ASMI receives grant from USDA for international marketing of seafood from Alaska

Published on
December 8, 2016

The Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute (ASMI) will receive USD 4.22 million (EUR 3.98 million) in funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS), a slightly higher amount than it has received in previous years.

The grant was announced as part of USD 200 million (EUR 188 million) granted for 2017 by the USD’s FAS to more than 70 U.S. agricultural organizations in 2017 to help them expand export markets for U.S. goods. The funds were awarded through the Market Access Program (MAP) and the Foreign Market Development Program.

“USDA and the U.S. agricultural industry work together in a unique public-private partnership to open and grow markets around the world for high-quality, American-made farm and food products,” U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack said in a news release. “The federal investment in these programs is multiplied by industry matching funds, not only boosting agricultural export revenue and volume, but also supporting farm income and enhancing the overall U.S. economy.”

MAP allows the FAS to provide U.S. agricultural trade associations, cooperatives, state regional trade groups, and small businesses to provide funding for overseas marketing and promotional activities while the FMD Program provides funds to agricultural producers and processors who are represented by non-profit commodity or trade associations. ASMI will receive its funding through MAP.

ASMI is a public-private partnership between the state of Alaska and the Alaska seafood industry with the mission of marketing Alaskan seafood nationally and internationally. In 2015 ASMI spent USD 8.1 million (EUR 7.6 million) of its USD 21 million (EUR 19.8 million) budget on international work, with more than 50 percent of the funding for its international work coming from MAP.

ASMI’s funding from MAP is up this year from USD 3.96 million (EUR 3.73 million) in 2016 and USD 4.16 million (EUR 3.92 million) in 2015.

“[A total of] 57 percent of species in Alaska depend on export for 90 percent of sales volume. Because Alaska’s seafood industry depends so heavily on exports for profit, the federal funding ASMI receives is key to helping ASMI increase the value of Alaskan seafood,” ASMI Executive Director Alexa Tonkovich said. “Alaskan seafood must compete on a global scale against countries like Norway with its USD 75 million (EUR 70.7 million) budget for the Norwegian Seafood Council.”

Contributing Editor reporting from the Pacific Northwest, USA

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