Grants Help Defer Marketing Costs for Small AgBusiness Exporters

The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) has announced that small agribusinesses, including food and beverage producers, may apply for grants that refund up to 50 percent of expenses related to marketing branded products internationally. The Southern United States Trade Association (SUSTA) is currently accepting applications for funding for the 2010 – 2011 Market Access Program (MAP) from small agribusiness companies launching export efforts for branded product lines. Because Virginia is a member state of SUSTA, MAP is available through the association to Virginia companies.

The MAP Branded Program assists participants by reimbursing up to 50 percent of certain international marketing and promotion expenses, including eligible trade shows, in-store displays, advertising, trade seminars and required label changes. Companies are encouraged to apply before October 1 for the best chance of receiving their full funding request. SUSTA will accept MAP Branded applications on a first-come, first-approved, first-served basis for activities that will take place during the program year from January 1 through December 31, 2011. SUSTA also will accept applications for the remainder of calendar year 2010 until funds are exhausted.

To begin the application process, companies may download and complete the Pre-Qualification Worksheet available at, and e-mail it to Once the Pre-Qualification Worksheet has been reviewed and approved, companies will receive the Branded Application.

Additional information about the program, including a list of eligible expenses and product types, is available here. Virginia companies needing assistance may also contact Keith Long in VDACS’ Office of International Marketing: or 804.371.8990.