SFPA plans to strengthen knowledge about SYP in Egypt and establish a consistent, long-term presence in the Caribbean region.


USDA funds SFPA to expand Southern Yellow Pine lumber exports

USDA funds SFPA to expand Southern Yellow Pine lumber exports

图像: The United States Department of Agriculture / Depositphotos

The Southern Forest Products Association (SFPA) secures $1.24 million in funding over five years from the USDA Foreign Agriculture Service’s Regional Agricultural Promotion Program (RAPP). The USDA announced this funding on May 21 as part of a $1.2 billion program initiated in 2023 to support market development activities, expand exports, and address trade barriers​​​​.

RAPP aims to diversify and expand market opportunities for U.S. food and agricultural products beyond traditional markets such as Canada, Mexico, the European Union, and China. Instead, the program focuses on new markets in regions like South and Southeast Asia, Latin America, the Middle East, and Africa, where there is a growing middle class and increasing demand for high-quality food and farm products.

SFPA Executive Director Eric Gee highlighted the program's potential to enhance ongoing promotional efforts for Southern Yellow Pine (SYP) lumber in Egypt and the Caribbean. "RAPP’s five-year award will expand efforts to lay a firm foundation of knowledge about SYP in Egypt and provide a long-term strategy of consistency and presence in the Caribbean region," Gee stated. The program will help educate trade and consumers about the benefits of sustainably grown SYP from the United States, known for its strength and quality.

SFPA has a long history of facilitating international trade of Southern Pine lumber, bolstered by federal funding for foreign market development. In 2023, SFPA’s international efforts resulted in significant achievements, including requests for 916 shipping containers of Southern Pine lumber and $8 million in new sales from 67 trade leads at sponsored trade shows worldwide.

According to USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack, RAPP's objective is to make U.S. exporters more competitive and resilient by expanding their footprint in diverse and dynamic new markets. The program will provide the necessary startup capital to tap into these opportunities, thereby supporting small and mid-sized farms and building wealth in rural communities.

“More trees are planted each year than are harvested, and the southern forest is a growing resource,” Gee said. “The opportunity to promote America’s most abundant renewable building material through export programs like RAPP helps foster trade, build communities, and improve lives of those throughout the entire supply chain.”

The initial round of RAPP funding will support numerous projects, including SFPA’s initiatives to promote Southern Yellow Pine products in the Caribbean and Egypt. Other notable projects include the Cranberry Institute’s trade education efforts in India and Brazil, and the U.S. Dairy Export Council’s plans to expand in Africa.