$3.5 Million Awarded To Boost Apple Sales
Taxpayers will spend $3.5 million this year to promote sales of Washington apples overseas - an investment that more than pays for itself, the Washington Apple Commission said.
The commission in late May received the money from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Market Promotion Program. MPP helps U.S. products such as rice, wheat, wine and apples sell overseas by underwriting advertising and promotional campaigns.
The award was less than the $3.9 million the government gave the commission in 1993 when the last comprehensive funding analysis was done.
Funding for the top 20 commodity groups dropped from about $146 million in 1993 to $85 million in 1995 because of federal budget cutting efforts. The biggest recipient this year was US Meat Exports, with $8.1 million.
US Wheat Associates, which promotes the sale of sell Pacific Northwest grains, received $1.6 million, down from $3 million in 1993.
The organizations match the federal contributions. The commission estimates that for every dollar of MPP funds spent by taxpayers, at least $15 is returned to the economy.