ASMI plans for smaller budget in 2021
The budget for the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute (ASMI) will be smaller for the 2021 fiscal year, though it won’t be due to cuts made as a result of the coronavirus. Rather, the natural and gradual reduction in funding is a result of how the group managed the spending of a grant it received in 2019, ASMI said.
Last year, ASMI received USD 7.5 million (EUR 6.64 million) from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Foreign Agriculture Service’s Agricultural Trade Promotion program. The funding was intended to decrease the negative effects of international trade barriers and, as a result, the 2020 fiscal year was ASMI’s highest budget year since 2016.
Because ASMI spent proportionately more of the grant money last year, the 2021 budget – and presumably budgets going forward as well – will be smaller than the banner year in 2020.
However, due to expected future travel restrictions as a result of the coronavirus, ASMI does not plan to facilitate any of the international trade missions to the state that it usually arranges, which will result in a reduction of USD 108,000 (EUR 95,679) for the 2021 budget.
ASMI Executive Director Jeremy Woodrow told SeafoodSource he hopes the grant program, which provided funding for a number of digital infrastructure products, will result in the “industry [experiencing] positive effects and increased consumer awareness for the brand both in the short and the long term.”
And, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the group plans to make “fiscally conservative, nimble, and sustainable budget preparations for the coming years,” Woodrow said.
“The Alaska seafood industry has worked tirelessly to ensure operations continue responsibly during the COVID-19 pandemic by implementing extensive protocols to protect the health and safety of all involved,” Woodrow said. “The ASMI Board of Directors and ASMI staff are engaged and responding accordingly to the challenges created by the pandemic. It is ever more critical that ASMI’s mission supports this essential critical infrastructure service that supplies food for Alaskans, Americans, and the world.”