SC Commissioner Weathers: SUSTA

The Southern United States Trade Association, or SUSTA, facilitates trade between smaller US companies and overseas importers. Here’s Commissioner of Agriculture Hugh Weathers to tell us about it.

  • SUSTA is a nonprofit organization that facilities trade between small- to medium-sized southern U.S. companies and overseas importers.
    • Since 1973, SUSTA has worked with the Departments of Agriculture in the southern U.S. to promote the export of agricultural products and high-value food
    • South Carolina is one of fifteen member states
  • It’s important for growing SC businesses to at least consider exporting their product because 95% of the world’s consumers live outside the U.S.
  • Market diversification also provides some stability for businesses.
  • SUSTA offers members two core programs: Global Events and 50% CostShare
    • Global Events connects SC business with international buyers at trade shows around the world. Businesses are matched with pre-vetted buyers by foreign industry experts.
    • The CostShare program can reimburse SC businesses 50% of eligible international promotions, including advertising, in-store displays, exhibiting costs, and more.
  • Eligible businesses:
    • sell products that contain at least 50% U.S. agriculture ingredients
    • have product packaging and/or labels that identify a brand
    • have products or packaging that is eligible for a “Made in USA” or “Product of USA” origin statement
    • are located in the SUSTA region
    • and are considered a small business by U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) guidelines
  • Some examples of products that have had success with SUSTA include fresh produce, snack foods, seafood, sauces and condiments, seasonings, horticulture, beverages, pet foods, consumer-ready retail food and more.
  • If you’re looking to get started with SUSTA, visit susta.org and create your company’s MySUSTA account or contact Loren Lindler, the SCDA’s SUSTA representee, at llindler@scda.sc.gov.