USDA announced that the U.S. Meat Export Federation allocation under the Market Access Program for fiscal year 2002 will be over $8.5 million.

USDA allocates MAP funding to applicants based on four criteria: the accuracy of past export goals; historic export performance; projected export goals and the support the organization receives from the private sector.

USMEF has been a USDA cooperator throughout its 26-year history. During this time, U.S. meat exports have grown from a meager 247,000 metric tons to more than 1.99 million metric tons last year. Value has increased from less than $500,000 to $5 billion today.

USMEF president and CEO Phillip Seng said 1985 was a benchmark year for international market development. The farm bill that created the beef and pork checkoff programs and the forerunner to the MAP program at USDA, were main reasons why USMEF has had such success, says Seng.

This year’s farm bill added $10 million to the MAP funding for fiscal year 2002 and USMEF has applied for additional funding. New allocations will be announced later this summer.

“The potential for market growth is so much greater internationally. Worldwide growth in meat consumption has been up three percent to five percent annually for the last 10 years,” says Seng. “We know the growth is there, it’s just a matter of whether or not we will be allowed to participate. Getting those dollars would mean that we’d be an even bigger factor in the international marketplace.”

U.S. Meat Export Federation