Please enjoy the following summary from our latest newsletter reporting on the recent Export Development Program activities.
November 2013 Newsletter
New Quality Control Guide Released
For the past year and a half, the EDP has worked on a new guide to educate distributors and others in the beer trade on practices that can optimize the quality of craft beer once it ships out of the brewery. That guide was finalized earlier this year and officially launched at an EDP seminar and reception during the Great American Beer Festival.
Brazil Trade Mission Results
In June, the EDP participated in the Brasil Brau trade show and conference in Sao Paolo. Steve Grossman (Sierra Nevada), Phin DeMink (Southern Tier), Dick Cantwell (Elysian), Doug Odell (Odell), and Eric Rosenberg (Bryant Christie Inc.) attended the conference as EDP representatives. The visit was very beneficial. For the first time, BA representatives spoke at the conference on topics including U.S. hop varieties, sustainability, innovation, and BA history.
EDP Showcases at European Beer Festivals
For many years the Great British Beer Festival and Stockholm Beer and Whisky Festival have been mainstays in the annual EDP calendar. This year, the EDP added one more European festival to its list. In August, the EDP had a booth at the Berlin Bierfestival. Mark Snyder (BA Export Program Manager) and Andreas Fält (American Craft Beer Ambassador) attended the event along with a number of brewery representatives.
Drinktec Visit Highlighted by Beer Dinner
In September, the BA participated in the Drinktec trade show, which is held every four years in Munich. Drinktec is considered one of the largest trade shows in the world focused on the beverage industry. It is not exclusive to the beer or beverage alcohol sector by any means but beer and beer ingredients take up a number of pavilions at the show. The Hop Growers of America and trade associations representing hop growers from other countries all had booths at the show as did the major hop merchant companies. The BA was given space within the U.S. International Pavilion as a way to draw attention to the World Beer Cup and other events.
Andreas Fält Enthroned as Honorary Knight of the Brewer’s Mashstaff
On October 31, 2013 the EDP’s American Craft Beer Ambassador to Europe, Andreas Fält was enthroned as an Honorary Knight of the Brewer’s Mashstaff. The Knighthood of the Brewer’s Mashstaff is a descendant of the Belgian Brewer’s Guild, one of the oldest secular professional associations in the world. Each year the guild selects honorary knights (those who contribute their services to the brewing industry) and knights by rights (those who are closely related to the brewing industry by birth, alliance, or profession).
EDP Members Benefit from Participation at New York Fancy Food Show
From June 30-July 2, the EDP hosted a booth at the National Association for the Specialty Food Trade’s Fancy Food exhibition in New York City. This was the second time that the EDP participated in the East coast version of this show (the EDP has had a presence at the West coast show in San Francisco three other times) but the first time in New York. For the past two years the show was held in Washington, DC while the New York venue was remodeled.
Mexican Market May Open for American Craft Beer
In 2014 the EDP is considering a trade mission to Mexico to explore that market further for exports of American craft beer. The country’s proximity to the U.S. and popularity as a travel destination for Americans makes it attractive for exports of many U.S. products. The EDP funded a research study of the craft beer market in Mexico in 2007. At the time, and until this year, the market did not appear to hold strong prospects for American craft beer exports because access to market was restricted by Mexico’s big brewers. Grupo Modelo and FEMSA have for many years been allowed to lock bars, restaurants and grocery stores into exclusive contracts (tied houses) that prevented new entrants from gaining distribution. But this system may be changing.
2014 EDP Funding Update and Activity Plans
The EDP is funded primarily by export assistance grants made available on a calendar year basis through the United States Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service. The EDP’s allocation of funds from USDA has grown steadily since the EDP began in 2004. The annual budget is now about $500,000. The USDA programs that fund the EDP are contained in the U.S. Farm Bill. Funding for the Farm Bill lapsed earlier this year. Without a continuing resolution to fund the federal government in 2014, or a new negotiated Farm Bill, there could be an interruption in EDP activities. For now, this appears unlikely as Congress is working on a longer-term budget agreement and on a new Farm Bill.
BA Receives Clean EDP Audit
With USDA grants serving as a foundation of the annual EDP budget, the BA is subject to regular audits by USDA’s Office of Compliance, Security, and Emergency Planning. The most recent accounting and compliance audit took place in July. Over $1,000,000 in grant expenditures covering more than two years was reviewed and there were no findings. EDP activities were found to be in compliance with the rules and regulations of these USDA programs and the BA has met its other obligations for reporting and for financial contributions.