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Exports of American sweet potatoes surge
“There’s no doubt that global demand for U.S. sweet potatoes is on the rise, says Johnny Barnes ASPMI’s president. “ And thanks to our efforts at introducing American sweet potatoes to health-conscious consumers around the world, we believe we’re on the cusp of seeing unprecedented exports over the coming years” he adds.
ASPMI was formed in 2013 to promote the unique attributes of U.S. sweet potatoes domestically and abroad, and is already seeing progress in the targeted European markets. Research shows that awareness of U.S. sweet potatoes in Europe is low, but rising. Exports to Europe are up 17% so far this year.
ASPMI leverages USDA Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS)-administered programs to promote sweet potato exports. These cost-share programs, such as the Emerging Markets Program (EMP) and Market Access Program (MAP), allow the association to reach emerging markets that were untapped until recently.
“Most sweet potato operations are small to medium family-owned farms, Barnes notes. “EMP and MAP funds give them the assistance needed to access new export markets,” he adds.
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