Foreign Market Development Program (FMD)
The Foreign Market Development (FMD) Program, also known as the Cooperator Program, helps create, expand and maintain long-term export markets for U.S. agricultural products. Under the program, FAS partners with U.S. agricultural producers and processors, who are represented by non-profit commodity or trade associations called “cooperators,” to promote U.S. commodities overseas.
The FMD program focuses on generic promotion of U.S. commodities, rather than consumer-oriented promotion of branded products. Preference is given to organizations that represent an entire industry or are nationwide in membership and scope.
FMD-funded projects generally address long-term opportunities to reduce foreign import constraints or expand export growth opportunities. For example, this might include efforts to:
- reduce infrastructural or historical market impediments,
- improve processing capabilities,
- modify codes and standards, or
- identify new markets or new uses for the agricultural commodity or product.
Each year, FAS announces the FMD application period and criteria on its website and via Grants.gov. Organizations apply for the FMD program through the Unified Export Strategy (UES) process, which allows applicants to request funding from multiple USDA market development programs through a single, strategically coordinated proposal. FAS reviews the proposals and awards funds to applicants that demonstrate the potential for effective performance based on a clear, long-term strategic plan.