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    USDA Program for Export-Readiness Training Available to California Agribusinesses

    LONG BEACH, Calif. -- California food and agricultural companies are being urged to consider a new program offered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture/Emerging Markets Program, that provides extensive instruction and individualized guidance in selling products in foreign markets.

    LONG BEACH, Calif. -- California food and agricultural companies are being urged to consider a new program offered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture/Emerging Markets Program, that provides extensive instruction and individualized guidance in selling products in foreign markets.

    Implemented by the California Centers for International Trade Development (CITD) and managed by the Western U.S. Agricultural Trade Association (WUSATA), the program, Export Readiness Training, will teach companies the basic international trade practices and the skills necessary to be successful in the global marketplace.

    The program is specifically designed for minority- or women-owned businesses that grow or process food or agricultural products, which have not previously exported their products. Additionally, all products must by at least 51 percent U.S. origin.

    The program consists of nine classroom sessions taught by experienced international marketing executives and consultants, supported by periodic meetings with a trade advisor. Specific assistance will be offered in recruiting/qualifying/selecting agents and distributors, preparing export finance loan applications, and technical assistance. Each participant will complete a customized export plan and start to implement the plan culminating with an export promotion event.

    The cost of the program is $325 for the first participant and $75 for each additional attendee. Interested companies will need to complete an application and submit the fee by the October 3, 2005 deadline.

    Only a limited number of qualified companies will be admitted to the program, which is scheduled to begin training in mid-October 2005. Registration is available online at http://www.wusata.org/ert or by calling 888-638-7888. For further information, call Priscilla Lopez (Southern and Northern California) at 562-938-5018 or Candy Hansen (Central and Northern California) at 888-638-7888.

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