Quality Samples Program


The Quality Samples Program is designed to encourage the development and expansion of export markets for U.S. agricultural commodities by assisting U.S. entities in providing commodity samples to potential foreign importers to promote a better understanding and appreciation for the high quality of U.S. agricultural commodities.

General information about this opportunity
Last Known Status
Program Number
Federal Agency/Office
Foreign Agricultural Service, Department of Agriculture
Type(s) of Assistance Offered
B - Project Grants; C - Direct Payments For Specified Use
Program Accomplishments
Not applicable.
The Quality Samples Program is authorized by Section 5(f) of the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) Charter Act, 15 U.S.C. 714c(f).
Who is eligible to apply/benefit from this assistance?
Applicant Eligibility
To be approved, an applicant must be a U.S. private or government entity.
Beneficiary Eligibility
The Quality Samples Program is intended to benefit a represented U.S. industry rather than a specific company or brand.
Applicants must submit a written proposal which includes, but is not limited to, the following: a description of the organization and its membership; a description of the organization's prior export promotion experience; a description of the organization's experience in implementing an appropriate trade/technical assistance component; an assessment of the market; a long-term strategy in the market; amount of funding requested; a brief description of the specific market development trade constraint or opportunity to be addressed by the project; a sample description; and the importer's role in the project regarding handling and processing the commodity samples.
What is the process for applying and being award this assistance?
Pre-Application Procedure
Preapplication coordination is required. This program is eligible for coverage under E.O. 12372, "Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs." An applicant should consult the office or official designated as the single point of contact in his or her State for more information on the process the State requires to be followed in applying for assistance, if the State has selected the program for review.
Application Procedure
2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards applies to this program. Each year the availability of funds is announced in a Federal Register notice that details the program application requirements and deadlines.
Award Procedure
Proposals are reviewed against the allocation criteria and factors specified in the Federal Register notice. CCC notifies each applicant of the final disposition of its application and also issues a public announcement concerning the allocation of resources among the applicant organizations. Each approved applicant receives a program agreement and allocation approval letter that specifies any special terms and conditions applicable to a participant's program. Final agreement occurs when both the participating organization and FAS sign the program agreement.
Contact the headquarters or regional location, as appropriate for application deadlines
Approval/Disapproval Decision Time
Approximately 30-90 days.
Not applicable.
Not applicable.
How are proposals selected?
FAS uses the following criteria when evaluating QSP proposals: (1) the ability of the organization to provide an experienced staff with the requisite technical and trade experience to execute the proposal; (2) the extent to which the proposal is targeted to a market in which the United States is generally competitive; (3) the potential for expanding commercial sales in the proposed market; (4) the nature of the specific market constraint or opportunity involved and how well it is addressed by the proposal; (5) the extent to which the importer's contribution in terms of handling and processing enhances the potential outcome of the project; (6) the amount of reimbursement requested and the organization's willingness to contribute resources, including cash and goods and services of the U.S. industry and foreign third parties; and (7) and how well the proposed technical assistance component assures that performance trials will effectively demonstrate the intended end-use benefit.
How may assistance be used?
Quality Samples Program funds are authorized through project agreements that include the maximum amount that may be reimbursed and identify terms and conditions pursuant to which CCC will reimburse costs. Under the QSP, participants may be reimbursed for certain costs of purchasing and transporting commodity samples. Although providing technical assistance is required for all projects, costs of providing the actual technical assistance is not reimbursed under the QSP.
What are the requirements after being awarded this opportunity?
Not applicable.
Not applicable.
Not applicable.
Other Assistance Considerations
Formula and Matching Requirements
Statutory formula is not applicable to this assistance listing.

Matching is voluntary. Although highly encouraged, financial and in-kind support from the participant is not required. Such contributions may be in the form of cash or goods or services.

MOE requirements are not applicable to this assistance listing.
Length and Time Phasing of Assistance
Agreements generally include a twelve-month promotional effort and a requirement for program evaluation. Funds awarded in any given fiscal year may be made available for a longer period. Reimbursement claims are submitted to claim reimbursement of costs associated with completing approved projects. Evaluation reports are submitted within 90 days of expiration of the agreement. The Quality Samples Program is a reimbursable program whereby the applicant incurs the expense and is reimbursed later.
Who do I contact about this opportunity?
Regional or Local Office
None/Not specified.
Headquarters Office
Vincent Cornetto - Program Manager
1400 Independence Ave, SW
Washington, DC 20050
Washington, DC 20050 USA
Phone: 202-720-7927
Website Address
Financial Information
Account Identification
(Project Grants) FY 18$2,500,000.00; FY 19 est $2,500,000.00; FY 20 est $2,500,000.00; FY 17$1,223,975.00; FY 16 est $1,381,344.00; -
Range and Average of Financial Assistance
range $15,000 to $75,000
Regulations, Guidelines and Literature
Not applicable.
Examples of Funded Projects
Not applicable.


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