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The mission of the Market Development Division is to increase sales of Louisiana food and agricultural products in order to enhance the economic well-being of Louisiana.
Principal goals are to improve the ability of Louisiana firms and producers to develop and capitalize upon marketing and sales opportunities, create demand in foreign and domestic markets for Louisiana food and agricultural products, provide broad services that reflect the varied needs and products of Louisiana firms and producers, project a positive image of Louisiana products in the domestic and international marketplace and to educate potential consumers domestically and worldwide about the positive attributes of Louisiana food and agricultural products.
To accomplish the goals of the Market Development Division, the division provides services to firms and producers of Louisiana food and agri-forestry products through its Product Promotion Program and International Trade Program.
Visit the Louisiana Strawberry Marketing Board at ONLINE.
For sweet potato recipes, nutrition information and more go to Louisiana Sweet Potato Commission’s website.
Certified Louisiana Logos
The Certified Louisiana, Certified Cajun, Certified Creole, Certified Farm to Table and Certified Craft Beverage logo program serves to brand and promote Louisiana and its agricultural commodities. The Certified Louisiana logo program aids in marketing these products to consumers for farmers, processors, producers, and suppliers. With the recognition of the Certified Louisiana logos, buyers help support their local homegrown companies and stimulate the economy. The Louisiana Agricultural Finance Authority (LAFA) administers the department’s Certified Logo Program for Louisiana agricultural products.
In order for a product to be eligible for inclusion in the Certified Louisiana logo program, the product must be made, grown, manufactured, processed, produced or substantially transformed in the state of Louisiana. The department has the sole discretion to determine whether an agricultural product or agritourism activity is eligible to be labeled with one of the certified logos. In addition, a company must possess and be in compliance with all other applicable state and federal permits, licenses and laws.
To learn more about the program and to apply to use the logo, go to Certified Louisiana website.
International Trade Development
The International Trade Program has as its primary goal the international development of new markets and expansion of existing markets for Louisiana food and agricultural products. The program maintains offices in Baton Rouge.
The LDAF is federated with fourteen other state departments of agriculture in the southeastern United States and Puerto Rico into an export trade organization known as the Southern United States Trade Association (SUSTA). By cooperating in SUSTA sponsored and financed events, the department is able to accomplish many of its goals in a cost effective manner.
International Trade Development Program staff members have been project managers and participants on numerous market development and promotion projects funded by SUSTA which directly benefited Louisiana companies and agricultural industries. These projects included supermarket and restaurant promotions and trade shows in Europe, Asia and the Middle East; several crawfish promotions in Sweden which established Louisiana’s crawfish dominance in that market, and wood related missions to Europe and Asia. Recent projects include management and recruitment of industry participants for the American Alligator and Ratite Industries Pavilion at the Hong Kong Leather Show in Hong Kong and the LINEAPELLE Leather Show in Bologna, Italy.
SUSTA is funded by membership dues, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) and by companies who participate in the MAP Branded Program. The Foreign Agricultural Service does not have stateside offices, as does the United States Department of Commerce. Therefore, they have chosen to designate and consider the marketing departments of state departments of agriculture as their state field offices on which they depend to assist them in expanding U.S. food and agricultural exports and as their liaison with U.S. companies. SUSTA and three other regional export trade associations organized in like manner are considered to be unofficial regional offices of the Foreign Agricultural Service.
The International Trade Division also participates in international programs outside the umbrella of SUSTA sponsored activity. The division participates in international food trade shows and menu promotions in Europe and the Far East and manages the Louisiana Alligator and Ratite Industries Pavilion in the Pan Am Leather Fair in Miami, Florida.
The program assists Louisiana food companies in acquiring export funding under the USDA – FAS Marketing Assistance Program (MAP). MAP enables Louisiana food companies to apply for matching funds to assist them in their promotion, advertising and market development activities in targeted export markets. Annual applications are submitted to the Market Development Division for review of completeness and correctness according to program guidelines and then forwarded to the SUSTA office in New Orleans for further processing. Since 1994, the Division has assisted thirty-four (34) Louisiana companies receive allocations of $10.5 million in matching Branded Funds.
Menu promotions usually occur in foreign countries as a way to introduce Louisiana cuisine to the native population and as a way to introduce our products into the retail and food service marketplace.
The International Trade Development Program also serves as the protocol functionary of the LDAF. The state receives a considerable number of foreign trade visitors and trade missions, many of whom are seeking Louisiana products. The division assists these visitors in many ways including the arrangement of itineraries, hosting events for official delegations and arranging one-on-one meetings with Louisiana industry.
Trade shows provide marketing opportunities to showcase consumer products to gain market penetration. The trade show program primarily provides opportunities for companies to participate in a Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry pavilion or multiple booth area to showcase their branded products. The division participates in trade shows sponsored by several types of organizations and market channels that appeal to food and agricultural interests of our state, i.e., retail, food service, distributors, brokers, apparel (alligator and ratite), forest products industry, furniture, and specialty markets for gifts and gourmet products.