Cultivating global markets: AFIA leveraging federal funds to expand access for US feed, pet food products

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

© GettyImages/cooperr007
© GettyImages/cooperr007

Related tags pet China Vietnam Afia Usda

The USDA's Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) is allocating over $203m to support nearly 70 agricultural organizations in their efforts to expand export markets for US food and agricultural products.

This financial assistance is facilitated through the Market Access Program​ (MAP) and the Foreign Market Development (FMD) program.

Daniel Whitley, FAS Administrator, emphasized the significant impact over the past few years of both MAP and FMD in enhancing US exports globally: “For each $1 invested in export market development, US agricultural exports have increased by more than $24.”

Among the recipients of the new MAP and FMD awards​ are key players in the grain and oilseed sectors, including the American Soybean Association ($13 million), the North American Export Grain Association ($271,238), the US Grains Council ($11.5 million), and US Wheat Associates ($8.2 million).

AFIA secures funding

The American Feed Industry Association (AFIA) secured over $170,000 in federal funding for fiscal 2024 through the MAP, with additional rollover funding bringing their total 2024 MAP funding to nearly $200,000.

It says this funding is expected to provide significant opportunities for the US animal feed, feed ingredient, and pet food sectors to expand market access and support the export of US animal food products to Vietnam and China​.

Constance Cullman, CEO of AFIA, expressed appreciation for the collaboration with the USDA in overcoming trade barriers and promoting US products. She highlighted the potential of the US animal food industry to improve global animal nutrition practices and pet food diets sustainably. Despite foreign regulatory and policy constraints, AFIA aims to leverage the funding to enhance efficiency and quality in the global animal food industry.

Strategic Asian pet market focus 

AFIA's focus on Southeast Asian markets, particularly Vietnam and China, is strategic, given the region's growing middle class and increasing pet ownership. The organization outlined how it aims to raise awareness among stakeholders in these countries about the benefits of utilizing US animal food products, emphasizing improved animal production and health.

“Those countries want to produce more of those animal protein products domestically and reduce their reliance on imports. With that focus comes a need for feed additives that bring added value to the rations and the final animal protein product being developed," AFIA's senior director of global strategies, policy & trade, Gina Tumbarello, told us previously. 

The AFIA says it also plays a crucial role in educating pet owners in these markets about the importance of complete and balanced pet diets.

With a 69% increase in Vietnam's total pet food imports in recent years, that US trade group sees opportunities for US pet food companies in this rapidly growing market. Despite the current small scale of US pet food exports to Vietnam, the removal of market access​ roadblocks, such as the lack of a negotiated health certificate in the previous year, is expected to position US exporters favorably in meeting the growing demand for pet food in the region.

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