Foreign Market Development Cooperator Program

To create, maintain and expand long-term export markets for U.S.

agricultural products through cost-share assistance and the opportunity to work closely with FAS and its overseas offices.

credit: Wikipedia

Related Programs

Examples of Funded Projects

(1) Promotion of U.S.

soybeans through soymeal livestock feeding trials worldwide, and production and distribution of technical and trade publications throughout South America and South Asia directed towards institutional users; (2) promotion of U.S.

forest products through trade exhibits in the United Kingdom, participation in the deliberations of international codes and standards organizations, and trade seminars worldwide demonstrating American building techniques; (3) promotion of U.S.

seed through participation in international regulatory organizations to mitigate both tariff and nontariff barriers to U.S.

seed exports; and (4) promotion of U.S.

poultry through trade seminars in Mexico.

Agency - Department of Agriculture

Established in 1862, the Department of Agriculture serves all Americans through anti-hunger efforts, stewardship of nearly 200 million acres of national forest and rangelands, and through product safety and conservation efforts. The USDA opens markets for American farmers and ranchers and provides food for needy people around the world.

Program Accomplishments

Not available.

Uses and Use Restrictions

Cooperator funds are authorized through program agreements with nonprofit U. S. trade associations called Cooperators, that provide for partial reimbursement of generic promotional activities in a Unified Export Strategy application approved by the Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS), the agency which administers the program for the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC).

In general, Cooperator funds may be used only in direct support of activities conducted outside the United States.

Types of activities that may be funded include trade servicing, market research, and technical assistance to actual or potential foreign purchasers of U. S. commodities.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

The Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) enters into agreements with those nonprofit U.S.

trade organizations that have the broadest possible producer representation of the commodity being promoted.

To be approved, an applicant's proposal must indicate how it can effectively contribute to the creation, expansion, or maintenance of markets abroad.

FAS considers a number of factors when reviewing proposed projects.

These factors include: (1) The applicant's willingness to contribute resources including cash and goods and services of the U.S.

industry and foreign third party; (2) the ability of the organization to provide an experienced U.S.-based staff and with technical and international trade expertise to ensure adequate development, supervision and execution of the proposed project; (3) the degree to which the proposed project is likely to contribute to the development, expansion, or maintenance of foreign markets; and (4) the degree to which the strategic plan is coordinated with other private or U.S.

government-funded market development projects.

Beneficiary Eligibility

Preference is given to nonprofit U.S. trade organizations which are nationwide in membership and scope.


U.S. applicants must prove the ability to provide a competent experienced staff and other resources to assure adequate development, supervision, and execution of promotional activities. Applicants must submit a written export strategy which provides a brief discussion of the commodity for which an agreement is being requested and a description of proposed activities including the foreign countries in which they will be conducted. Applicants must also submit their Internal Revenue Service tax exempt identification number, a Dun and Bradstreet Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number, a description of the membership of the applicant organization, a description of the organizations management and administrative capability, the degree to which membership represents national production, an estimate of the level of Government funds required, and the extent to which industry resources are available to match Government expenditures. This program is excluded from coverage under OMB Circular No. A-87.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination


This program is excluded from coverage under E.O.

12372 and OMB Circular No.


Application Procedures

Each year the availability of funds is announced in a Federal Register notice. At this time a written export strategy should be submitted to the Director, Marketing Operations Staff, FAS. This program is excluded from coverage under OMB Circular No. A-110.

Award Procedures

Applications are reviewed against the allocation criteria and factors set forth in 7 CFR part 1484 and the Federal Register program announcement. CCC notifies each applicant of the final disposition of its application and also issues a public announcement concerning the allocation of resources among the applicant organizations. Each approved applicant receives a program agreement and an allocation/marketing plan approval letter which specifies any special terms and conditions applicable to a cooperator's program. Final agreement occurs when both the participating organization and the Administrator of FAS in the Administrator's capacity as Vice President, CCC, sign the program agreement.


Application deadline is announced in the form of a Federal Register notice.


Agricultural Trade Act of 1978, Title VII, 7 U.S.C. 5721, et seq.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

Approximately 90 days.


Not applicable.


Not applicable. Program commitments are made on a program year basis.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

A cooperator's contribution requirement will be specified in the export strategy approval letter. Cooperators must contribute at least 50 percent of the value of resources provided by CCC for activities conducted under the project agreement. Such contribution may be in the form of cash, goods or services.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

Agreements generally include a twelve-month promotional effort and a provision for program evaluation by an independent third party. Funds awarded in any given fiscal year are typically available for two additional years.

Post Assistance Requirements


Expense reports are submitted to claim reimbursement for expenses incurred.

Trip reports are submitted within 45 days of completion of travel.

A summary of expenses by country and cost code as well as contributions are submitted no later than January 31 following the end of the marketing plan year.


Cooperator accounts are reviewed periodically, but normally at least every two years, by representatives of the Compliance Review Staff, FAS. Audits and reviews are also conducted sporadically by representatives of the Office of Inspector General and Government Accounting Office. Accounts and records must be available for inspection or audit at any reasonable time.


Records must be maintained for not less than 3 years after completion or termination of the agreement or not less than 5 full calendar years following the year of the transaction that is evidenced by such an account or record that took place, whichever is sooner.

Financial Information

Account Identification



(Direct payments) FY 07 $34,500,000; FY 08 est not available; and FY 09 est not reported.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

$11,000 to $7,000,000; $1,243,000.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

7 CFR Part 1484.

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office

Not applicable.

Headquarters Office

Deputy Administrator, Commodity and Marketing Programs, Foreign Agricultural Service, Department of Agriculture, Washington, DC 20250. Telephone: (202) 720-4761.

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

Allocations are made in a manner that effectively support the strategic decision-making initiatives of the Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA) of 1993. In assessing whether the applicant will effectively create, expand or maintain foreign markets, the following factors are considered: (1) effectiveness of program management; (2) past and present contribution levels; (3) soundness of the strategic plan; (4) past export performance; and (5) past demand expansion performance (6) future demand expansion goals; and (7) accuracy of past demand expansion projections.

Vertical farms are designed in a way to avoid the pressing issues about growing food crops in drought-and-disease-prone fields miles away from the population centers in which they will be consumed.

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