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 firstname.lastname@example.org.