Why Export

Exporting is an excellent way to expand and grow your business.

  • Overseas Growth:
    Exports of consumer food products are growing three times faster than sales here in the U.S. They have soared in recent years in response to consumers' growing purchasing power and lower trade barriers.
  • Overseas Potential:
    95% of the world's population and two-thirds of total world purchasing power are located outside of the United States. Imagine the potential, as the world becomes more integrated, and develops similar likes for products.
  • Small Companies Can Be Successful Exporters:
    It's a popular misconception that only large companies can succeed overseas. Indeed, many small companies have found that their competitive advantage lies in some form of technological or creative advantage. Many have "unique" or "niche-type" products that are always in demand overseas!
  • International Markets More Accessible:
    Over 20 Free Trade agreements have been created to help decrease America's trade deficit. These trade agreements, NAFTA, and WTO have lowered many trade restrictions for U.S. products, giving U.S. exporters an unprecedented level of access to many international markets. These reductions have helped all U.S agricultural exporters, but in many instances have been particularly advantageous for exporters of value-added food and agricultural products.
  • Export Assistance Is Available:
    Many firms shy away from exporting because they don't know how or where to get started. Fortunately, help is available! Food Export-Midwest, Food Export-Northeast, your local state agricultural promotion agency and other export providers can provide your company with a wide range of export assistance to help introduce you to the world of exporting.
  • Economic Growth:
    Consumer preferences, shaped primarily by incomes, changing lifestyles, and evolving cultural preferences, largely determine the items available in grocery stores in different markets. In developing-country markets, higher incomes result in diet upgrades, with increased demand for meats, dairy products, and other higher value food products. These include packaged cereals, pasta, oils, and other items used in meal preparations.
  • U.S. Competitive Advantage:
    Another contributor to the growth in value-added food exports is U.S. food exporters' competitive advantage in food processing. U.S. and Western Europe are considered to have the largest amounts of food and manufacturing centers. Many U.S. firms lead the way in adopting new technologies and in meeting the ever-changing consumer demand and trends, making them better able to customize their products for foreign consumers. Many are thus able to supply the types of foods products that are most in demand, including convenience foods like home meal replacement items, private label products, and niche-type products such as organic and functional products.

Benefits of Exporting - For You! 

  • Increase Sales and Profits:
    If your firm is succeeding domestically, expanding overseas will likely improve overall profitability as well. Average orders from international customers are often larger than they are domestically, since importers overseas stock by the container rather than by the pallet. Furthermore, increased sales tend to increase productivity by lowering per unit fixed costs.
  • Short-Term Security:
    By expanding into international markets and spreading your risk over a wider customer base, companies become less dependent upon the ups and downs of the domestic economy and the likes/dislikes of the American consumer.
  • Long-Term Security:
    The U.S. is a large market with a wealth of opportunity, but it is also a mature market with intense competition from domestic and increasingly foreign competitors. (The U.S. National Foreign Trade Council estimated that abut 80% of all U.S. industry now faces international competition - many of it right here in our own backyard!) We are approaching the day when we will be doing business in a single "global market" instead of foreign and domestic markets. For most food and agricultural companies, therefore, exporting isn't just a way to maximize profits today. It also represents the future of their businesses tomorrow.
  • Enhance Competitiveness:
    Repeated studies have shown that exporting improves companies' competitive advantage. Establishing your company overseas will provide a new global perspective and can facilitate improvements with existing and new products. Oftentimes companies discover an innovative product developed for an overseas market that turns out to be a success domestically, too. In addition, exporting can help you compete more effectively against foreign competitors here in the U.S.
  • Economies of Scale:
    Exporting is an excellent way to enjoy pure economies of scale with products that are more "global" in scope and have a wider range of acceptance around the world. This is in contrast to products that must be adapted for each market, which is expensive and time consuming and requires more of an investment. The newer the product, the wider range of acceptance in the world, especially to younger "customers," often referred to as the "global consumer".

Benefits of Exporting - for the U.S. Economy

  • Jobs/Economic Activity:
    Exports are projected to reach $98 billion in FY 2010, up to $1 billion from the August forecast and $1.4 billion above final FY 2009.  Agriculture's trade surplus is projected to be about $20.5 billion in FY 2010, however, it is one of the few sectors of the American economy to enjoy a trade surplus, and without it the overall U.S. trade deficit would be even worse.  Every billion dollars in U.S. agricultural exports supports nearly 12,000 American jobs.
  • Exports Facilitate Security:
    Small and medium-sized firms account for the vast majority of growth in new exporters.  The U.S. agricultural economy is becoming increasingly dependent on exports - about one in every five factory jobs or 20 percent of all jobs in America's manufacturing sector depends on exports.

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