Virginia Seeking Latin America Marketing Agency

virgnia marketing agency

The Commonwealth of Virginia has issued an RFP for a Latin America marketing company for Virginia-produced products, and to research and advise regarding the labeling and other regulatory requirements for certain agribusiness products entering Latin America. VDACS will utilize an in-country consultant in Latin America to build trade relationships, determine the challenges the trade face in importing Virginia-produced food and agricultural products, increase awareness and interest in the procurement of Virginia-produced food and agricultural products and identify the best opportunities to promote Virginia-produced food and agricultural products.

Latin America is an important growth market for Virginia agricultural and forestry products. The Cooperators mentioned above, and many others are already active in the Latin America market and OIM is already benefiting from these relationships. The purpose of this contract is to build upon the work that VDACS has already done in Latin America and to secure new export business for Virginia

companies. The ultimate success of this contract will be measured in new sales for Virginia businesses. The Contractor will work closely with VDACS staff, based in Virginia, to prioritize the products and segment the Latin American market to ensure the best possible chance for sales. A secondary purpose of the Contractor’s work will be to keep VDACS and Virginia agricultural and forestry exporters well informed of tariff and non-tariff barriers that impact the competitiveness of Virginia exports, as well as the overall market conditions in Latin America. Strategies will be developed jointly to address trade issues and economic conditions.

A. Assistance to Virginia Companies

A key responsibility of the in-country consultant (Contractor) in Latin America will be helping Virginia companies export their products to Latin America by providing local market assistance.

Many of these companies are small or medium-sized in nature, thus they need significant attention and assistance. The associated services that will be required of the Contractor may include, but are not limited to:

  1. Assisting Virginia exporters in making contact with potential Latin American importers, distributors, and retailers by developing matchmaking opportunities, providing interpretation and translation services, as Services may also be used for developing and delivering promotional material, correspondence, meetings, trade shows, and escorting foreign buyer missions in Virginia;
  2. Assisting with travel for Virginia agribusiness exporters to Latin America including arranging meeting and developing itineraries for VDACS and Virginia companies traveling to Latin America, making hotel arrangements, and arranging transportation details;
  3. Maintaining on-going contact with foreign buyers, including buyer selections and escorting buyer missions to Virginia;
  4. Advising and assisting with distribution that includes finding importers, warehousing, and other distribution facilities and partners;
  5. Advising on import ingredient restrictions, labeling regulations and other relevant regulations in Latin America;
  6. Reviewing market reports and other sources of information on the Latin American market that will lead to better market intelligence and understanding of export opportunities for Virginia-produced products. Information should include issues of trade policies and changing economic conditions in order to provide VDACS with the most salient information;
  7. Corresponding directly with Virginia companies to keep trade leads active and obtaining necessary information.        In  all  cases,  VDACS  should  be  made  aware  of  this  contact through being copied on the correspondence;
  1. Advising on obtaining payment for export transactions; and
  2. Advising on marketing and public relations activities for Virginia-produced

B. Trade Servicing

The responsibilities of the Contractor in carrying out trade servicing include, but are not limited to:

  1. Visiting with potential importers, distributors, retailers, and food service companies and food ingredient buyers, and developing lists of these companies that are the most reputable, experienced, and in the best position to purchase  Virginia-produced products;
  2. Developing and maintaining a database of potential Latin American importers and buyers, their contact information, and their product interests;
  3. Liaising with Foreign Agricultural Service Posts on a regular basis;
  4. Informing VDACS of market development opportunities that arise throughout the year and activities that should be included in our United Export Strategy Application for the next year;
  5. Traveling to the United States for meetings with VDACS personnel and clients when requested;
  6. Generating and following up on trade leads after an event;
  7. Following up with key buyers from trade missions and other special projects;
  8. Ascertaining problems which may be inhibiting export sales;
  9. Obtaining evaluations or participant feedback following each activity;
  10. Tracking sales and other performance measures resulting from all events;
  11. Assisting, on an ongoing basis, in generating export success stories; and
  12. Providing information regarding trade servicing in the weekly report that outlines the trade servicing completed and any results

C. Market Research, Development, and Promotion

The responsibilities of the Contractor in carrying out market research, development, and promotion include, but will not be limited to:

  1. Undertaking industry and/or sector studies as requested;
  2. Identifying and recommending promotional opportunities in the food service, food  retail, and food ingredient sectors of the market;
  3. Developing and assisting with implementation of promotional activities within the guidelines specified by VDACS, including negotiating promotional terms, assisting with in-store merchandising and display, and developing promotional concepts and materials;

 

  1. Submitting a report on each activity and providing any required evaluation results; and
  2. Performing other specific consulting work as requested by

D. Trade Shows

The Contractor will notify VDACS and Virginia companies of the best opportunities to exhibit at trade shows in Latin America, providing them with the information and support they need to be an effective exhibitor at these events. In addition, the Contractor should provide value for

exhibitors by focusing efforts on maximizing their potential for developing leads, securing an importer/distributor, and realizing sales from the show. Ultimately, by being adequately

prepared to do business at the show, companies make the best possible use of the trade show

environment and improve their chances for achieving new sales. Trade shows and activity dates will be determined after award and on an on-going basis in conjunction with VDACS OIM staff.

The types of services considered for each trade show should include, but are not limited to:

  1. Identifying and providing details on food trade shows in the Latin American market to include the number of exhibitors, key buyers attending, and recommendations on which shows to exhibit;
  2. Conducting pre-show product research regarding pricing, import regulation, and competitor analysis;
  3. Targeting invitations to qualified buyers for exhibitor booths, providing buyer-seller instructions, and setting up pre-arranged appointments for each exhibitor;
  4. Providing basic exhibitor material for buyers on each company exhibiting and their product information;
  5. Providing technical support at the show, to include on-site show assistance by in-market representatives;
  6. Providing in-market briefings and local industry tours, as appropriate;
  7. Qualifying exhibitors’ leads from the show, and conducting due diligence, if necessary; and
  8. Conducting follow-up correspondence with key buyers after the

E. Inbound Trade Mission

The Contractor should provide the best opportunities for Virginia companies with key Latin American buyers by providing matchmaking one-on-one meetings during inbound trade missions which:

  1. Identify key contacts in the market to travel to the U.S. for one-on-one meetings with Virginia companies;
  2. Create invitations, and invite key buyers;
  3. Schedule one-on-one meetings for each buyer with Virginia companies;
  4. Work with VDACS to identify and secure a location for the one-on-one meetings;
  5. Work with VDACS to organize and coordinate all logistics for the one-on-one meetings;
  6. Organize and coordinate market tours in each location; and
  7. Prepare an agenda for each Virginia Company to meet key Latin American

F. Outbound Trade Missions

The Contractor should provide the best opportunities for Virginia companies with key Latin American buyers by providing matchmaking one-on-one meetings during outbound trade missions which:

  1. Identify key contacts in the market for one-on-one meetings with Virginia companies in the Latin America market;
  2. Schedule one-on-one meetings for each buyer with Virginia companies;
  3. Work with VDACS to identify and secure a location for the one-on-one meetings;
  4. Work with VDACS to organize and coordinate all logistics outbound trade missions and one-on-one meetings;
  5. Organize and coordinate market tours in each location; and
  6. Prepare an agenda for each Virginia Company to meet key Latin American

G. Deliverables

The Contractor should provide the following deliverables:

  1. Weekly activity summary reports to VDACS with information that may be included in VDACS’ Marketing Division Weekly Report—to include number of client calls/visits, contact information regarding the call/visit (an in-person visit, a phone call, or email), and notes and outcomes of the calls/visits;
  2. Special written or oral reports, when requested by VDACS; and
  3. Trip or activity reports when requested by VDACS, should include:
    1. Purpose of travel and a brief summary;
    2. Itinerary of meetings and/or work accomplished;
    3. Observations, conclusions, and recommendations;
    4. A list of contacts and/or business cards received as a part of working under this contract; and
    5. Expense report in VDACS’ Excel format, with original
  4. Documentation of the following annual targets:
    1. 50 documented sales/marketing presentations to relevant companies across Latin America;
    2. 1 organized trade mission to Latin America with Virginia exporters;
    3. 1 reverse trade mission in Virginia for importers from Latin America; and
    4. 4 documented new sales accounts for Virginia

The Contractor will be responsible for planning, promoting, and managing the above trade activities under VDACS’ Latin America initiative.

Due date

                July 12 to:

Betty M Lowther

Commonwealth of Virginia

Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services

Procurement Office

102 Governor Street, Rm. 240

Richmond, VA 23219 USA

 

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