What is the U.S. Agricultural Export Development Council?

               The U.S. Agricultural Export Development Council (USAEDC) is a non-profit private sector trade association. USAEDC is not part of any agency or branch of the U.S. government. Specifically, it is not part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.


What is the mission of the U.S. Agricultural Export Development Council?

               The U.S. Agricultural Export Development Council was instigated in 1978 to: 1.) provide a forum and an organizational structure for the exchange and coordination of information among its members and between them collectively and other groups, agencies and individuals; 2.) cooperate with all branches of the government and the private sector to promote the export of the products of U.S. agriculture; 3.) engage in any lawful activity, including the making and carrying out of any contract necessary, suitable and proper for the accomplishment of its purposes and to do or perform every other act or thing incidental or pertaining to its aforesaid purposes and powers.


What organizations comprise the membership of the U.S. Agricultural Export Development Council?

               The U.S. Agricultural Export Development Council (USAEDC) is an organization whose 85 members are national U.S. commodity trade associations and farmer cooperatives and state regional trade groups, representing nearly all producers of food, fiber and seafood. We work very closely with USDA's Foreign Agricultural Service in developing, expanding and maintaining markets worldwide. They have come together under the USAEDC umbrella to assist them in their export promotion efforts, specifically those in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Agriculture/Foreign Agricultural Service (USDA/FAS).


With what other organizations do the members of the U.S. Agricultural Export Development Council work to promote exports?

               The members of USAEDC work hand-in-hand with their growers and processors to create a unified approach to export marketing, recognizing their competition and devising methods to address it. Working closely with their respective commodity branches within the Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) Office of Trade Programs (OTP), the USAEDC members identify potential markets, develop strategic plans to overcome barriers to trade and to promote agricultural exports and evaluate the effectiveness of these efforts and modify them as necessary to achieve the overall goal of increased exports. In addition to the staff in the Washington, DC office, the members also rely on the indispensable members of the Office of Foreign Service Operations who staff the overseas agricultural offices as Minister-Counselors, Agricultural Trade Officers and Agricultural Attachés. The staffs of the Office of Agreements and Scientific Affairs, the Office of Country and Regional Affairs and the Office of Global Analysis also play a pivotal role in working with the members to create and maintain these overseas markets. Other agencies within USDA - Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS), Animal Plant & Health Inspection Service (APHIS), Agricultural Research Service (ARS), Economic Research Service (ERS), National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) - all contribute immensely to the success of the export programs.


What is the purpose of the export programs in which the U.S. Agricultural Export Development Council members participate?      

               These activities focus on increasing the knowledge of and demand for U.S. agricultural exports by any combination of the following target audiences in a foreign market: consumer, processor, distributor and/or importer. Trade development activities are designed to discover the potential for a market through research into the size of the market, the likely U.S. share, the nature and importance of local and not import competition, the tariffs and trade barriers and the interest of local trade and processors in collaborating. Promotional activities build on this knowledge and may include trade missions, technical training, trade servicing, literature, trade shows, in-store promotions, demonstrations, seminars, etc.


What other purpose does the U.S. Agricultural Export Development Council serve?        

               USAEDC serves as an information resource for its members about FAS and legislative and other efforts in Washington, DC that may impact on their ability to export or to conduct export promotion programs. In addition, USAEDC monitors media reports on these promotional programs and works to correct any misimpressions. USAEDC also provides a platform for its members and USDA/FAS to discuss the operation and implementation of these programs overseas.


Who may join the U.S. Agricultural Export Development Council?

               Membership in USAEDC is open to U.S. trade associations and other organizations with an interest in the promotion of U.S. agricultural exports; individual memberships are not available. There are four membership categories: "full members" for those groups that have entered into an export promotion program agreement with USDA/FAS; "associate members" for other agricultural organizations which have a major interest in the export of agricultural products or may be eligible to enter into export program agreements with FAS/USDA; "allied members" for those organizations that perform administrative tasks (non-FAS reimbursable) on behalf of any "full member" and these tasks comprise the majority of their work; and "affiliate members" for those organizations that provide market development services (FAS reimbursable) for a period of not less than two years on behalf of any "full member". The Board of Directors of USAEDC must approve all memberships. If you are interested, please contact USAEDC's office for more information or fill out the appropriate application available elsewhere on the website.