’ checkoff dollars nearly 300%. For every $1 in funding their checkoff programs supply to support U.S.M.E.F.’s programs, the U.S.D.A., third-party contributions and the Corn and Soybean Checkoff programs add more than $2.99.

Each year U.S.M.E.F. submits its Unified Export Strategies (U.E.S.) to F.A.S. for review, assessing conditions in each target export market. The current U.E.S. for FY11, submitted June 18, analyzes the U.S.’ 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 F.A.S. analysis of its cooperator programs fell into the following categories: “highly effective,” “moderately effective,” “adequate” and “results not demonstrated.” U.S.M.E.F.’s program earned the highest category ranking.