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Market Analysis and Practice with Empirical Evidence from the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service

Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0021883/00001

Material Information

Title: Market Analysis and Practice with Empirical Evidence from the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service
Physical Description: 1 online resource (140 p.)
Language: english
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2008

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: agriculture, analysis, foreign, market, service, usda
Food and Resource Economics -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
Genre: Food and Resource Economics thesis, M.S.
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Notes

Abstract: This thesis utilizes the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS), a public organization that conducts market analyses around the world, to compare the practice of market analysis as conducted by FAS with the methodology for market analyses found in the current literature. The literature reveals a consensus on the major steps of conducting market analysis. These steps are identify potential threats, identify strengths that can be exploited, identify market segments to be targeted (opportunities), and identify market demand and trends. This research project also uses FAS as the example to compare the types of market analysis information demanded by users with the types of market analysis information published by FAS. Download statistics for FAS' General Agricultural Information Network (GAIN) reports, the primary market analysis information produced by FAS Posts, are the major source of data. Analysis of the information contained in the most downloaded GAIN reports revealed that FAS customers most frequently downloaded reports containing packages of information including all components of market analysis (opportunities, threats, trade and trend data). However, the single report category with the most total downloads for the 24 months analyzed contained none of those market analysis components. The most demanded FAS GAIN report is the Food and Agricultural Import Regulations and Standards (FAIRS) report which explains foreign country import laws and food safety standards. These results indicate FAS users rely on FAS for both market analysis information and market access/market entry information and assistance. Additionally, survey instruments were used to understand functions and operations of FAS posts and the needs of FAS customers. The researcher learned that FAS does not have a formal method for conducting market analysis. However, the two most common functions preformed by FAS Posts are 'Understanding Trade Barriers' and 'Interpreting Local Country Importation Laws,' which led to the conclusion that FAS is focused more on the processes of market access and market entry rather than market analysis.
General Note: In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note: Includes vita.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Thesis: Thesis (M.S.)--University of Florida, 2008.
Local: Adviser: Sterns, James A.

Record Information

Source Institution: UFRGP
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: lcc - LD1780 2008
System ID: UFE0021883:00001

Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0021883/00001

Material Information

Title: Market Analysis and Practice with Empirical Evidence from the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service
Physical Description: 1 online resource (140 p.)
Language: english
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2008

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: agriculture, analysis, foreign, market, service, usda
Food and Resource Economics -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
Genre: Food and Resource Economics thesis, M.S.
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Notes

Abstract: This thesis utilizes the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS), a public organization that conducts market analyses around the world, to compare the practice of market analysis as conducted by FAS with the methodology for market analyses found in the current literature. The literature reveals a consensus on the major steps of conducting market analysis. These steps are identify potential threats, identify strengths that can be exploited, identify market segments to be targeted (opportunities), and identify market demand and trends. This research project also uses FAS as the example to compare the types of market analysis information demanded by users with the types of market analysis information published by FAS. Download statistics for FAS' General Agricultural Information Network (GAIN) reports, the primary market analysis information produced by FAS Posts, are the major source of data. Analysis of the information contained in the most downloaded GAIN reports revealed that FAS customers most frequently downloaded reports containing packages of information including all components of market analysis (opportunities, threats, trade and trend data). However, the single report category with the most total downloads for the 24 months analyzed contained none of those market analysis components. The most demanded FAS GAIN report is the Food and Agricultural Import Regulations and Standards (FAIRS) report which explains foreign country import laws and food safety standards. These results indicate FAS users rely on FAS for both market analysis information and market access/market entry information and assistance. Additionally, survey instruments were used to understand functions and operations of FAS posts and the needs of FAS customers. The researcher learned that FAS does not have a formal method for conducting market analysis. However, the two most common functions preformed by FAS Posts are 'Understanding Trade Barriers' and 'Interpreting Local Country Importation Laws,' which led to the conclusion that FAS is focused more on the processes of market access and market entry rather than market analysis.
General Note: In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note: Includes vita.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Thesis: Thesis (M.S.)--University of Florida, 2008.
Local: Adviser: Sterns, James A.

Record Information

Source Institution: UFRGP
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: lcc - LD1780 2008
System ID: UFE0021883:00001


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0dd3814ac5c7b1f0cd0c4d86480f8775
2973eace6950979b664101f37e62cba728b1dd4e







MARKET ANALYSIS AND PRACTICE WITH EMPIRICAL EVIDENCE FROM THE USDA
FOREIGN AGRICULTURAL SERVICE























By

ROY JUSTIN TAYLOR


A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT
OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF
MASTER OF SCIENCE

UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA

2008




































2008 Roy Justin Taylor


































To my family
(even the members I haven't met yet)









TABLE OF CONTENTS

page

L IST O F T A B L E S .... ....... ........ ........... ............................................... .. ............... .. 7

L IST O F FIG U R E S ............................................................................... 8

ABSTRAC T ..........................................................................................

CHAPTER

1 INTRODUCTION ............... ................. ........... ................................. 11

P rob lem S ettin g ................................................................................ 1 1
M motivation for This R research ........................................................ ... ....................... 11
Research Questions .................. .................. ................. .. ............ ............... 12
O organization of Thesis................. ................. ............. ............... ..... .. ... 12
O operative D efinitions........ ............................................................................... ...... ......13

2 BACKGROUND M ATERIALS .................................................. .............................. 15

The N eed for M market A analysis .................. ................................... .. ...................... 15
The Foreign Agricultural Service as an Example of an Organization that Conducts
M a rk et A n aly se s ............................................................................................................ 16

3 L ITE R A TU R E R E V IE W ........................................................................ ... ......................27

R ole of M market A analysis .............................................. ................... ... 27
Sources of Information useful for Conducting a Market Analysis............... ..................29
Summary of Findings from Literature Review .................................................................... 38

4 METHODS .........................................40

Description of Surveys and Databases ............................................................................40
Telephone Survey of FAS Information Customers ..................................... .................40
W eb-B asked Survey of F A S P costs ........................................ ............................................45
D database of R report U sage (W ebtrends) ...................................................................... ..... 50

5 R E SU L T S .............. ... ................................................................58

Question One: Initiation of M market Analyses.........................................................................60
Methods Used to Conduct Market Analyses and Collect Market Information ..............62
Identify Market Analysis Information Demanded by Users of FAS Services ..............68
Results and Analysis of the Telephone Survey of FAS Customers .............................68






4









Results and Analysis of the GAIN Report Downloads By Country and Subject
U sing W ebtrends.................. ................... ........ ... .......................... 69
Results and Analysis of GAIN Report Downloads By Type of Information
C contained in the R report ........................................................................................ 7 1
Differences in Methodology and Practice of Market Analysis between the Literature
an d F A S P o sts. ......................................... .......... .. ........................................ 7 3
Analyze the Information Demanded by Users of FAS Services and the Market Analysis
Services Provided by FAS Posts to Determine FAS's Most Valuable Market Analysis
F unction s ............... .. .................................................................75
S u m m ary ................... ...................7...................6..........

6 CONCLUSTIONS AND OUTCOMES ........................................ ........................... 94

The Four M ost Significant Observations.......................................... ........... ............... 94
FAS Report Information Usage System ...................................................................... 94
FAS Knowing Its Primary Information Customers........................................................94
Consensus in the Literature on Information Needed to Conduct Market Analysis.........95
FAS's Lack of a Systemized Method for Preparing Market Analysis..........................95
A applied Outcom es of the R research ............... .................................. ........................ ... 96
Webtrends Downloads Database Long-Term Implementation ...........................................96
Suggestions for Further Research and Applications.............................................................97

APPENDIX

A QUESTIONAIRRE USED IN PHONE SURVEY OF FAS INFORMATION
C U S T O M E R S ............................................................................ 100

B RESULTS FROM TELEPHONE SURVEY ...................................................103

C ALL CONTENT POSTED ON UF WEBSITE FOR WEB-BASED POST SURVEY.......114

IN F O R M E D C O N SE N T ........................................................................... ..................... 114
Purpose of the R research Study ................................................................. ............... 114
What You Will be Asked to do in the Study .............. ............................................114
Tim e R required ................................................................. ..... ......... 114
Risks and Benefits ................ .................. ........................... ........... 114
C om sensation ..................................................................................................... 114
C o n fid e n tia lity ....................................................................................................1 14
V voluntary P participation ........................................................................ ........ ........... 115
Right to W withdraw from the Study ......................... ........................... .......... ..... 115
Whom to Contact if you Have Questions about the Study.........................................1 15
Whom to Contact about Your Rights as a Research Participant in the Study .............115
A g reem ent ................... ......................................................................... 1 15
Q u estion n aire ...................................... ................................................... 1 16

D RESULTS FROM SURVEY OF FAS POSTS WEB-BASED QUESTIONAIRRE...........125









L IST O F R E F E R E N C E S ............................................................................. ..........................134

B IO G R A PH IC A L SK E T C H ......................................................................... .. ...................... 140





















































6









LIST OF TABLES


Table page

4-1 Number of unique GAIN reports downloaded in 2005 and 2006 listed by the year in
which the report was published by FAS. ..........................................................................57

5-1 Response Rate by FAS management region for the Web-based survey of FAS Posts......77

5-2 Results of web-based survey of FAS Posts question number one.............................. 78

5-3 Totals for 'always' and 'frequently' responses to web-based survey of FAS Posts
Q u estion 7 ................................................................................7 9

5-4 Totals for 'always' and 'frequently' responses to web-based survey of FAS Posts
Q u estion 9 ................................................................................80

5-5 Cross tabular analysis showing positive correlation between largest U.S. agricultural
trading partners and Posts that 'always or frequently' provide cultural analysis.
Results based on web-based survey of FAS Posts question 7 ............... ............. .....81

5-6 Cross tabular analysis showing correlation between FAS office size and Post
providing political analysis. Results of web-based survey of FAS Posts question 7 .......82

5-7 Cross tabular analysis showing correlation between first-hand knowledge Foreign
Service Officer (FSO) and human development index value of the host country.
Results based on web-based survey of FAS Posts question 9 ............... ..................83

5-8 Cross tabular analysis of positive association between 'always' and 'frequent' use of
U.S. trade journals as an information source and a human development index value
of less than 0.8 for the host country. Results based on web-based survey of FAS
P costs qu estion 9 ............................................................................84

5-9 GAIN report matrix of 25 most downloaded report categories and countries for
2 0 0 5 -2 0 0 6 ............................................................................. 8 5

5-10 GAIN report matrix showing total numbers of report downloads in 2005 and 2006 by
country, arranged from greatest total downloads to least total downloads......................89

5-11 GAIN reports matrix showing total numbers of report downloads in 2005 and 2006
by category, arranged from greatest total downloads to least total downloads. ................91

5-12 Analysis of GAIN reports by content for total reports downloaded and total unique
report downloaded .................. ........... .................... ........... 92

5-13 Analysis of GAIN reports showing each combination of type of information
contained for trade data, threats, and opportunities paradigm........................................93









LIST OF FIGURES


Figure page

1-1 The Process of Market Analysis and Implementation........................................14

2-1 Organizational Structure of Foreign Agricultural Service in January 2005 ..................24

2-2 FAS Online as It Appeared on November 4, 1996 .......... ..................................... 25

2-3 FAS Online as It Appeared on M ay 10, 2000......................................... ............... 26

4-1 Number of Persons That Completed Telephone Pre-test or Survey; Break-out by
Internal or External Source and Specific Type of Source ..........................................55

4-2 Number of FAS Posts Responding to Web-based Survey for Each Category of Post
A analyzed by the R esearcher........................................... .................... ............... 56

5-1 M market A analysis Flow -Chart......... .................... ........ ..................... ............... 59









Abstract of Thesis Presented to the Graduate School
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of Master of Science

MARKET ANALYSIS AND PRACTICE WITH EMPIRICAL EVIDENCE
FROM THE USDA FOREIGN AGRICULTURAL SERVICE

By

Roy Justin Taylor

May 2008

Chair: James A. Sterns
Major Department: Food and Resource Economics

This thesis utilizes the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Foreign Agricultural Service

(FAS), a public organization that conducts market analyses around the world, to compare the

practice of market analysis as conducted by FAS with the methodology for market analyses

found in the current literature. The literature reveals a consensus on the major steps of

conducting market analysis. These steps are identify potential threats, identify strengths that can

be exploited, identify market segments to be targeted (opportunities), and identify market

demand and trends.

This research project also uses FAS as the example to compare the types of market

analysis information demanded by users with the types of market analysis information published

by FAS. Download statistics for FAS' General Agricultural Information Network (GAIN)

reports, the primary market analysis information produced by FAS Posts, are the major source of

data. Analysis of the information contained in the most downloaded GAIN reports revealed that

FAS customers most frequently downloaded reports containing packages of information

including all components of market analysis (opportunities, threats, trade and trend data).

However, the single report category with the most total downloads for the 24 months analyzed

contained none of those market analysis components. The most demanded FAS GAIN report is









the Food andAgricultural Import Regulations and Standards (FAIRS) report which explains

foreign country import laws and food safety standards.

These results indicate FAS users rely on FAS for both market analysis information and

market access/market entry information and assistance. Additionally, survey instruments were

used to understand functions and operations of FAS posts and the needs of FAS customers.

The researcher learned that FAS does not have a formal method for conducting market

analysis. However, the two most common functions performed by FAS Posts are

" Understanding Trade Barriers" and "Interpreting Local Country Importation Laws," which

led to the conclusion that FAS is focused more on the processes of market access and market

entry rather than market analysis.









CHAPTER 1
INTRODUCTION

Problem Setting

The question of how a company should conduct market research in order to decide if that

particular market will be profitable is central to any decision about entering a new market. New

market entry decisions become more complicated when the potential new marketplace is in a

different country. For over a century, the U.S. Government has had a role in the market research

process by providing unbiased information to help inform business decisions. Under the federal

structure, the Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS), a service within the United States Department

of Agriculture (USDA), helps fulfill this role by collecting data about food and agricultural

markets outside the United States and then providing that information to the public. Some of this

information is in the form of GAIN (General Agricultural Information Network) reports, which

are available on the FAS website.

This thesis summarizes the research and analysis of the production and use for these GAIN

reports. In so doing, this project serves three purposes. First, it helps FAS and USDA gauge

customer demand for information. Second, it analyzes the methods used by FAS posts abroad to

conduct market analyses and supply GAIN reports. Third, it reports an analysis of a previously

unexamined database of FAS report download statistics.

Motivation for This Research

FAS and USDA are facing pressure to 'right-size' their presence abroad as part of a larger

U.S. Government mandate presented in the President's Management Agenda in 2002. As a

result of this mandate, the U.S. Department of State began to implement a number of measures

designed to share more equitably the cost of hosting personnel abroad. Thus, there has been an

increase in the cost per person charged to FAS by the Department of State for FAS personnel









located in Department of State facilities abroad. This research project helps FAS as it seeks to

collect objective data related to customer demand for FAS post-generated information. It also

helps FAS by examining the current manner in which these reports are produced across the entire

range of FAS offices so that FAS can prepare best-practices for similar posts. Currently, no such

set of best-practices exist for the preparation of GAIN reports.

Research Questions

Are the techniques used by USDA's Foreign Agricultural Service offices abroad to

conduct market analyses and supply market analysis reports consistent with the techniques

identified in a review of the current literature? And second, to what degree are the resulting

market analysis reports demanded by FAS's customers?

Objectives

Using FAS as a case study, this research project has five objectives:

* Conduct a literature review to identify the steps and methods proposed in the current
literature for conducting market analyses.

* Design and conduct a web-based survey of FAS posts to identify the methods and practices
used by the FAS posts to conduct market analyses.

* Conduct a telephone survey and construct a webtrends downloads database to identify the
market analysis information demanded by users of FAS services.

* Analyze differences in the methods and practice of market analysis between the literature
and FAS Posts.

* Analyze the information demanded by users of FAS services and the market analysis
services provided by FAS posts to determine FAS's most valuable market analysis
functions.

Organization of Thesis

This thesis is organized into six chapters. Chapter One provides an introduction of the

research problem, motivation, questions, objectives and operative definitions. Chapter Two

presents the argument for why this research is needed and why the Foreign Agricultural Service









was chosen as the organization to study. It also presents the history of the Foreign Agricultural

Service as well as that of the General Agricultural Information Network (GAIN). Chapter Three

establishes the steps for market analyses recommended through a review of the literature.

Chapter Four discusses the methods used for all of the analyses in the research project. Chapter

Five presents the analysis of the data and the conclusions reached. Chapter Six summarizes the

four most important conclusions and outcomes from the research project.

Operative Definitions

The terms 'market assessment,' 'market analysis' and 'market research' have similar

meanings and are sometimes used interchangeably. Figure 1-1 below graphically represents the

definitions given in this paragraph and will be used again later in the paper for further

explanation. For the purpose of this work 'market analysis' is the part of a feasibility study,

business plan, or marketing plan whereby "the company examines the macro forces (economic,

political-legal, social-cultural, technological) and the actors (company, competitors, distributors

and suppliers) in its environment" (Kotler 2003, 112). Market research is the total combined

data used by the business to formulate its market analysis and decision making processes (The

Entrepreneur Magazine 1995, 42) (Evans 1998, A35). These data can be primary or secondary

and can consist of published numbers, survey responses, or a variety of other types of data. Once

the market analysis has been completed, the firm or individual can create a market assessment.

A market assessment is the determination of importance, size, or value of a market (Merriam-

Webster 2007). The market assessment is the final determination resulting from all the market

research data that is collected and evaluated during the market analysis. Once the company has

its market assessment, it then makes a decision whether or not to enter a market. If it does not

enter the market it might begin the process again with market research for a different market. If









it decides to enter the market, then next phases are implementation of the marketing plan,


monitoring of the progress, and adjusting activities as needed.


Market Research Data
Sets


No


Market
Research
for a different
market


Is Market

Yes


Implementation
Monitoring
Adjustment


Market Analysis
Feasibility Study
Business Plan
Marketing Plan



Assessment Information)
Sets


Figure 1-1 The Process of Market Analysis and Implementation. Created by the author for the
purpose of this work.









CHAPTER 2
BACKGROUND MATERIALS

The Need for Market Analysis

Market analyses are important now and will continue to be important to the American food

marketer in the coming decades. Many peer-reviewed articles and independently-researched

projects about market analysis have been completed using various demographic factors as

components of demand functions for agricultural products. Studied relationships include race

and type of meat consumed (Lanfranco 2002), food expenditures and age (Blisard 2001) and

word choice and marketability (Degner 1991). There are hundreds of other examples of such

studies.

Importance of Market Analysis in International Food Marketing

The rising population and affluence of Muslims in Europe is increasing their buying power

and causing the dynamics of food demand in Europe to change. An example of this change is

occurring in France which has about five million Muslim residents making it the largest Muslim

population of any country in Europe (Journo 2007).

A recent article in the journal Population entitled "Recent Demographic Developments in

France" republished data from the French Institut National D 'Etudes Demographiques, which

estimates that total population of France in 2004 was 59.9 million. The article also reports that

128,000 of France's immigrants entered the country in 2003 because of family resettlement

initiatives (Frejka 2007). This, combined with the fact that immigrants have higher birth rates

than the general population (INEE 2006), indicates that demographic shifts drive population food

preferences in France for many years to come.

Halal products are one niche market that has been positively impacted by the changing

demographics of France. According to the Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) post in Paris, the









Halal market in Europe is worth about 15 Billion Euros and in France alone it is worth between

1.5 and 3 Billion Euros (Journo 2006). This is just one small example of the potential in

international food marketing and the importance of using market analysis to keep up with

changing trends.

FAS assists U.S. agricultural firms by offering a variety of informational reports and

market analyses free of charge. These reports assist U.S. firms by providing clear market

information in English about markets all over the world. FAS has been involved in collecting

agricultural market information and developing networks of contacts abroad for over five

decades.

The Foreign Agricultural Service as an Example of an Organization That Conducts
Market Analyses

This thesis uses FAS as an example of a homogeneous worldwide organization that

conducts market analyses in different markets around the world. This section presents the

history of the FAS, a summary of the current operational structure, and an explanation of the

origin and use of the GAIN reporting system, which provides public access to FAS reports. This

discussion will provide context and demonstrate how deeply intertwined the conducting of

market analyses is within the history and mission of FAS.

History of FAS

The organized analysis of foreign agricultural markets was not codified in U.S. law until

the 1930 Foreign Agricultural Service Act. In this Act, the Foreign Agricultural Service was

formed, consisting of the Attache Service with diplomatic status, while the overall division in

Washington was called the Foreign Agricultural Service Division of USDA. The 1930 Act states

that FAS was enacted,









... for the purpose of encouraging and promoting the agriculture of the United States and
assisting American Farmers to adjust their operations and practices to meet world
conditions...

The duties of the USDA officers outlined in the 1930 Act include,

(a) Acquire information regarding world competition and demand for agricultural
products and the production, marketing, and distributing of said products in foreign
countries and disseminate the same through agricultural extension agencies and by
such other means as may be deemed advisable.

(b) Investigate abroad farm management and any other economic phases of
agricultural industry and, in so far as is necessary to carry out the purposes of this
Act, conduct abroad any activities, including the demonstration of standards for
cotton, wheat, and other American agricultural products in which the Department
of Agriculture now authorized or in the future may be authorized to engage.
Nothing contained herein shall be construed as prohibiting the Department from
conducting abroad any activity for which authority for thus conducing it may exist.
(FAS Act 1930)

In 1938 USDA was reorganized, and FASD was renamed Foreign Agricultural Service, as

a part of the reorganization of USDA "the Division of Foreign Agricultural Service was

established as a staff office of the Secretary effective December 1st 1938" (Baker et al. 1963,

266). Even as USDA was undergoing the reorganization in 1938, the U.S Congress was working

its way through the Reorganization Act of 1939. This Act called for a reorganization of

government and a streamlining of activities. In this spirit the State Department was given control

of both the Foreign Agricultural Service and the Foreign Commercial Service (Baker 1963, 267).

The reorganization only affected the eight overseas offices of FAS and not FAS employees based

in Washington, DC, or the commodity specialists working in Washington or abroad. As a result,

less than $100,000 of the total FAS appropriation of $300,000 was transferred to the Department

of State and the remaining money was available to the Department of Agriculture to establish a

new "foreign office" in the Department (Baker 1963, 268).vcc

No significant legislative changes affected the Foreign Agricultural Service until the

Foreign Service Act of 1980. This Act specified the benefits and opportunities for those in all









parts of the Foreign Service, including State Department, Agriculture Department, Commerce

Department, International Communications Agency and the United States International

Development Cooperation Agency. Its overarching goal was to "strengthen and improve the

Foreign Service of the United States."

Under the Act, plans were established for merit-based promotion policies, improvement in

diversity among the Foreign Service workforce and simplification of personnel salaries and

grade categories. The Act changed the way decisions were made by establishing a statutory

basis for representatives of Foreign Service personnel to take part in the forming of personnel

policies and the resolving of grievances. It affected the standards of living for Foreign Service

officers by making service easier on individuals and families and by providing salaries

competitive enough to attract qualified people. It established the Senior Foreign Service for the

most elite Foreign Service Officers to provide enough incentives to keep them employed even

after they were eligible to retire. The overall goal was to increase the cooperation between all

the Foreign Service Agencies, and otherwise enabling the Foreign Service to serve effectively

the interests of the United States and to provide the highest caliber of representation in the

conduct of foreign affairs (P.L. 96-466 Oct. 17, 1980 94 Stat. 2075).

After the Foreign Service Act of 1980, the rules that govern the Foreign Service section of

the Foreign Agricultural Service have not been modified as of November 2007.

Current Mandates and Legislation Governing FAS

FAS operates under Title 7 Subtitle A, Section 2.43 of the Code of Federal Regulations.

This section specifies all of the current functions of FAS. Three of the sections specifically deal

with FAS's function of conducting worldwide analysis and assisting U.S. exporters with market

analyses.









(3) Conduct studies of worldwide production, trade, marketing, prices,
consumption, and other factors affecting exports and imports of U.S. agricultural
commodities; obtain information on methods used by other countries to move farm
commodities in world trade on a competitive basis for use in the development of
programs of this Department; provide information to domestic producers, the
agricultural trade, the public and other interests; and promote normal commercial
markets abroad...

Paragraph (3) discusses the role of FAS in monitoring factors worldwide that affect U.S. markets

both domestically and abroad. The outgrowth of this paragraph is the set of FAS trade database

systems that offer objective statistics on all agricultural commodities. In later chapters when

respondents say that they rely on FAS's statistics, they are referring to data fulfilling this section

of FAS's mandate.

(23) Maintain a worldwide agricultural intelligence and reporting system, including
provision for foreign agricultural representation abroad to protect and promote U.S.
agricultural interests, and to acquire information on demand, competition,
marketing, and distribution of U.S. agricultural commodities abroad pursuant to
title VI of the Agricultural Act of 1954, as amended (7 U.S.C. 1761-1768).

Paragraph (23) discusses and references Title VI of the Agricultural Act of 1954, as amended.

This Act is discussed in more detail later in this chapter. Of particular note, however, is that the

Act brought agricultural attaches back into the exclusive service of USDA from the Department

of State. Title VI spelled out unequivocally that the purpose of Agricultural Attaches abroad is

to work for the American agricultural system--producers, marketers, processors and exporters as

well as the Secretary of Agriculture. This was spelled out in no uncertain terms since the

purpose of this Act was to call back and redefine the role of Agricultural Attaches abroad. They

would no longer be working for both the Department of State and the Department of Agriculture.

(38) Disseminate, upon request, information on subjects connected with agriculture
which has been acquired by USDA agencies that may be useful to the U.S. private
sector in expanding foreign markets and investment opportunities through the
operation of a Department information center, pursuant to 7 U.S.C. 2201.









Paragraph (38) combines with paragraph (23) to create the groundwork for the current FAS

public reporting system. Paragraph (38) does not limit the information disseminated to that

information collected at FAS posts abroad, rather leaving it open to all information acquired by

USDA and useful to the U.S. private sector. The reports generated by combining all of the

available sources of information are the synthesis of market analyses by FAS staff and are tacitly

mandated in this paragraph.

Current Structure of FAS

The Foreign Agriculture Service (FAS) is one of the 17 agencies of the United States

Department of Agriculture (USDA). FAS is the only foreign service agency of the USDA. It

covers 142 countries around the world with 103 staffed offices (FAS 2007). The domestic side of

the FAS has about 800 employees working in Washington D.C., though this number is slightly

fluid due to temporary contract workers that are hired for short-term work such as development

projects (FAS FASTNET 2007).

The mission of FAS is to "work to improve foreign market access for U.S. products, build

new markets, improve the competitive position of U.S. agriculture in the global marketplace, and

provide food aid and technical assistance to foreign countries". Figure 2-1 shows the five FAS

program areas as of January 2005 (Mustard 2006): Foreign Agricultural Affairs, International

Cooperation and Development, International Trade Policy, Commodity and Marketing Programs

and Export Credits. As of November 13, 2006, FAS reorganized into the current structure of

nine program areas designed to correspond to its mission and strategic objectives. The new

program areas are Office of the Administrator, Office of Scientific and Technical Affairs, Office

of Country and Regional Affairs, Office of Negotiations and Agreements, Office of Global

Analysis, Office of Trade Programs, Office of Capacity Building and Development, Office of

Administrative Operations and Office of Foreign Service Operations (FAS 2007). Of these nine









program areas, Export Credits administers the largest budget, approximately $4.4 billion

(Terpstra 2005). The Foreign Service budget of FAS requires just $8.8 million (Terpstra 2005).

During Fiscal Year 2006, the FAS budgeted $148 million for salaries and expenses. It has

responsibility for over $6.1 billion in funds for various programs to "promote U.S. agricultural

exports, develop long-term markets overseas, and foster economic growth in developing

countries" (Terpstra 2005).

GAIN Reporting System

The current Global Attache Informational Network (GAIN) system of electronic reporting

can be traced back to the original Global Economic Data Exchange System (GEDES) system

developed by the State Department and first used by FAS in 1981 (Mustard 2006). In 1988 the

reporting system used by attaches became known as Telemail. In 1995 FAS launched its first

website and it provided links to "Foreign Market Research," which allowed the visitor to see

some select GAIN reports in '.txt' format. Figure 2-2 from the internet web archive depicts how

the FAS website looked on November 4, 1996. This page has a link to "Foreign Market

Research" which led to the listing of FAS Telemail reports (web.archive.org).

The GAIN system was launched in 1997. This is the system that was still in use as of

October 2006. GAIN submissions from the field are composed as Microsoft Word documents

and then loaded into a macro that formats them for the GAIN system. GAIN is a database that

simply holds all of the reports until they are retrieved by a user through one of the GAIN search

engines. The system ran internally for three years until it was loaded onto the public FAS

website so that it could be easily accessed by the general public.

Sometime between April 7, 2000 and May 10, 2000, the link to the Attache Reports and

the GAIN report search engine first appeared on the FAS homepage. Figure 2-3 shows

'www.fas.usda.gov' as it appeared on May 10, 2000. The sixth bulleted point on the main page









is a link to Attache Reports. That link directed visitors to the GAIN report search engine

whereby they could obtain any relevant GAIN reports (web.archive.org).

Opening up the GAIN reports database to the public became a powerful tool for U.S.

agricultural firms. It gave users access to market intelligence from the entire globe. While the

GAIN database had the potential to be used by FAS to track public demand for each of its public

reports, the system was not created with these metrics readily available; therefore, the different

levels of demand for each of the public reports remained unknown. It was not until the

Webtrends download tracking software was installed in 2003 that tracking the number of

downloads became possible, even if this information was still not readily accessible. The

downloads database was further developed and translated into useable information for FAS by

the researcher as described in Chapter Four.

Summary

Research about how market analyses are conducted, particularly within the context of

FAS's legislative mandates, is needed because U.S. agricultural firms are in an evolving, diverse

marketplace both at home and abroad. In order for them to remain competitive with their

international rivals, they must use all available resources to remain ahead of trends in the

agricultural industry. FAS is funded by taxpayers and provides its information to the public free

of charge, and for this reason U.S. agricultural firms wishing to enter the international

marketplace should consider it as a resource.

As FAS continues to maintain its global presence and strives to provide relevant

information to its customers, i.e. the U.S. agricultural industry, it needs to know what its

customers demand so it can remain relevant to their requirements. This project helps to bridge

the gap between customer demand and the intelligence and services supplied by FAS.









The next chapter reviews the relevant literature associated with market analysis in both the

private and public sectors. The similarities discovered in the literature will serve as a basis by

which to judge both the information supplied by FAS and the information demanded by FAS's

customers. The resulting analysis will help both FAS and its customers better understand their

roles vis-a-vis market research and market analysis.























Deputy Administrator Deputy Administrator
Commodity & Export Credits
Marketing Programs
AnalysisMarketing ADA Export Credits
Grain & Feed Program Operations
Dairy, Livestock & Program Planning,
Poultry Development, and
Horticultural &Trop Prod Evaluation
Cotton, Oilseeds, Tobacco Program Analysis
&Seeds
Forestry & Fisheries Prod
Production Estimates and
Crop Assessment
AgExport Services
Market Operations Staff
Planning & Evaluation


Field Technology
International Services Foreign Agricultural Service in 2005
Knowledge Management Sources Organizational Chart of October 19, 2000; staff interviews



Figure 2-1. Organizational Structure of Foreign Agricultural Service in January 2005 ((Mustard
2006).

















FOREIGN AGRICULTURALSERVICE
U.S. Department of Agriculture


ontE.ents m--




I-


=ramma


- =[~iP


[Upconing Events] [Search Options] [What's New] [About FAS] [U.S. Exporter Assistance] [Export Programs] [Trade Policy] [Trade Data and
Analysis] [Foreign Market Research] [Intemational Technical Assistance] [U.S. Export Directory/Online Trade Show] [Publications] [News Releases
and Progaam Announcements] [E-Mail us!]
[Notice and Disclaimer]







Visitor odometer: 39465

Enjoy your tour! We appreciate your comments. E-mail conanents and suggestions to us at fasinfo ifas.usda.gov.



Figure 2-2. FAS Online as It Appeared on November 4, 1996 (http://web.archive.org).


mmm














nt FAS Serc A U j


United States Department of Agriculture Foreign Agricultural Service

Countries Export Programs Food Aid
Commodities Exporter Assistance Import Programs
Trade Policy Buying US Products Devpment &
raining




O |R [^~ U.S.-China
WTO Accession Agreement
O Featured Reports m
515 Mexico Announces Final Antidumping Duties
on
Imports of U S Beef
5/5 The Impact of Foot-and-Mouth Disease on
Meat
Trade Update
515 Friday Crop Condition Report
5/5 Early Spring Planting in Russia Proceeding on
Schedule
O World Production, Market and Trade Reports
O Weekly Export Sales
O FAS Focus
-- US Seeks Comments on VTO Aa Priorities
-- Economic and Trade Sanctions
Russia Food Assistance Package
-- US.- Canada Trade
U S.- EU Hormone Dispute
Biosafety Protocol
Food Security
O Attache Reports
O Upcoming Events
USDA Trade Shows
OtherTrade Shows


About FAS
FAS Directories
News & Information

] AgExporter Magazine
Cover May










Short Trip,
Booming Market:
Affluent, Affable
Western Canada

We've gathered more
than 20 tips, trends
and opportunities to
help make your NW
journey a highly
profitable
experience

Go west, young exporter!
To western Canada, that
is,
a friendly, familiar market
where, last year, U S.
ag exports approached
$7 billion
10 "


Figure 2-3. FAS Online as It Appeared on May 10, 2000 (http://web.archive.org).


'- s 4 2%
I. ;sleft









CHAPTER 3
LITERATURE REVIEW

Figure 1-1 presented in Chapter One outlines the progression from market research using

data sets to market analysis resulting in information sets which are then used for market

assessment and ultimately afirm's decision for entering a new market.

In this chapter the concept of market analysis (and its components) is presented from its

original sources in business literature, followed by a review of available sources of market

information and its role in conducting market analyses. The techniques and recommendations

specific to conducting market analysis that appear most often in the literature are not discussed in

detail for each cited source of information; rather, they are summarized at the end of the chapter.

Role of Market Analysis

Conducting a market analysis is widely recommended as an important step in determining

the viability of a project or enterprise (The Entrepreneur Magazine 1995, 121; Dalton et al. 2002,

11; Kotler 1999, 168; Peter 1991, 20; Winer 1965, 2). Sources differ regarding whether the

market analysis should come before an internal analysis of the firm's capabilities and resources

or if the internal analysis should drive the market analysis. Porter's famous SWOT (strengths,

weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) analysis (Porter 1979, 141) conceptualizes the situation

from the internal perspective of the firm and then considers external forces. Alternatively, Kotler

suggests that the perspective should be changed and the steps be carried out in the order of

TOWS (threats, opportunities, weaknesses and strengths). Kotler says the SWOT structure "may

place an undue emphasis on internal factors and limit the identification of threats and

opportunities to only those that fit in the company's strengths" (Kotler 1999, 113). In either

case, market analysis is the stage in the decision making process when a firm gathers information

on macro forces and actors in the environment it is analyzing. The company examines the macro









forces (economic, politico-legal, socio-cultural, technological) and the actors (companies,

competitors, distributors and suppliers) in its environment.

Two Goals of Market Analysis

Market analyses are used to break down all of the factors that ultimately affect the demand

for a product or service. All of the various strategies for market analysis ultimately come down

to answering two fundamental questions:

* Are customers in group X able to buy product Y?
* Are customers in group X willing to buy product Y?

Are customers in group X able to buy product Y? Information that will help answer

this question includes data related to general facts about the country or geographic area. This

includes statistics such as GDP, population by age group, income, education levels, and

rural/urban mix. Publicly available data such as these can be found in the data sets provided by

information resources such as universities or the federal government. Also associated with this

question is an assessment of existing or potential trade restrictions. Is product Y allowed to enter

into country X? Answering this question often requires a knowledgeable contact point in that

country for current and accurate information.

Are customers in group X willing to buy product Y? This question deals more directly

with demand for product Y. If product Y is currently being sold, it has a customer group

somewhere. When approaching a new group of consumers, the company needs to apply the

knowledge it has learned regarding its principal customers for product Y to try and market the

product to the new group of consumers.

The consumers who currently purchase product Y compose at least one specific Market

Segment. The term 'Market Segmentation' can be defined as, "an appeal to one, well-defined

consumer group through one marketing plan." (Evans 1998, A34) Market segments can be









divided in a variety of ways. Kotler (2003, 163) mentions in Marketing Insightsfrom A to Z that

a market segment can be defined in three ways: as a demographic sector (e.g., women between

the ages of 35-45), a need group (e.g., travelers who wish to fly to another city but do not have

much money), or behavior groups (e.g., customers who order specialty cheeses over the

Internet). Weinstein (2004, 6) proposes a more detailed definition in his work, Handbook of

Market Segmentation Strategic Targeting for Business and Technology Firms. He lists six of the

most common segmentation dimensions: Geographic, business demographics, adopter

categories, benefits, product usage, and purchasing approaches. Often reams of secondary data

are analyzed to produce segmentation divisions for various products. Typical customers can then

be grouped by a set of traits and be referred to as, "demographic/lifestyle clusters" (Blankenship

1998,342).

Sources of Information Useful for Conducting a Market Analysis

It is widely known that market analyses have an important role in the marketing process.

Therefore, it is not surprising that a variety of resources are available to assist agricultural

producers or businesses that need to conduct market analyses. The three sources of information

are universities, private enterprises, and government entities. These three vary in the types of

information they are best suited to provide.

University Publications and Resources

This section reviews examples of the types of market information available through

universities and the assistance they provide for firms wanting to conduct a market analysis. The

universities reviewed represent major public universities known for their expertise in

agribusiness and/or agricultural economics. Their resources fall into categorizes of both data sets

(either primary or secondary) and also information sets produced by university experts who

collaborate with businesses to conduct market analyses. Specific examples are discussed below.









Purdue University Extension has extensive resources for individuals interested in starting

a new agricultural business, through a program and resource site called 'New Ventures'

(http://www.agecon.purdue.edu/newventures). The New Ventures website features a free web-

based business planning tool. Purdue Extension also offers a number of resources on market

analysis topics through their extension publications. Relevant publications include the

following:

* Industry Analysis: the Five Forces (Ehmke et al. 2005).

* The Competitive Environment: New Realities (Boehlje et al. 2004).

* The Internal Analysis of Your Farm Business: What is Your Farm's Competitive Advantage?
(Gray et al. 2004).

Each of these publications poses questions and guides strategic thinking for agribusinesses as

part of a market analysis. The Industry Analysis publication helps readers identify potential

threats to their business by evaluating each of five forces that affect their industry's structure.

For example, threats of new entrants into an industry and of substitutes for a product can be

assessed (Ehmke et al. 2005). As indicated by the title, the Internal Analysis publication focuses

on helping businesses to evaluate their strengths as part of a market analysis. The report breaks

this topic down into specific questions for a self-assessment by a firm to determine its core

competencies and then strategies for improving margins through process improvement (Boehlje

et al. 2004). The Competitive Environment publication looks at general trends and market

demands in agriculture in today's global economy (Gray et al. 2004).

University of Florida, Department of Food and Resource Economics (FRED), provides

substantial information on export-oriented market analysis through UFL Center for Agribusiness.

One such market analysis resource available on the Center's website is the 'Export Primers'

publications for various countries. These are abridged versions of the Country Commercial









Guides (CCGs) published by U.S. Department of Commerce, with additional information

supplied by University of Florida that is more directly relevant to agribusiness firms such as an

analysis of the prospects for U.S. agricultural exports by commodity or industry sector. The

UFL Center for Agribusiness also provides a listing of Exporter Resources which includes links

to data sets produced by government or international sources that are referenced on 'other

government sites' links (Center for Agribusiness 2007).

University of Illinois Extension provides interactive online resources to enable

agribusiness and entrepreneurs to conduct market analysis including the 'Market Maker' which

allows the user to map various demographic characteristics to determine where the highest

concentrations of people in the target market reside. Other resources and tools for market

analysis provided by University of Illinois Extension include the 'Farm Doc' website which has

price and data tools to access information on regional and historical data that can be used in

market analysis.

Michigan State University provides a resource for agricultural entrepreneurs similar to

the New Ventures program at Purdue University. Michigan State's 'Product Center' provides

innovation counselors to entrepreneurs in the development stage of a new business to assist with

market analysis and business planning functions.

University of Wisconsin offers the Ag Innovation Center as a support network for

agricultural entrepreneurs and as a collection point of resources on market research. Market

research resources listed on this site include the Wisconsin Innovation Service Center which can

provide professional guidance on conducting both new product assessments and competitive

intelligence searches as parts of a firm's market analysis.









Penn State University produces information that divides the overall task of preparing a

business plan and conducting market analysis into a series of several separate publications. An

example is the publication, "Developing a Business Plan" (Kime 2004) which is designed to help

a potential new business view the issue of entering a new market as an approachable rather than

a daunting task. This publication has numerous references to other Penn State publications that

focus exclusively on specific steps of the market analysis and business plan development.

The University of Tennessee Extension has a forty page publication entitled:

"Marketing for the Value-Added Agricultural Enterprise" (Dalton et al. 2002, 39). This

publication draws on several projects conducted by the Tennessee Agricultural Development

Center including, "actual one-on-one, value-added enterprise evaluations by the ADC to

emphasize marketing concepts that specifically apply to value-added agricultural enterprises"

(Dalton et al. 2002, 2). Its focus is not necessarily limited to creating a business plan or

conducting market research; it is, as the title suggests, simply improving the marketing of value

added agricultural products. The important components it identifies towards this purpose are the

following:

* Identifying the best marketing channel

* Identifying your niche market

* Conducting market research

* Establishing price and estimating cash flows

* Understanding competition

* Product packaging

* Developing a marketing plan that uses all of the information gathered in the previous sections
(Dalton et al.).









The "conducting market research" chapter of this publication states that market research,

"involves a study, review and analysis of the overall market environment for a product. Market

research is the collection and evaluation of data pertaining to consumers' usage, interest,

preference and awareness of products and services" (Dalton et al. 2002, 10). The section

explaining market research is two pages and mentions specifically using primary data and

secondary data. However, it is noteworthy that other sections including, "establishing price,"

"understanding competition," and even "product packaging" are at least in part reliant on some

level of market research.

Cornell University Extension developed a publication series called, 'Smart Marketing.'

This is a monthly series of newsletters similar to the publication produced by Penn State that

deconstruct marketing an agricultural product into component pieces. The subjects discussed are

as varied as marketing your product abroad to the marketing of tree-ripened fruit. Many of the

subjects deal with market research and market analysis. These topics include, "Do Consumers

Matter?" (Milligan 2002), "Travel the Road to Success with a Marketing Plan" (Uva 1999),

"Knowing Your Market The most Challenging Part of a Business Plan" (Schlough 2001),

"Market Research for New Products" (Rowles 2000) and many others. These articles tend to be

easy to read and offer information in easy-to-understand pieces.

Government Sources

Many government agencies also have published resources that seek to assist in the tasks of

conducting market research and market analysis. These agencies include The U.S. Census

Bureau, Department of Commerce, the U.S. Trade and Development Agency, and U.S.

Department of Agriculture Foreign Agricultural Service among others.

The United States Census Bureau website provides access to an extensive database of

facts and figures about the American population with an emphasis on incomes, household









characteristics, health statistics, agricultural statistics, business statistics and much more. While

the Census bureau does not offer any direct instructional resources regarding, 'how to conduct

market analysis' it does offer the raw data that most other resources cite throughout their

publications.

The Department of Commerce maintains a centralized collection of all federal trade-

related data in electronic format, as required by the Omnibus Trade and Competitiveness Act of

1998. This database, called the National Trade Data Bank (NTDB) was originally operated by

Department of Commerce Office of Business Analysis. In 1994, NTDB was removed from

federal appropriations and Office of Business Analysis changed its name to STAT-USA which

operates the database and other services through access user fees. STAT-USA works with 40

federal agencies and offices to operate the NTDB, which contains 200,000 plus documents on

export opportunities (STAT-USA, 2007).

STAT-USA has three major information databases that all require paid subscriptions to

access. NTDB is part of STAT-USA/Internet (http://www.stat-usa.gov) which also contains the

State of the Nation database on the domestic U.S. economy. The other two databases of STAT-

USA are USA Trade Online (http://www.usatradeonline.gov) offering specific export and import

information on over 18,000 commodities and Euro Trade Online

(http://www.eurotradeonline.gov) offering similar information focusing on European markets.

U.S. Commercial Service is the trade promotion branch of the U.S. Department of

Commerce International Trade Administration. U.S. Commercial Service provides market

research, trade events, and introductions to buyers and distributors through trade specialists

posted in 107 U.S. cities and over 80 countries (U.S. Commercial Service 2007).









Export.gov (http://www.export.gov/index.asp) is the main online resource for U.S.

Commercial Service exporting clients. In addition to market research and trade leads from the

U.S. Commercial Service, Export.gov brings together resources from across the U.S.

Government to assist U.S. companies. These include information from the Export-Import Bank,

Small Business Administration, and USDA Foreign Agricultural Service (Export.gov 2007).

The United States Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) was created in 1981 as a

foreign assistance agency. It awards grants to U.S. companies to provide technical assistance and

investment analysis that supports development of modern infrastructure and fair, open trading

environment for overseas partners, including foreign governments, organizations and firms. By

giving emphasis to sectors that benefit from U.S. exports and services, USTDA projects have

generated $40 in U.S. exports for every dollar invested in USTDA activities (USTDA 2007).

U.S. companies seeking export opportunities and technical feasibility studies for a specific

product or service can benefit from USTDA's extensive library of feasibility studies and reports.

Report summaries are available on the USTDA website, while full copies are available from

USTDA headquarters library or for purchase from the National Technical Information Service.

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Foreign Agriculture Service

(FAS) provides numerous information sources specific to market analysis for agricultural

commodities and products. FAS has a network of agricultural trade specialists posted in over 80

countries worldwide, similar to the U.S. Commercial Service of Department of Commerce

mentioned above but differentiated by their agricultural expertise.

USDA FAS provides two major databases for agricultural trade information: U.S. Trade

Reports (http://www.fas.usda.gov/ustrade) provide a commodity-by-country breakdown of

exports and imports, while The Bulk, Intermediate and Consumer site (BICO)









(http://www.fas.usda.gov/scriptsw/bico/bico frm.idu) provides statistics on international market

sizes and the current U.S. share of a country's imports. Other major sources of information for

market analyses that are a significant focus of this thesis are the FAS Global Agricultural

Information Network (GAIN) reports, also known as Attache reports. The searchable FAS

GAIN database (http://www.fas.usda.gov/scriptsw/attacherep/default.asp) contains over 23,000

reports submitted by FAS offices oversees and falls into several categories of content and format

including exporter guides, retail guides, sector guides, Food and Agricultural Import Regulations

(FAIRS), and commodity reports (Foreign Agricultural Service 2007c).

In addition to the agricultural trade data and market information reports, FAS provides

practical web-based tools for potential agricultural exporters who want to develop a detailed

export plan. FAS outlines market research basics as a three-step process: Screen potential

markets, assess target markets, and develop an export plan. The final step includes a link to a

tutorial that instructs the user in all phases of export plan development including the following

topics:

* Company: outline goals, resources, trends and practices, production capacity
* Target Market: selected target market resulting from an assessment of potential markets
* Product: demands of potential consumers and import requirements
* Pricing: all costs that will determine export pricing
* Market Entry: market entry and promotional strategies
* Action Plan: tasks, priorities, schedule, resources required

This tutorial is the only free export tutorial the author of this research paper discovered in a

literature review (Foreign Agricultural Service 2007c).

Other government sites simply provide the demographic data or trade data and leave the

forming of specific analyses based on those statistics up to the individual website visitor. A few

examples of such public sites for data gathering include the CIA World Fact book (CIA),

Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Statistics Portal, FAOSTAT









Agricultural Data, and World Bank Country Summary Data. The latter are just a few of

numerous sources for public data sets. A more complete and categorized summary of such pubic

resources and data sets has already been compiled by the University of Florida Center for

Agribusiness as Competition Research (Center for Agribusiness 2007). This site lists resources

in the following categories which provide primary and secondary data sets: international

organizations, statistical publications, online data sets, integration sites and other information.

Private Sector Resources

The same types of information and assistance for conducting market analysis offered through

Universities and on public websites are available for a fee through numerous companies and

consulting groups that make a business out of conducting market analysis for other businesses.

The Export Institute USA provides online courses to help companies become more

export savvy and understand the practical aspects of conducting business overseas including

courses on identifying export markets, locating export sales representatives, pricing products and

budgeting for export, writing your export marketing agreements, shipping your products

overseas and receiving payment for your export sales. The Institute also publishes a well known

reference manual entitled Export Sales & Marketing Manual which is updated yearly (Export

Institute USA 2007).

MarketResearch.com claims to be "the world's largest and continuously updated

collection of market research." The website provides collections of research reports on market

areas or specific products including information on market trends and analysis, as well as

specifics on market size, share, and growth in worldwide markets. The site also provides country

reports with economic projections and risk assessment information. The available publications

range in price from $65 for a country specific Dun & Bradstreet, Inc., Export Guide for any









country to $10,073 for an IMES Consulting Limited report on Soft Drinks in Levant (i.e., Syria,

Lebanon, Jordan) (MarketResearch.com, 2007).

Foreign Trade Online (www.foreign-trade.com) is a membership-based Business-to-

Business network site which offers searchable databases of importers and exporters as well as

research and analysis reports accessible only to members.

Summary of Findings from Literature Review

Several conclusions about available information resources are made based on Figure 1-1

presented in Chapter 1. Conclusions made in this review following Figure 1-1 are as follows:

Primary and secondary data sets are available from all three information resources.

Universities provide interactive tools for accessing regional and local data sets on demographics,

as well as price, while governmental, as well as private, sites provide data on a national and

international scale.

Both universities and private resources are able to provide expertise virtually or in person

to assist an agribusiness in conducting analyses and forming information sets which can be used

for market assessment and decision making. Two major differences are the cost of service as

well as targeted clients. The private sector charges higher fees and focuses on larger companies

with export potential; the universities as a whole provide assistance for free or at minimal cost

and focus primarily on smaller, more rural firms. Furthermore, private resources will actually

perform a market analysis and provide a recommendation for a client, whereas university

publications and consultants typically only go as far as guiding the client.

In this review, University of Florida is an exception among universities, as it provides

more export-oriented information and assistance, due to location and the export focus of Florida

agribusiness. The only government resource found to provide expertise in the form of tutorials

as well as public contacts for conducting market analysis is the Foreign Agricultural Service,









which focuses on commodity groups as a whole but is mandated to assist all U.S. exporters

regardless of size.

In regard to the specific techniques for conducting market analysis, the following

conclusion was reached based on a review of information resources that conduct market analysis.

Although the following steps are suggested in a slightly different order by each resource, they are

all mentioned by each of the information sources examined in this literature review as well as the

original sources in business literature:

* Identify potential threats to the business
* Identify strengths within the business that can be exploited
* Identify the market segments or clusters that are to be targeted (i.e., specific opportunities)
* Use primary and/or secondary data to identify market demand and trends.

The above four steps are somewhat general; but as has been noted in this chapter's

literature review, they provide great leeway regarding the creation and implementation of a

market analysis for a specific product. These four steps are referred to in Chapter Five of this

thesis to provide the basis for a study of the content of FAS's most frequently downloaded GAIN

reports. They are also used as the basis for discerning ifFAS offices abroad employ the same

techniques while conducting market analysis that are recommended in the literature.









CHAPTER 4
METHODS

Four data sources were used to address the research objectives in this thesis. The first data

source, a literature review, is presented in Chapter Three. The additional three data sources will

be described in this chapter. Results and analyses of all the data will be presented in Chapter

Five.

Description of Surveys and Databases

In addition to the literature review, two surveys and one database are resources for this

research. The first survey is a telephone survey of 50 FAS information customers designed to

elicit details about how they use FAS information. The second survey is a web-based survey of

the 103 FAS posts abroad which focuses on the market analysis methods used by each office.

The database was created by this researcher. It is a compilation of download statistics for a

subset of GAIN reports produced by FAS offices abroad. Combined, this data source provides a

picture of both what data are supplied by FAS and what data are demanded by its customers.

Telephone Survey of FAS Information Customers

The first data collection exercise was a survey of FAS information users. This data set is

important to the overall project since it establishes what basic information FAS customers are

seeking when they contact FAS posts. The complete telephone survey questionnaire is provided

in Appendix A.

The survey instrument was a questionnaire administered over the phone with 26 questions,

23 of which were open-ended. The questions can be classified into two main categories, those

that address the information flowing between FAS posts and their customers and those that

explore the relationship between those customers and the customers' customers. The survey had

four objectives:









* Determine what FAS information the customers use
* Determine how the customers obtain the FAS information
* Determine how often the customers obtain FAS information
* Determine what the customers do with the information once they have it

The survey design was guided by four reference texts (Andrew and Hildebrand 1993;

Dillman 1994; Fowler 2002; Fink 2003). These texts were used to guide question construction

and survey flow. The thesis committee reviewed the questionnaire as did one official of FAS.

This questionnaire was designed using open-ended questions and was administered over the

telephone in such a way as to elicit a wide variety of responses and suggestions from the

interviewees. It was intentionally exploratory in nature in order to provide context for future

research projects and to provide a starting point for design of the web-based questionnaire for

FAS posts abroad. It was noted that qualitative research instruments are excellent for instances

such as this when the researcher is not looking for one single uniting factor or motivation but a

whole variety of factors that color each decision (Auerbach et al. 2003, 23).

Target Population

The target population of this survey was customers of FAS post-produced information.

This population can be broadly divided into two parts, those customers inside USDA and those

outside USDA. This researcher hypothesized that each of these two groups would have similar

uses for the information. Internal USDA users would likely be focused on using the information

to inform policy decisions and to add perspective to other analyses already formed within

USDA. It was also thought that much of the information needed internally would not be

available to the public in publicly available reports such as GAIN reports.

It was hypothesized that external USDA customers would share similar characteristics yet

their informational needs would be more focused on marketing concerns such as segmentation or

assessing countries' distribution systems. Each of these customers would also have information









needs further specified by the area of their businesses. It was also hypothesized that each of

these businesses and organizations would have a wide range of sources in foreign markets and

within the United States of which FAS information was just one. Since FAS information is

released to the public, they would have to assume that all of their competitors also have access to

the same information.

Each of the two main customer groups was divided further into two subgroups. The internal

USDA users could be grouped along departmental lines, e.g., Economic Research Service and

Agricultural Marketing Service. Separately, within FAS respondents were classified by division

such as trade negotiations, commodity analysis and agricultural development. The external

USDA customer groups was divided into three main groups including cooperators (business or

trade associations), state agricultural departments, and private companies. The sampling of

cooperators was varied based on their principal crop focus.

Sampling Methodology

A nonprobability sampling method was employed with this survey since it was difficult for

the researcher to identify individuals that use FAS information on a consistent basis.

Respondents were recruited using an adjusted form of snowball sampling method which allows

participants to recommend additional respondents for participation in the survey. (Fink 2003,

19). In addition to the standard snowball method, two main groups of respondents were

identified, internal USDA and external USDA users. This method was combined with a cluster

sampling method (Fink 2003, 15). Specifically, once respondents had completed the

questionnaire, they were asked to identify others who might be able to add information to this

survey. The potential respondents who were recommended were then considered based on what

sub-groups they represented, i.e., what division of USDA for the internal respondents and which

specific commodity group/company/state government office for which they work for external









respondents. The researchers attempted to obtain a sample that included at least one respondent

from each of the major subgroups contained within the two main categories. Fifty-one persons

completed the telephone questionnaire, this included 47 for the official questionnaire and 4 for

the pre-test. Of the 47 completing the questionnaire, 15 were classified as internal and 32 as

external. The full break-out of respondents can be seen in Figure 4-1.

Pre-testing of the survey

Once the questionnaire received approval by the Institutional Review Board (IRB) at the

University of Florida, four pre-test subjects were selected by Margie Bauer of FAS's Knowledge

Management group, in conjunction with this researcher. The pre-test participants were selected

because of their knowledge of the subject and their backgrounds in conducting similar research.

The four pre-test subjects were evenly divided between internal to USDA and external to USDA.

The two external to USDA subjects were evenly divided, one each from a commodity group and

a trade association.

The pre-tests were administered over the phone in conference calls with both Bauer and

two members of the University of Florida research advisory panel. These pre-tests aided in

improving both the wording and question order of the questionnaire. The pre-tests also allowed

Bauer and the research panel to collaborate regarding exactly what comments should be included

when taking interview notes. This input proved important later as the responses were entered

into spreadsheets for analysis.

Questionnaire Administration

The questionnaire was administered between April 1 and June 16, 2005. The phone calls

were placed from the offices of the Food and Resource Economics Department at the University

of Florida. As respondents were interviewed notes were taken with pen and paper, and

immediately following each interview, notes were typed detailing the discussions and comments









of the interviewed subjects. Since the questions were structured in such a way as to elicit adhoc

comments from the respondents, careful note taking was important to the overall quality of the

survey procedure.

Analyzing the Survey Responses

Responses provided to each question were categorized so they could be tabulated in

Microsoft Excel. The responses to each question occupy columns and each respondent is listed

in rows on the spreadsheet. Bauer provided insights into specific acronyms used by respondents

during the answering of questions to aid in the categorization of each response. These compiled

results of the telephone survey are found in Appendix B.

Using Telephone Survey to inform the web-based Post Survey

A limited amount of useful information was gleaned from the 51 telephone interviews

conducted with FAS information customers. Some common responses are provided in Chapter

Five. The researcher also gained an understanding of the FAS jargon used to describe various

functions of FAS posts, which was particularly useful in formulating the web-based survey of

FAS posts. The greatest impact was that the researcher was able to determine more effectively

appropriate response choices for each question while designing the web-based survey.

Furthermore, it was also helpful to have an idea of the ways customers were using the

information once it was available.

After conducting 51 telephone interviews the research advisory panel determined that this

was not a viable method for reaching a true representation of FAS's information customers. It

was impossible to verify that the subjects being interviewed were truly representative of FAS's

customer base. It was also difficult to determine who within an organization would be the

individual responsible for using FAS information. No sampling method could be devised to









categorically reach all of the customer groups within the time and resource constraints under

which the research was being conducted.

Although the lessons learned from the telephone survey were used to help create the web-

based survey, most of the questions in the published web-based survey are entirely different than

those in the telephone survey.

Web-Based Survey of FAS Posts

The second data collection tool was a questionnaire for the information creators working at

FAS Posts worldwide.

Survey Instrument

The survey instrument was a web-based questionnaire with 15 questions, 11 of the

questions were radio buttons for the subject to choose the best answer with space available to

type in an 'other' option. Four questions were completely open-ended, and the respondent

entered the response in a text box. The complete survey instrument is provided in Appendix C.

Objectives

The objectives of the survey were to determine--

* How these offices conduct market analyses for U.S. agricultural products

* The effectiveness of information flows within and associated with the Foreign Agriculture
Service (FAS)

* The methods used by FAS offices abroad to conduct market analyses

* The number and characteristics of the FAS customers who contact posts

* The number and characteristics of market analyses conducted by each post.

General topic areas

Two general topic areas were covered by the survey: The first is identifying how and why

market analyses were conducted and the second describes the ways that FAS offices interact with









their customers. Both of these topics overlap those covered by the telephone survey. By

identifying how and why market analyses were conducted, the researcher hoped to see if the

methods used by FAS employees abroad are similar to those used by FAS's customers or to

those recommended by the literature. By learning how FAS employees abroad view the

interactions with their customers, those perceptions can be analyzed in conjunction with the

results from the telephone survey of FAS information customers. This analysis can help

determine if any major communication problems exist between the groups or if both parties view

the interactions in a similar way.

Pre-Test

In lieu of a pretest, officials inside FAS were given copies of the questionnaire and asked

for their comments. Some changes to the answer choices were recommended by these FAS

employees and most suggestions were adopted by the research advisory panel. These changes

dealt with word choice and phrasing questions in the particular language used by FAS offices

when describing market analyses and associated activities. A complete copy of the questionnaire

can be found in Appendix C.

Target Audience

An e-mail announcing the research project and containing the summary information

approved by the University of Florida IRC was sent to all FAS posts on December 27, 2005.

This e-mail was followed on January 3, 2006 by a paragraph about the project that appeared in

the newsletter "Notes to the Field" that is sent each week by Washington-based FAS officials to

keep its foreign posts up to date on issues with wide-spanning interest. The target audience of

this survey was FAS employees stationed abroad who conduct market analyses. There are 103

offices and approximately 300 employees in the possible respondent pool. The research team









sought to conduct a census of all FAS offices abroad; however the instructions stated that each

office should only have one employee answer on behalf of the office to prevent double-counting.

The survey instructions requested that only one person from each office fill out the

questionnaire but should consult with other people in the office when necessary. In addition,

each respondent gave their post city and country along with their name to ensure that no office

double reported its statistics.

Within two weeks, 25 posts had responded. The research panel contacted the non-

responsive posts as a reminder to please complete the questionnaire. This brought in another 15

responses by the end of February 2005. From February 27th March 15th the research panel

sent another reminder message to those FAS offices that had not responded. This effort brought

in another ten submissions and also a few responses from FAS offices stating that their office did

not have time to fill out the questionnaire.

By March 17, 2006, a total of 50 questionnaires had been submitted from the 103 FAS

offices worldwide. The research advisory panel decided to not actively seek additional

questionnaire responses and the final questionnaire was registered on the respondent website on

March 17, 2006. The 50 completed questionnaires represented both types of FAS offices,

Agricultural Affairs Offices (AAO) and Agricultural Trade Offices (ATO). The AAOs conduct

both marketing and diplomatic activities while the ATOs are completely focused on marketing

activities. There was also representation from countries with varying levels of economic

development. Figure 4-2 shows this breakdown of the responding FAS Posts by region and type

of office as well as by the additional categories prescribed by the researcher which will be

discussed in the next section, including number of Foreign Service Officers (FSO) at Post,









Human Development Index value, and trade valuation with the US. The compiled results of the

web-based questionnaire responses are in Appendix D.

Cross Tabular Analysis and Chi-Squared Test Statistics

The analysis converted the original five point Likert scale of the survey into a three point

Likert scale. The simplification of the Likert scale was done by combining responses one with

responses two (Never and Seldom), combining responses four with responses five (Frequently

and Always) and leaving response 3 (Occasionally) unchanged and alone. This conversion was

done because the five point Likert scale offered no meaningful insights due to the small number

of respondents. The responses to two questions, question seven (Of the following types of

assistance, how often, if ever, did your office provide these services to U.S. clients during the

time period of October 1, 2004 September 30, 2005?) and question nine (During the time

period of October 1, 2004 September 30, 2005 what were the principal sources of information

used to conduct market analyses?) are examined and the percentages given refer to the number of

respondents that placed either a level five or a level four on that question, indicating that they

always or frequently provided the service or used the information source in question.

Four categories were used in the cross tabular analysis and chi-squared statistics of

responses: The host country's level of development (i.e., the country where the FAS office was

located), region of the world, agricultural trade volume of host countries, and office size in terms

of number of staff members. This analysis was conducted by using either the country where the

office was located or the individual office as the primary unit of analysis. The cross tabular

analysis allows the researcher to look for patterns in responses across groups of respondents.

The four categories were used to test for both positive and negative associations between the

cross-tabulated categories and the detailed responses to the questions









The Human Development Index is a broad index developed by the United Nations to

approximate the overall level of development of a country (UNDP 2007). The index ranges from

0 to 1. For the purposes of the cross tabulation, the .8 threshold was used to distinguish more

developed from less developed countries. There is no threshold in United Nations reports, but it

does provide an easy benchmark on the continuum. The researcher hypothesized that

information is more difficult to obtain in countries with lower HDI scores and that FAS offices

would be asked for more services in these countries.

The regional distinctions are those used by FAS when classifying posts. The three

regions, (1) Europe, (2) Asia, and (3) Middle East, Africa, and Western Hemisphere are divided

into those classifications by FAS/USDA management. Each of these regions has a regional

director and they are grouped in this way because of the similarities of the countries within each

of these regions. Regions would have similar cultures and would, therefore, behave similarly.

The size of agricultural trade with the United States divides the posts into countries that

have no more than $500 million or less in agricultural trade with the United States in 2005 and

those that had more than $500 million in agricultural trade with the United States. This group

was formed to test if there were any similarities between how offices in the major or minor U.S.

agricultural trading partners operate. The hypothesis was that offices in countries that import

relatively more agricultural products from the U.S. would be asked to perform different tasks

than those in countries that import relatively less agricultural products from the U.S.

FAS office size distinguishes between offices that have one U.S. FAS employee and those

that have more than one. The researcher proposed that since offices with more than one U.S.

FAS employee tend to be larger offices in general, they might be able to supply different services

or use different sources of information for market analyses. The hypothesis tested whether larger









FAS offices were able to perform more tasks than smaller offices. It also tested if larger FAS

offices had more expertise to offer than smaller offices.

Each of the responses to web-based questionnaire questions seven, eight and nine were

cross-tabulated with the categories described above, and the results are summarized in Chapter

Five, along with the analysis of these findings as they relate to the research objectives.

Webtrends Database to Determine Information Demanded

Since most of the customers surveyed by phone indicated that they used FAS online and by

extension, the GAIN reporting system to retrieve information from FAS, the research advisory

panel concluded that using downloaded statistics of GAIN reports or hits on various FAS

webpages could provide a metric to accurately assess demand for different types of FAS

information. The research panel next contacted FAS's Washington, D.C. headquarters to

investigate the availability of the above mentioned data.

After contacting officials within FAS, this researcher determined that the raw data for a

complete database did exist; however, no one had ever assembled all the pieces into a usable

product. This task would require assembling three disjointed databases and joining them into an

entirely new database. The researcher undertook this task to develop in concept and then in

practice a Webtrends downloads database to compare download statistics from GAIN reports.

Database of Report Usage (Webtrends)

The database created for this research project has been named GAIN Reports Webtrends

database. The name Webtrends is used because it is the name of the software package run on

FAS servers to track the demand for all of the files on the FAS public servers. The report that is

used to generate the GAIN Reports Webtrends database is "250 Most Downloaded Files." This

report tracks the top 250 most frequently downloaded files from all of the FAS servers. On

average 80 of these files are GAIN reports each month. The other 170 files on the list contain









various other types of FAS information produced mainly by FAS employees in Washington.

The GAIN reports hold the majority of the information produced by FAS posts abroad.

"Sample" of Target Population

The full database of GAIN reports contains the complete list of over 25,000 reports

produced at FAS posts from 1995 to 2006. The complete list of available download statistics

begins in February 2004 and continues to December 2006. Because the GAIN reports are

released on a yearly schedule from January to December, it was important that data for each

month be counted in the database an equal number of times. Therefore, for this research project

only those reports downloaded within the timeframe of January 2005 December 2006 were

analyzed.

Data about each report are collected automatically as it is submitted through the GAIN

reporting system. Fields automatically included in the database include report category, title,

date submitted, country, post, and voluntary or required. In the 24 months analyzed, 1,843

observations were collected, accounting for 675 unique GAIN reports. Some 52 of the 73

different report categories appear on the list at least once as well as 89 of the 103 different

countries. Table 4-1 shows the breakdown of the 675 unique reports appearing on the list by the

year in which they were produced.

When the download statistics are taken from Webtrends the GAIN files are only indexed

by file number. The files are then indexed against the larger Reports Produced database in order

to compile full descriptive details about each of the reports appearing in the download list.

Methods for setting up Web-trends database

The simplest way to approximate demand for the information being produced by FAS is to

use download statistics of FAS GAIN reports. These reports can easily be divided by country

and subject. Download statistics from the GAIN database of online reports created and analyzed









by the researcher for this study have been used to act as a proxy of demand for each report. If

the information noted in the literature review is in fact the most important to the preparation of

market analyses, then demand statistics for those reports should be the highest. An alternative

theory is that the most demanded GAIN reports reflect the most valuable information supplied by

FAS.

The Webtrends program tracks the number of file downloads from FAS servers. Chapter

Five reports and analyzes the descriptive statistics of the files downloaded through the external

search engine of GAIN reports. Tracking downloads of these reports is one way of providing

tangible statistics to the concept of customer demand. Download statistics are not perfect but

they are more reliable than webpage hits or other similar measures (Webtrends 2006).

These statistics report downloads for the Calendar Years 2005 and 2006. Comparing only

calendar year to calendar year is important so that the statistics are not skewed due to seasonality

in demand for certain types of reports. Because of limitations in the reporting programs, a report

must be downloaded 140 times in a month before it is recorded in the database.

Most reports that are posted on the public server are not downloaded more than 140 times

in any one month and thus do not appear in these statistics. Using Calendar Year 2005 as an

example, in 2005 about 2,100 GAIN reports were released to the public. By the end of 2006,

after each report had been on the server for at least twelve months, only 310 of the 2,100 (or

15%) had appeared on the download list.

Determining What Information is the Most Demanded

The first step in the analysis of the GAIN reports downloads was to count which countries

and categories appear most often, the next step is to describe what information is contained in

each of the top report categories to completely address the fourth research objective, "What

information is FAS customers demanding in the form of GAIN reports?"









This question is somewhat difficult to tackle since each category of report can contain

many different types of information. The first step was to review the reporting instructions

provided by FAS to each post regarding what information should be contained in each report.

These instructions showed promise since each of them were very clear and specific. The second

step involved comparing the reporting instructions with some actual reports that had been

marked as being in each category. From this comparison it was soon apparent that many of the

reports did not contain all of the information outlined in the reporting instructions.

The types of information needed to conduct market analysis suggested by the literature,

(i.e., potential opportunities and threats, and critical data sets) could not be equated by report

category only, nor could they be equated by reading the titles of the reports since many reports

have non-descript titles. Hence, a strategy of examining the contents of each report to determine

if it contained these types of information was developed. If the contents of the report mentioned

opportunities for American industry or positive trends in the industry, then it was deemed to

contain information about opportunities; if a report contained information about competitors or

problems that occur when trying to do business in a particular country, it was deemed to contain

a threat; and if the GAIN report contained information about the production, supply, demand,

volume produced or volume consumed by a country, it was deemed to contain critical data. In

the instances where it was difficult to discern how the information presented in a particular

report related to those categories, that determination was left up to the discernment of the

researcher.

This analysis proved to be time consuming and in an effort to streamline this process only

reports that appeared on the list in more than one month were reviewed. This subset is a









reasonably representative sample since it shows at least a sustained interest in the report and

together this subset accounts for 446,000 of the total 514,710 downloads or 86.6 per cent.

This chapter reviewed the methods used to collect and clean the data used for this research

project. We saw how each of the three data sets was collected and compiled and some

descriptive statistics about each dataset. The next chapter will analyze these datasets and answer

the research questions asked in Chapter One.



























Figure 4-1. Number of Persons that Completed Telephone Pre-test or Survey; Break-out by
Internal or External Source and Specific Type of Source.










Category of FAS Post Post differentiation by category Number of Total
Posts Survey
Responding Population
FAS Regional Categories Asia 15 34
Europe 15 27
W. Hemisphere, M. East, Africa 20 42
Type of FAS office Agricultural Affairs Office (AAO) 39 89
Agricultural Trade Office (ATO) 11 14
Number of Foreign Service Less than or equal to 1 26 103
Officers (FSO) at Post Greater than 1 24 103
Human Development Index HDI < .8 27 103
(HDI) value for host country HDI > .8 23 103
2005 agricultural trade value Less than V billion US$ 26 103
with the U.S. Greater than 2 billion US$ 24 103

Figure 4-2. Number of FAS Posts Responding to Web-based Survey for Each Category of Post
Analyzed by the Researcher.










Table 4-1. Number of unique GAIN reports downloaded in 2005 and 2006 listed by the year in
which the report was published by FAS.
Unique
Report
Year Downloads
Published in 2005-06
1999 5
2000 15
2001 10
2002 21
2003 53
2004 57
2005 311
2006 203
Total 675









CHAPTER 5
RESULTS

The results chapter will address and discuss the five research objectives. The first three

research objectives are met by analyzing and synthesizing each of the following data sources:

The literature review, the web-based survey of FAS posts, the telephone survey of FAS

customers, and the webtrends database of on-line demand for FAS reports. The remaining two

research objectives require comparative analysis of the results of the data sources to determine

the conclusions of this research. As stated in Chapter One, the five research objectives are--

* To conduct a literature review to identify the steps and methods proposed in the current
literature for conducting market analyses;

* To design and conduct a web-based survey of FAS posts to identify the methods and
practices used by the FAS posts to conduct the market analyses;

* To conduct a telephone survey and construct a webtrends downloads database to identify
the market analysis information demanded by users of FAS services;

* To analyze differences in the methods and practice of market analysis between the
literature and FAS Posts, and

* To analyze the information demanded by users of FAS services and the market analysis
services provided by FAS Posts to determine FAS's most valuable market analysis
functions.

Identify Methods Proposed in the Current Literature for Conducting Market Analysis.

The results of the literature review were presented in Chapter Three; the summary results

significant to addressing further research objectives are outlined here. In regard to the first

research objective, an analysis of the literature suggested that four principle steps of market

research and analysis were suggested by most of the sources reviewed. Those four steps are--

* Identify potential threats to the business

* Identify strengths within the business that can be exploited

* Identify the market segments or clusters that are to be targeted (i.e., specific opportunities)









* Use primary and/or secondary data to identify market demand and trends.

These four principle steps will be used later to answer the fourth research objective.

The other major result of the literature review is the comparison of information sources to

the market analysis process or flow chart developed by this researcher to summarize the various

steps of market analysis described in the literature. This flow chart is presented as Figure 1-1

and is displayed again here because of its importance to the results and analysis presented in this

chapter.


Market Analysis
Market Research Data Feasibility Study
Sets Business Plan
SMarketing Plan


Firms' Information
Decisions Market Assessment nfermation
S\ ets /
No Yes

/ \
Market Market Access
Research Market Entry
for a different
market

Figure 5-1: Market Analysis Flow-Chart

Summary of Results

In relation to this market analysis flow chart, this researcher determined that university

publications presented in the literature review focus mainly on the process of market analysis,

which often includes developing a business plan and looking at the feasibility of new ventures.

The difference is that university resources typically guide the user while the private resources

will actually perform the analysis for an individual or firm for a fee. This researcher also









discovered that numerous government information resources are most useful for providing data

sets which can inform market research and market analysis.

Identify the Methods and Practices Used by the FAS Posts to Conduct Market Analysis

The second research objective is addressed using the web-based survey of FAS overseas

posts as the primary data sources. A complete copy of the questionnaire as published on the

University of Florida website for FAS posts is available in Appendix B and a complete breakout

of responses to each question is in Appendix D. Of the 13 questions asked in the web-based

survey, only three (questions Nos. one, seven, and nine) are discussed in detail to inform the

results of this thesis. Other questions did not directly relate to the research objectives but met the

needs of collaborators within FAS.

Overall, 50 of the 100 posts responded to the survey. This includes 39 Agricultural Affairs

Offices and 11 Agricultural Trade Offices. As noted in Chapter Four, in the FAS system of

managing international offices, the world is divided into three branches: Asia Branch, Europe

Branch, and Middle East, Africa and Western Hemisphere Branch. Table 5-1 shows the

response rates and totals for each of these branches. The response rates are very consistent

worldwide with approximately half of the posts in each region responding to the survey.

Question One: Initiation of Market Analyses

The analysis of question one is used to determine the total number of market analyses

conducted within one fiscal year and reasons that market analyses are initiated by posts. This

researcher believed that this information was necessary as background to understand responses to

other questions about the actual practices of market analysis.

Question one: For the time period of October 1, 2004 September 30, 2005 please estimate
the number of market analyses initiated in each of the following ways:









Table 5-2 shows the results of this question; the breakdown of various reasons for

initiating market analysis reveals several key pieces of information. The first is that responding

FAS posts conducted a total of 7,652 market analyses during fiscal year 2005. This result can be

extrapolated to determine an estimate for all FAS posts including non-responding posts. The

responding posts represent larger FAS posts and average 2.9 market analyses per week (153 per

year). Therefore, for the 50 remaining non-responding posts, this researcher estimates only two

market analyses per week (i.e., 100 per year). This researcher estimates two market analyses per

week for smaller posts relative to the 2.9 market analyses conducted per week by larger posts.

Using this estimation the researcher concluded that the 50 non-responding posts contribute on an

average of 5,000 market analyses per year, suggesting a worldwide total of approximately 12,500

market analyses conducted in Fiscal Year 2005. This researcher cautions that this figure is only

an approximation given the assumptions required to estimate the total worldwide market

analyses.

Secondly, Table 5-2 shows that the largest single group requesting market analyses was

individual U.S. companies. This researcher then compared the reasons for initiating market

analyses between government and non-government sources to draw further conclusions. These

results are also presented in Table 5-2 which sub-totals the government or non-government

sources within the table. The two largest groups requesting FAS to initiate market analyses are

both non-governmental (individual U.S. companies and U.S. trade associations). However,

overall slightly more market analyses are initiated on behalf of governmental sources, including

periodic scheduled reports, within post projects, and requests from FAS Washington, embassies,

or state governments.









Methods Used to Conduct Market Analyses and Collect Market Information.

The results of the other two survey questions were used to determine the methods and practices

used by FAS offices to conduct their market analyses.

Question seven: Of the following types of assistance, how often, if ever, did your office
provide these services to U.S. clients during the time period of October 1, 2004 -
September 30, 2005?

Question nine: During the time period of October 1, 2004 September 30, 2005 what were
the principal sources of information used to conduct market analyses?

As noted in Chapter Four, in analyzing the responses to these questions, the researcher

determined it was necessary to further compare the responses based on different categories of

FAS posts. These sub-groupings included the Human Development Index, region, value of

agriculture trade with the U.S. and number of U.S. staff at post. The methods for this cross

tabular analysis are described fully in Chapter Four. The following section will first present

results and analyses of each question as published in the survey followed by the results of the

cross tabular analyses for correlations between responses and post categories with a 95%

confidence level of significance.

Question seven: Market Analysis Services Provided by Post

Table 5-3 presents results of question seven and shows the percentages of posts which

always or frequently provide various services as listed in the questionnaire. The top three

services are more than ten percentage points higher than the remaining responses and should be

carefully noted within the results.

The two most common responses about provided services were "understanding trade

barriers" and "interpreting local country importation laws" which are related in that many of

the trade barriers faced by U.S. agricultural products are due to legislation or regulations









preventing the importation of U.S. products. Specifically these services relate more to market

access and market entry than to the process of market analysis.

The third most frequently provided service is "estimating/measuring overall market size."

In contrast to the top two services which deal with market entry and support of the export

process, this service can be characterized as market research. This information could be

requested by either government or non-government sources. An individual firm may need to

gather market research data or a government agency could be gathering background information

for WTO negotiations related to understanding possible market distortions and trade disputes. In

cases such as the latter, estimating overall market size is related to both understanding trade

barriers and interpreting local country importation laws.

The fourth most frequently provided service, "finding an in-country partner to help i/th

distribution," is similar to the top two services as it relates to the market entry step of Figure 1-1.

It follows that this service is requested less often as it is a strictly private sector service request.

However, it should be noted that among private sector service requests, it is the most requested

service.

The fifth and sixth most frequently provided services are also strictly private sector

requests, "identifying marketing strategies" and "identifying target consumers." Both of these

activities were discussed in Chapter Two as being important parts of developing a market

analysis and are specifically mentioned in Dalton's Marketingfor the Value-Added Agricultural

Enterprise and Weinstein's Handbook ofMarket Segmentation Strategic Targeting for Business

and Technology Firms. It is possible that they occur further down the list because they are

specific tasks needed only by a subset of all of the customers that request market analyses.









The seventh and eighth most frequently provided services, "providing cultural analysis"

and "providingpolitical analysis" utilize FAS in-country expertise to help a customer

understand the current cultural or political environment of a potential market. Both

governmental and non-governmental customers have a need for these services, and these

analyses can range in depth of the analysis requested from providing general insight about a

press report or developing a formal report to explain a developing political situation in a country.

Question nine: Sources of Market Analysis Information Used by Post

Question nine of the web-based survey asks FAS posts to identify the sources of

information most often used when preparing market analyses.

Table 5-4 presents results of question nine and the percentages of posts which always or

frequently utilize the information sources listed as choices in the web-based survey. Broadly

speaking these results reflect the importance of personal relationships and local knowledge to the

gathering of information in foreign countries. The top four categories rely on people with

insights and history of the local agricultural industries. The data and trade journals that are more

widely available appear lower on the list of FAS information sources.

The highest ranked source, "contact i/ ih in-country industry," is eight percent higher than

the next source on the list. This reveals the most valuable information source as a source

requiring personal relationships and contacts to maintain. In many countries FAS offices have

cultivated these types of contacts over a period of many years. It is often noted in the area of

market analysis that the best sources, such as contacts with existing in-country industry, are those

that will likely be the competitors of new products in that market. This can sometimes make it

difficult to extract good information from firms that perceive a potential threat from FAS clients

in the future.









Two sources are ranked with the second highest percentage of positive responses. These

are "c( It/ t II il ih host country governments" and "first-hand knowledge by an FSN (Foreign

Service National). Both of these responses are related to each other since often times the

relationships with host country governments are nurtured over a period of years by not only U.S.

FAS staff but also local staff known as FSNs (Foreign Service Nationals). The continuity of

information sources provided by such lasting relationships is crucial for FAS performing market

analyses and market entry functions because personal relationships are recognized as a key

aspect to business success worldwide (Fey 2002, 57). Often FSNs remain in their position for

many years at FAS posts; therefore, they are extremely important for maintaining this continuity

of contacts with local industry and government. As the Attaches cycle in and out every three to

four years, the FSNs maintain long-standing contacts and help the attaches establish such

important connections in the country.

The fourth most cited source is "c o1/ lIt i iith local distributors in that industry." This

source can actually be considered as a subgroup of the highest rated source, "in-country

industry, as distributors are a sub-sector of the larger group of in-country industry officials.

Distributors are listed separately in the questionnaire because they play a key roll with their

knowledge of exactly how much product is moving through the supply chain at all points.

The fifth most cited source is "foreign government data. It is important to be aware that

not all foreign government data are as accessible or easy to obtain as government data for the

United States. In a number of countries foreign government data must be laboriously pursued

through a series of phone calls and personal visits to government ministries to obtain paper

records. Nevertheless, foreign government data are a crucial source of information for FAS

offices worldwide.









Cross Tabular Analysis Results for Question seven and Question nine

The response choices listed in Table 5-3 and Table 5-4 for both question seven and

question nine were used in the cross tabular analysis. This section will provide the results of the

four statistically significant (95% probability) correlations that were determined from the cross

tabular analysis and can, therefore, be used to draw further conclusions in this research. Each

correlation is presented along with the complete matrix of responses to that question used in the

cross tabular analysis.

Table 5-5 shows the cross tabular analysis of question seven showing the relationship

between posts providing cultural analysis and the 2005 US agricultural trade dollar value with

that country. This analysis reveals a positive correlation between the largest U.S. agricultural

trading partners and the frequency of the post providing a cultural analysis of a situation in that

country (Chi Square = 6.88, p-value = .032). One possible explanation for this association is that

since these trading partners are so large, there are also many instances of both private sector and

governmental officials meeting with their foreign counterparts and, therefore, requiring cultural

analysis briefings prior to their interactions.

Table 5-6 shows the cross tabular analysis of question seven showing a relationship

between posts providing political analysis and FAS office size. There is both a positive

association between FAS offices with more employees providing political analysis and smaller

FAS offices not providing political analysis (Chi Square = 12.74, p-value =.002). One possible

explanation is that larger offices tend to be located in countries where the domestic political

situation is important to the United States, such as Moscow and Tokyo, whereas smaller offices

tend to be places where domestic politics do not directly impact the United States as much, such

as Italy or Nicaragua. A second straightforward possibility is that the larger offices simply have









more people available to fill the requests for political analysis and are able to provide these more

regularly than are smaller offices with less staff resources available.

Table 5-7 shows a positive correlation of more reliance on knowledge of the FAS

Attaches in less developed countries as well as negative correlations for reliance on attache

knowledge in more developed countries (Chi Square = 11.04, p-value = .004). It is possible this

relationship exists because of the relative difficulty of obtaining information in less developed

countries and often the Attache must rely on experiences that occurred previously in their career

to find the information they need. As a general rule, FAS sends more highly-qualified and

experienced officers to less developed countries, and they are often the only U.S. officer at post.

Table 5-8 shows a positive correlation between the use of U.S. trade journals and less

developed countries (Chi Square = 5.89, p-value = .052). Overall, only 10 of the 48 posts that

responded to this question indicated that they use these sources; however, of those that did

indicate that they use them, 90 percent (9 of 10) were in less developed countries. This is

probably because less developed countries often do not have separate trade journals and possibly

the only sources of information on their countries are U.S. journals with an international scope.

Summary of Analysis of FAS Web Survey Results

This researcher determined that FAS market analysis functions primarily include tasks

focused on market entry or market access such as understanding trade barriers, interpreting

local country importation laws and finding an in-country partner to help i/h/ distribution. They

also included classic market analysis elements, such as estimating/measuring overall market size,

identifying marketing strategies and, identifying target consumers. Important sources of

information were primarily those that hinge on close physical proximity and continuing









relationships including, contact in ith key industry players, contact in ith host country government,

first-hand knowledge by a FSN and local distributors in that industry.

Identify Market Analysis Information Demanded by Users of FAS Services

To address the third research objective, two primary data sources were used: the telephone

survey of FAS customers and the creation and analysis of the webtrends download database.

Results and Analysis of the Telephone Survey of FAS Customers

The telephone survey of FAS customers highlighted some significant details about the

information used by FAS customers. The first common response of the telephone survey was

that FAS information customers do not distinguish between information that comes from FAS

and information that comes from other USDA agencies. It is all considered to have originated

from the same source. This observation is based on the open-ended responses recorded during

the survey with 70% of the respondents commenting on FAS reports in the midst of referring to

other USDA reports. This pattern indicates that respondents do not view the agencies within

USDA as materially different. Much of what customers identified as important sources of

information coming from USDA were actually particular GAIN reports produced by FAS offices

abroad.

A second result of the telephone survey is that customers use FAS information for a variety

of purposes including preparing market analyses, assessing local food trends and writing reports

and articles for newsletters. Many of these purposes require adding the FAS information to the

firm-specific analyses that already exist within their organizations. This can be seen from the

results of Question 21, "How do you use the information (that you obtain from FAS)?, with 14

of the 20 external subjects responding that the information is used to prepare "reports or

newsletter articles" and also 13 of the 20 stating that it is used to "prepare marketing plans" or

to "attempt to assess local trends".









Thirdly, the majority of FAS customers surveyed use the internet as their primary source of

obtaining information from FAS. When asked, "Do you use FAS online?" 27 of 33 (82%) of

external customers responded that they use it frequently. With an additional five customers

noting they use it infrequently. This is logical as the website can be accessed anytime from any

location. Respondents also indicated that FAS online information is relatively easy to locate and

is stored in standardized formats.

Overall, results from the telephone survey indicate that FAS customers perceive that FAS

offices abroad are involved in almost all phases of the market analysis flow chart presented in

Figure 1-1. For the open-ended question, "What types of information are you seeking when you

contact posts? the most popular responses were 'Gather Data Not Available Anywhere Else'

with 22 out of 33 (67%) respondents stating this, 'Market Access Problems' with 16 out of 33

(48%) and 'Codes andRegulatory Information' with 13 out of 33 (39%). The first response is

not particularly telling; however, the second two responses relate to the market access and

market entry phases of the export process.

While the telephone interviews did provide some useful information, this data source also

presented several problems as discussed in the Chapter Four. Therefore, this researcher

transitioned to a more reliable and complete data source, the webtrends database, to answer the

research objective concerning information demanded by FAS users.

Results and Analysis of the GAIN Report Downloads by Country and Subject Using
Webtrends

As described in Chapter Four, this researcher determined the simplest way to approximate

demand for the information being produced by FAS was to analyze the download statistics of

FAS GAIN reports. Download statistics from the GAIN database of online reports created and

analyzed by the researcher for this study act as a proxy of demand for each report. This section









will describe the most downloaded GAIN reports in 2005 and 2006. The webtrends database

reveals that the most popular countries and report categories account for the heavy majority of

the total downloads. For instance the 20 most popular countries provide 80% of the reports

written in 2005 that were on the list, and the top 20 categories account for 90% of the reports that

appear on the list. This trend goes beyond report categories or countries' demands for individual

reports. The top 10% of the most downloaded 2005 reports account for 55% of the total

downloads.

The above example only includes those reports written in 2005. The entire list of reports

downloaded in 2005 and 2006 includes reports written years 1999 through 2006. A total of 675

different reports types were downloaded during the years 2005 and 2006. As an example of the

diversity among the most downloaded reports consider that only three reports appear on every

monthly download list for the entire 24 months reported, The Canada Organics report from 2002,

Canada's Food Brokers list from 2001, and Japan's Organics report from 2000.

Table 5-11 shows that overall seven report categories are among the top ten most

downloaded in both 2005 and 2006. These categories are Retail Food Sector, Food and

Agriculture Import Regulations and Standards (FAIRS) Country Report, Grain and Feed,

Exporter Guide, Oilseeds and Products, Food Processing Ingredients, and Organic Products.

Similarly Table 5-11 shows seven countries are in the top ten in both 2005 and 2006: Canada,

China, EU-25, France, India, Japan and Mexico. The combination of the top seven countries and

top seven categories yields 25% of the total reports downloaded each year.

Expanding this analysis to include the top 25 countries and categories gives us an idea of

the wider patterns shown in the data. We see that 15 of the countries and 18 of the categories

appear in the top 20 in both 2005 and 2006. The combination of these 25 countries and









categories accounts for 86% of total downloads during these years. Table 5-9 is the matrix that

results when the 25 countries and categories are combined. This matrix demonstrates the

popularity of specific countries such as China and EU-25 and of categories such as the FAIRS

Country reports and the Exporter Guides. The matrix in Table 5-9 allows for a visual

comparison between countries and categories so the viewer can see patterns in how those two

distinctions interact.

Results and Analysis of GAIN Report Downloads by Type of Information Contained in the
Report

After analyzing the total downloads of GAIN reports by country and category, the

researcher conducted a second analysis looking at the information contained in the GAIN report

downloads. Chapter 4 explains how this researcher categorized the information contained in

reports into the three categories of opportunities, threats, and trade data as a basis for the

analysis. These three categories were determined based on the results of the literature review

which identified four key steps for the market analysis process. They were necessarily

condensed into three categories for the analysis of the GAIN reports. This analysis did prove to

be fruitful and revealed the types of information most demanded by FAS information customers.

Table 5-12 shows the total number of downloads as well as number of unique reports

downloaded for each of the three categories. According to this analysis, the type of market

analysis information that FAS customers demand most is information about opportunities.

However, because each report typically contains more than one type of information, the

researcher created Table 5-13 to analyze the package of information content in the report

downloads. It was determined as a result of this analysis that customers actually tend to demand

packages of information. The most demanded package of information is the one that contains all

three types of information: Opportunities, threats and trade data. The four most popular









categories of GAIN reports that contain this package are Food Processing Ingredients Sector,

Retail Food Sector, Product Brief and Exporter Guide. It is interesting that while all four of

these categories appear in the top ten most downloaded GAIN reports by categories, they rank

third, fifth, sixth and ninth. In this case we cannot draw a direct relationship between demand for

specific packages of information and demand for specific GAIN reports.

The second most popular interaction of the three information types is, in fact, an absence

of all three types of information. There were 67 GAIN reports with a total of approximately

88,000 downloads that did not contain any of the three information types examined in this

research. This begs the logical question, "what type of information do these reports contain?" It

was determined that many of the reports in this category are FAIRS (Food and Agricultural

Import Regulations and Standards) reports that contain explanations of foreign country import

laws and food safety standards. Basically, these are the GAIN reports that coincide to the two

most often provided services by posts according to the web-based post survey noted earlier,

"Understanding trade barriers" and "Interpreting local country importation laws." The most

common report category in this section is the FAIRS report. It is interesting to note that in many

of these reports there is very little information added by the FAS posts besides alerting the

audience to the changes) in laws or regulations and then translating the text of such changess.

The third most downloaded set of information is the one that contains opportunities and

threats but not trade data. The four report categories that occur most frequently with these types

of information are Oilseeds and Products, Organic Products, Product Brief and Retail Food

Sector. These reports often address coming trends in a country and explain some of the same

services identified in the Web-based survey, such as estimating market size, identifying target

consumers and marketing strategies, as well as cultural and situational analysis. Though these









reports do not contain trade data, they still contain statistics such as prices of similar products

and estimates of domestic demand for particular products. The information contained in these

reports would most likely be used by a firm during the market research phase of the flow chart

depicted in Figure 1-1.

The analysis of GAIN report downloads collected in the Webtrends download database

provides two basic conclusions. The first is that FAS customers are seeking information about

opportunities in foreign markets and the second is that the most popular category of report for

both years in which data was collected is the FAIRS report, which focuses on each country's

specific set of import regulations and often includes information about non-tariff barriers to

trade. This coincides exactly with the services FAS posts indicated they most often provide and

again falls into the market access and market entry phases of the Figure 1-1 flowchart.

Differences in Methodology and Practice of Market Analysis between the Literature and
FAS Posts.

The literature review presented the results of the market analysis process in a flow chart.

The literature on market analysis is mainly focused on the 'process' of market analysis which

often includes developing a business plan and exploring the feasibility of new ventures. These

are the focuses of many university publications and private resources on the topic. Within that

market analysis process, this researcher identified the four key steps of market analysis in the

literature which were later condensed to three: Opportunities, Threats, and Trade Data. The

literature review also revealed numerous government sources primarily used to provide data sets

which inform the market research and market analysis process.

With regard to research question four, this researcher determined the major difference

between the literature on market analysis and the practices of FAS is that FAS deals more often

with market entry and market access than the general market analysis process. Both the most









common services performed by FAS offices abroad (Understanding trade barriers, Interpreting

local country importation laws) and the sources of information used (COl, ut, I ihn key industry

players, Couil Ii i th host country government, First-hand knowledge by a FSN) indicate that

FAS offices are involved in the marketing process several steps beyond where market analysis

and market assessments happen. Therefore, this researcher was not able to directly compare

market analysis methods between the literature and FAS practices. Nonetheless, the conclusion

drawn from this analysis is significant in understanding the role of FAS in the market analysis

process.

It costs a great deal of money for U.S. taxpayers to have these offices abroad and their

value-added is on the ground with operational details of how to move a product within a country

and how to address potential trade barriers that might prevent US imports to that country.

The survey of FAS posts paints a clear picture of offices that receive hundreds of requests

a year to conduct market analyses for a variety of products. They only have time and resources

to pursue the ones that have the potential to benefit FAS customers, which are primarily US

exporters. This research suggests that FAS posts work mainly with established exporters that are

already exporting productss. These exporters will call upon FAS when there are regulatory or

trade barriers that they cannot address through the private sector processes.

FAS's organizational structure is set-up to have background work, or more general market

analysis functions, preformed by the staff in Washington. Of FAS's 1000 employees, 700 are in

Washington and only 300 are abroad. Yet the 300 stationed abroad cost the organization much

more money per capital. The FAS Washington staff has employees with the titles such as

"Marketing Specialist" whose job descriptions includes helping new and existing U.S. exporters

investigate foreign markets. The role of the staff at oversea post is to assist U.S. firms when they









come to the country for visits with contacts and to aid the company when trade barriers arise,

whether political (a protectionist import ban to support domestic prices) or physical (an official

at the port refuses to let a product be unloaded until he receives a bribe). These are the types of

wide-ranging activities that can best be done by posts and are a more logical use of their scarce

resources since they benefit many U.S. exporters and result in maintaining or increasing exports,

which has immediate financial recompense for US agribusinesses.

Examination of the Information Demanded by Users of FAS Services and the Market
Analysis Services Provided by FAS Posts to Determine FAS's Most Valuable Market
Analysis Functions

The information demanded by FAS's customers seems to be two pronged. The first is that

they demand information about market opportunities, and the second is that they demand a

specific type of report that details technical barriers to trade. These varied types of information

demanded indicate that FAS has at least two types of information customers: Those that are

investigating a wide variety of information about agricultural markets in a variety of countries

and those that are already engaged in exporting and are interested in technical barriers to trade.

The first group of information customers seems to be engaged in the data gathering stage

of market analysis where various marketing opportunities are weighed against each other by

collecting as much data as possible about various markets. The other group of exporters is

probably smaller in number, but the type of information they need is more precise and, therefore,

all of their information demands are concentrated in one (very popular) report. This second

group of exporters seems to be in line with the subset of U.S. firms to which FAS posts cater.

This is the reason that we see the overlap between the services offered (Understanding trade

barriers, Interpreting local country importation laws, Finding an in-country partner to help itl

distribution) and the top demanded report by number of downloads (Food andAgriculture

Import Regulations Report).









Summary

Consolidation in the U.S. agricultural industry has led to only a limited number of

agricultural firms controlling much of the nation's agricultural exports. These few firms have

teams of people dedicated to international marketing and supporting the process of exporting

productss. When these organizations contact FAS, it is likely that a lot of money is at stake.

These large firms are likely to be the ones driving demand for the FAIRS report and for the

services most frequently provided by FAS posts.

The smaller firms with more limited resources are more likely the ones driving demand for

the rest of FAS's GAIN reports. These firms need greater assistance and need to be accessing

FAS's marketing specialists in Washington, DC, before they contact posts with specific

questions. These smaller or new-to-exporting firms are the ones that stand to benefit the most

from FAS's improved methods for conducting market analyses.

In addition to answering the research objectives, this chapter revealed two particularly

unexpected conclusions included in the results above. First, the researcher learned that FAS does

not have a formal method for conducting market analysis as was assumed at the start of this

project. Secondly, the discovery that FAS focuses more on market access and market entry than

market analysis is a key result of this research.

The next chapter, Chapter Six, "Conclusions and Outcomes" highlights a few of the other

insights gained during the process of completing this research project and offers suggestions that

address the conclusions discussed in this chapter.










Table 5-1. Response Rate by FAS management region for the Web-based survey of FAS Posts.
Number of Responses Response
Posts Rate
Asia 34 15 44.1%
Europe 27 15 55.6%
Middle East, Africa and Western Hemisphere 42 20 47.6%
Total 103 50 48.5%










Table 5-2. Results of web-based survey of FAS Posts question number one: 'For the time
period of October 1, 2004 -September 30, 2005 please estimate the number of
market analyses initiated in each of the following ways? "

Reason for Post to initiate a market analysis Count Percentage



Request by Individual U.S. company 2160 28%
Request by U.S. trade association/commodity
group 1265 17%

Periodic scheduled report 1000 13%

Initiated within post 961 13%

Request by FAS Washington 917 12%

Request by U.S. embassy 499 7%

Request by U.S. state governments 449 6%

Other 170 2%

Request by other USDA office 87 1%

Request by local contact 75 1%

Request by other FAS Posts 39 1%

Request by USTR 30 0%



Sub-total of U.S. Govt. requests 3982 52%

Sub-total ofnon- U.S. Govt. requests 3500 45%

Sub-total unknown 'other' requests 170 2%


Total 7652 100%

1/ Response Rate = 50/103










Table 5-3. Totals for 'always' and 'frequently' responses to web-based survey of FAS Posts
Question 7: Of the following types of assistance, how often, if ever, did your office
provide these services to U.S. clients during the time period of October 1, 2004 -
September 30, 2005? Responses indicating 'occasionally, seldom, or never'
responses not scored.


Service was ALWAYS or FREQUENTLY
performed by post.


Understanding trade barriers

Interpreting local country importation laws

Estimating/Measuring overall market size

Finding an in-country partner to help with distribution

Identifying marketing strategies

Identifying target consumers

Providing situational analysis cultural

Providing situational analysis political
Assistance with USDA Programs i.e. GSM, Cooperator
programs, etc.
Identifying potential product competitors and
competitor pricing
Assistance finding an in-country partner to help with
marketing
Help companies plan their 'marketing mix' of
products/services
Monitoring and Evaluating Market Response


Number of
'always' or
'frequently'
responses
42

40

36

31

30

29

28

25

24

22

19

11

11


Total
responses

50

50

50

50

50

50

50

50

50


%


84%

80%

72%

62%

60%

58%

56%

50%

48%


49 45%

50 38%


22%

22%


1/ Response Rate = 50/103










Table 5-4. Totals for 'always' and 'frequently' responses to web-based survey of FAS Posts
Question 9: During the time period of October 1, 2004 September 30, 2005 what
were the principal sources of information used to conduct market analyses?
Responses indicating 'occasionally, seldom, or never' responses not scored.
Number of
Service was ALWAYS or FREQUENTLY 'always' or Total
performed by post. 'frequently' responses
responses
Contact with key industry players 46 49 94%
Contact with host country government 42 49 86%
First-hand knowledge by a FSN 42 49 86%
Local distributors in that industry 39 49 80%
Foreign government data 38 49 78%
First-hand knowledge by a U.S. FAS employee 30 49 61%
Cooperator or other U.S. commodity representative 29 49 59%
in the country
Foreign trade journals 29 49 59%
United States Government data 29 49 59%
Independent data gathering service 17 49 35%
Survey or other primary data collection 15 48 31%
International news services websites/wire/print 12 49 24%
(CNN; BBC; AP)
First-hand knowledge by a U.S. Embassy employee, 11 49 22%
(Dep.of State)
United States trade journals 10 48 21%
Contact with government officials representing third 6 48 13%
countries

1/ Response Rate = 50/103










Table 5-5. Cross tabular analysis showing positive correlation between largest U.S. agricultural
trading partners and Posts that 'always or frequently' provide cultural analysis.
Results based on web-based survey of FAS Posts question 7: Of the following types
of assistance, how often, if ever, did your office provide these services to U.S. clients
during the time period of October 1, 2004 September 30, 2005?
Agricultural Agr
Trade Value Agricultural
Trade ValueVl
with U.S.
tw with U.S. Total
between 0.5
less than 0.5
billion and 10 billn
billion USD
'Always' or 'Frequently' 18 (75%) 10(38.5%) 28(56%)
provide cultural analysis.
'Occasionally' provide cultural 4
4 (16.7%) 12 (46.2%) 16 (32%)
analysis
'Seldom' or 'Never' provide 2(8.3) 4(15.4) 6(12)
cultural analysis
1/ Response Rate (N) = 50/103
2/ Chi-square = 6.88, p-value = .032









Table 5-6. Cross tabular analysis showing correlation between FAS office size and Post
providing political analysis. Results of web-based survey of FAS Posts question 7:
Of the following types of assistance, how often, if ever, did your office provide these
services to U.S. clients during the time period of October 1, 2004 September 30,
2005?
One or less More than one
Foreign Service Foreign Service Total
Officers at Post. Officer at Post
'Always' or 'Frequently'(26.9%) 18 (75%) 25 (50%)
provide political analysis.
'Occasionally' provide
'Occasionally' provide (26.9%) 4 (16.7%) 11 (22%)
political analysis
'Seldom' or 'Never' provide 12 (46.20) 2(8.3) 14 (28%)
political analysis
1/ Response Rate (N) = 50/103
2/ Chi-square =12.74, p-value = .002










Table 5-7. Cross tabular analysis showing correlation between first-hand knowledge Foreign
Service Officer (FSO) and human development index value of the host country.
Results based on web-based survey of FAS Posts question 9: During the time period
of October 1, 2004 September 30, 2005 what were the principal sources of
information used to conduct market analyses?
Human Human
Development Index Development Index Total
< .8 >.8
No response provided 0 (0%) 1 (4.3%) 1 (4.2%)
'Always' or 'Frequently' depend 8
on first-hand knowledge of FSO
'Occasionally' depend on
4 (14.8%) 8 (34.8%) 12 (24%)
first-hand knowledge of FSO
'Seldom' or 'Never' depend on
1(3.7%) 6 (26.1%) 7 (14%)
first-hand knowledge of FSO
1/ Response Rate (N) = 49/103
2/ Chi-square = 11.04, p-value = .004










Table 5-8. Cross tabular analysis of positive association between 'always' and 'frequent' use of
U.S. trade journals as an information source and a human development index value of
less than 0.8 for the host country. Results based on web-based survey of FAS Posts
question 9: During the time period of October 1, 2004 September 30, 2005 what
were the principal sources of information used to conduct market analyses?
Human Human
Development Development Total
Index < 0.8 Index > 0.8
No response provided 0 (0%) 2 (8.7%) 2 (4%)
'Always' or 'Frequently' use U.S. 9 1(4 ) 10(20)
trade journals as info. source
'Occasionally' use U.S. trade
.n6 (22.2%) 6 (26.1%) 12 (24%)
journals as info. source
'Seldom' or 'Never' use U.S.) 2
trade journals as info. source
1/ Response Rate (N) = 48/103
2/ Chi-square = 5.89, p-value = .052










Table 5-9. GAIN report matrix of 25 most downloaded report categories and countries for 2005-
2006.


Agricultural Situation
Bio-Fuels
Biotechnology
Citrus
Coffee
Exporter Guide
Fishery Products
FAIRS Country
Food Processing Ingredients
Fresh Deciduous Fruit
Grain and Feed
HRI Food Service Sector
Kosher Foods
Livestock and Products
Market Development
Oilseeds and Products
Organic Products
Planting Seeds
Poultry and Products
Product Brief
Retail Food Sector
Solid Wood Products
Sugar
Trade Policy Monitoring
Wine
Total


391



1089


1310

1821
247

410


771
1215


1858
9531
185 344
458


174 4544 5875
478
476 938 163 6252
8234
204 600
1446 1536 840 2590
2465


373


1415


1904


1575 601 1163
300 14753 1686
2664 1178
8058 154
164
1702 460 2092


4707


735
6476


208
4820


4761 1441
9399
186


1481
16134 36269 57629


11195





11386










Table 5-9. Continued


Agricultural Situation
Bio-Fuels
Biotechnology
Citrus
Coffee
Exporter Guide
Fishery Products
FAIRS Country
Food Processing Ingredients
Fresh Deciduous Fruit
Grain and Feed
HRI Food Service Sector
Kosher Foods
Livestock and Products
Market Development
Oilseeds and Products
Organic Products
Planting Seeds
Poultry and Products
Product Brief
Retail Food Sector
Solid Wood Products
Sugar
Trade Policy Monitoring
Wine
Total


4204
1670
1237


1736
354
223


897 239


559
2497


353 153


1809
4835


415
1212
390


8312 132
4817
10813
3239

25119 9953
6172


3658


9815
2898


11948
1951
882
68864


750
48264


767 7693 1182


1304


4947 4274
714 437 2389
220
2351 1012
1202 344 316


10032


1463
1262


195
2074


13001


4185 14450


6118
149

2230
185


1024 433


5438 1833


408
1478
166


310
28137


2830
2263


17376










Table 5-9. Continued


Agricultural Situation
Bio-Fuels
Biotechnology
Citrus
Coffee
Exporter Guide
Fishery Products
FAIRS Country
Food Processing Ingredients
Fresh Deciduous Fruit
Grain and Feed
HRI Food Service Sector
Kosher Foods
Livestock and Products
Market Development
Oilseeds and Products
Organic Products
Planting Seeds
Poultry and Products
Product Brief
Retail Food Sector
Solid Wood Products
Sugar
Trade Policy Monitoring
Wine
Total


768 2656


3234


2761


3115


4188


1761


622 3236 1893
5012 4320 227
260
642 1143


1503
2067


1012


6776


2456

148


124
392
1753
188
7300
186


211 2162


220
1128


6664
641


176

10488 16839 10122 5634 17060 14418










Table 5-9. Continued


Agricultural Situation
Bio-Fuels
Biotechnology
Citrus
Coffee
Exporter Guide
Fishery Products
FAIRS Country
Food Processing Ingredients
Fresh Deciduous Fruit
Grain and Feed
HRI Food Service Sector
Kosher Foods
Livestock and Products
Market Development
Oilseeds and Products
Organic Products
Planting Seeds
Poultry and Products
Product Brief
Retail Food Sector
Solid Wood Products
Sugar
Trade Policy Monitoring
Wine
Total


698 2514
389
3818 5411 4540 529 1413


3507
898 1095


1981

154

885


496
1415 628


2261


1549


6754 7724 11187 5072 4972


12110
14052
10248
2296
378 1898
198 29721
2079
1986 56054
26317
1386
1556 29138
11802
19314
337 12858
17905
57023
22663
1995
15850
18883
35966
178 18646
17197
2127
4366
4633 441894










Table 5-10. GAIN report matrix showing total numbers of report downloads in 2005 and 2006
by country, arranged from greatest total downloads to least total downloads.


GAIN Report Country
EU-25
China
France
Canada
Japan
Mexico
Korea
Philippines
Brazil
Russian Fed.
India
Germany
Colombia
Thailand
Malaysia
Netherlands
Singapore
Argentina
Saudi Arabia
Nigeria
Australia
United Arab Emirates
United Kingdom
Vietnam
Greece
Israel
Dominican Republic
Sweden
Taiwan
South Africa
Indonesia
Czech Republic
Italy
Spain
Ukraine


Total
Downloads
2005
18667
19043
14497
16367
15810
8863
5432
5674
7935
7941
5855
5097
5321
6015
2107
495
4592
4281
1026
478
2923
1404
1976
2356
1259
1868
464
785
2034
738
538
620
2095
1935
1030


Total
Downloads
2006
50366
43010
33937
20373
13325
9655
11944
11635
8776
6891
8783
8216
6065
5172
8491
9627
3132
2844
5728
5156
2425
3668
2996
2277
3318
2011
3272
2526
1234
2443
2523
2312
592
722
1395


Total
Downloads
2005 & 2006
69033
62053
48434
36740
29135
18518
17376
17309
16711
14832
14638
13313
11386
11187
10598
10122
7724
7125
6754
5634
5348
5072
4972
4633
4577
3879
3736
3311
3268
3181
3061
2932
2687
2657
2425










Table 5-10. Continued



GAIN Report
Country
Turkey
Austria
Bulgaria
Pakistan
Unknown*
Egypt
Hungary
New Zealand
Chile
Portugal
Venezuela
Poland
Hong Kong
EU-15
Trinidad and Tobago
Peru
Caribbean Basin
Qatar
Morocco
Jamaica and Dominican Rep.
Kuwait
Denmark
Romania
Oman
Estonia
Lithuania
Belgium-Luxembourg
Croatia
El Salvador
Jordan
Bahrain
Cambodia
Belize

Totals


Total
Downloads
2005
1455
1320
166
206
1443
789
0
841
879
612
844
458
1069
558
193
386
527
0
318
534
319
0
348
0
190
163
0
0
0
0
0
0
0

177521


Total
Downloads
2006
898
956
2004
1783
391
914
1583
701
549
806
511
696
0
505
741
509
303
792
268
0
161
360
0
333
0
0
159
158
138
134
128
127
123

306840


Total
Downloads
2005 & 2006
2353
2276
2170
1989
1834
1703
1583
1542
1428
1418
1355
1154
1069
1063
934
895
830
792
586
534
480
360
348
333
190
163
159
158
138
134
128
127
123

484361










Table 5-11. GAIN reports matrix showing total numbers of report downloads in 2005 and 2006
by category, arranged from greatest total downloads to least total downloads.


GAIN Report Category
FAIRS Country
Oilseeds and Products
Retail food Sector
Grain and Feed
Exporter Guide
Rood Processing Ingredients Sector
Organic Products
Kosher Foods
Product Brief
Solid Wood Products
Market Development Reports
Sugar
Poultry and Products
HRI Food Service Sector
Bio-Fuels
Agricultural Situation
Livestock and Products
Biotechnology
Wine
Trade Policy Monitoring
Citrus
Fishery Products
Fresh Deciduous Fruit
Planting Seeds
Coffee
Promotion Opportunities
Unknown*
Dairy and Products
Cotton and Products
Trade data Multiple commodities
Tomatoes and Products
Canned Deciduous Fruit
Sanitary/Phytosanitary/Food Safety
Export Certificate FAIRS Report
Asparagus
FAIRS Product Specific
Tree Nuts
Strawberries
Honey
Frozen Potato Products
Stone Fruit
Total


Total
Downloads
2005
19902
15466
19904
16671
15686
8679
8028
11277
6598
5960
7714
2177
7043
8833
0
5923
6068
1862
3819
3540
1263
575
1652
1206
1333
1425
1443
1285
259
1191
555
781
177
668
551
110
326
0
461
421
307
191139


Total
Downloads
2006
47853
43630
19295
21227
15541
20511
17809
12573
16370
13924
10766
15020
9860
6230
14052
7634
7316
11332
1793
339
1806
1636
377
789
565
433
391
525
1072
134
665
340
577
0
0
441
214
531
0
0
0
323571


Total
Downloads
2005 & 2006
67755
59096
39199
37898
31227
29190
25837
23850
22968
19884
18480
17197
16903
15063
14052
13557
13384
13194
5612
3879
3069
2211
2029
1995
1898
1858
1834
1810
1331
1325
1220
1121
754
668
551
551
540
531
461
421
307
514710









Table 5-12. Analysis of GAIN reports by content for total reports downloaded and total unique
report downloaded that were on 'top 250 downloads list' in web-trends download
database for more than one month in 2005 2006. (Each report may contain more
than one type of information)

Number of downloads Number of reports
Contains information on
Opportunities 313,249 173

Contains information on Threats 236,947 153

Contains information on Trade Data 221,841 170

Total 772,037 496










Table 5-13. Analysis of GAIN reports showing each combination of type of information
contained for trade data, threats, and opportunities paradigm. Matrix shows total
reports downloaded and total unique reports downloaded that were on 'top 250
downloads list' in web-trends download database for more than one month in 2005
2006.
Contains Contains Number of
Contains Information on Information on Total Number of unique
Trade Data Threats Opportunities reports reports
Y Y Y 126,899 99
N N N 88,369 67
N Y Y 82,561 35
Y N Y 61,440 26
N N Y 42,349 13
Y N N 17,558 33
Y Y N 15,944 12
N Y N 11,093 7
Totals 446,213 292









CHAPTER 6
CONCLUSIONS AND OUTCOMES

The Four Most Significant Observations

Over the past two years of studying and analyzing both FAS and its information systems,

many interesting phenomena were observed. The four most important to this work are as

follows:

* FAS did not have a system that collected and reported information usage.
* FAS does not know exactly who are its primary information customers.
* There is an apparent consensus in the literature regarding the types of information needed
to conduct market analyses.
* FAS does not have a systemized method for preparing market analyses.

FAS Report Information Usage System

Regarding the first point, the greatest outcome of this research project is that it has

contributed to the establishment of a system that FAS can use to systematically collect and

analyze GAIN report usage data. This research cannot take full credit for drawing attention to

the problem that FAS needs to collect and analyze this information. However, the database

created by this researcher for the project, along with the insights gained as a result of the

database, provided FAS management with evidence that a permanent system could help manage

the reporting work done by overseas posts. The October 2007 FAS demonstration of the

revamped GAIN system included metrics for tracking report usage data.

FAS Knowing Its Primary Information Customers

Regarding the second point, no change is likely regarding knowledge about primary

information customers. Due to privacy concerns, federal agencies are forbidden from installing

'cookies' onto users' computers to track their use of government information. Other solutions

such as creating a log-in system to track usage yet still allow anonymity or requiring users to

give a valid e-mail address each time they use the system have also been rejected by FAS









officials. It appears that at no time in the foreseeable future will FAS create a system to track

who are its primary information customers.

Consensus in the Literature on Information Needed to Conduct Market Analysis

This researcher was surprised to learn through the literature review process that, in fact,

much of the market analysis information from the reviewed sources is quite similar. The most

interesting examples of this similarity are in the agricultural land grant section of Chapter Three

where eight departments' attempts to help the user learn how to conduct market analyses are

presented. The approaches vary widely, from the University of Florida's collection of available

databases and country pages to Michigan State University's personal interactions with

innovation counselors. Among the schools that have created guides to marketing there is a large

amount of variability. The University of Tennessee created a forty-page paper while Cornell

University Extension Service created a series of one or two page publications. It is interesting to

note how many ways there are to present information that is so similar.

FAS's Lack of a Systemized Method for Preparing Market Analysis

The discovery that FAS lacks a systemized method of market analysis is another finding

that is unlikely to change for a reasons rooted in FAS's Foreign Service selection process. When

this research project began, the concept was to compare FAS's written procedures for conducting

market analysis with the current literature. A problem arose when the researcher discovered that

FAS did not have a collection of these written procedures. This begged the question, "How does

a multi-national organization with hundreds of employees preparing market analyses function

without a standardized set of procedures?"

The answer was slowly revealed as more information was discovered about the culture of

FAS and the specific process used to recruit and select Foreign Service officers. FAS requires

that its Foreign Service applicants be with the Agency for at least 18 months before they are









eligible to apply to the Foreign Service (though many work for FAS for years before they apply).

During the time the applicant is working in Washington for FAS, he or she is expected to learn

about the FAS style of researching and writing reports through his/ her everyday duties. Once an

applicant passes the Foreign Service examination, he/she spends eight to sixteen years at two to

four different posts as a junior officer before running his/her own office. During this time the

junior officer learns from superiors and from the foreign staff how to conduct market research in

each of the different posts; he/she then presents the information in the style learned while

working in Washington. The process FAS uses to train its new Foreign Service Officers to

conduct and present market analyses is a lot more complicated than providing employees with a

manual, rather it is based in years of on-the-job training. This is a significant conclusion that led

the researcher to reframe an original research objective as it is not possible to compare an FAS

standard for market analysis with that of the literature review.

Applied Outcomes of the Research

As a result of this research project, FAS made significant changes in the way it manages

the GAIN system, specifically the collection and use of download data to inform FAS's

operations.

Webtrends Downloads Database Long-Term Implementation

The Webtrends download database developed for this research project was a proof of

concept for FAS's management. It motivated FAS to begin thinking about ways the data

collected can help inform management decisions. Concurrently with this research project, FAS

was undertaking a system redesign of the GAIN reporting system. This fortunate timing enabled

the researcher to present findings and recommendations to FAS management which were

incorporated into the requirements of the new GAIN system.









One such improvement implemented because of this research is that the new GAIN system

collects granular data about report downloads and usage. The new GAIN system will also have a

user-friendly dashboard that allows managers to pre-designate the GAIN downloads data they

need and display it in a variety of graphic formats.

Another important feature is that it will register every report that is downloaded at least

once as opposed to the current system which only reports the top 250 most downloaded reports

of any type. This will allow FAS officials to obtain a clear understanding of which reports have

not been viewed. This upgrade is an important improvement widely requested by FAS

management.

This researcher also suggested one minute time and date logs implemented in the new

GAIN system. This is an upgrade over the monthly summary statistics available now. Tracking

downloads in periods of one minute will allow for a much more robust dataset that will facilitate

more detailed data analysis in the future.

At the time of the completion of this research, it appears that the Webtrends downloads

database will have a substantial impact on the management of the overall GAIN reporting

system. It will provide quantifiable evidence of relative differences in demand of GAIN reports.

It is not likely that FAS management will base changes in post reporting requirements solely on

this data set; however, it is expected that this data set will become an important factor in FAS

management's decision making processes.

Suggestions for Further Research and Applications

Once the new GAIN system is implemented, a more robust dataset will become available

for future research linking demand for FAS information with a variety of factors. The new

GAIN database will include a complete list of all reports downloaded each minute from the

GAIN server resulting in a detailed time series dataset with millions of observations. This will









allow for a variety of tests to be applied to the varying levels of downloads including, event

shocks (i.e., a case of BSE is reported in a particular country), deviations in currency exchange

rates, changing prices of agricultural inputs, etc. The list of potentially explanatory variables is

extensive. Ultimately, it would be interesting to construct a model of the relative impacts of

various independent variables on the demand for GAIN information.

This researcher recommends that FAS adopt a systemized method for collecting

information from its information customers. Currently, FAS does not have the capability to track

how many users from a particular country are using its information. It is a glaring deficiency in

FAS's information security system that it likely provides such reports developed with taxpayers

funding to competitors of the United States free of charge.

As previously noted, FAS cannot accomplish this by installing cookies onto users'

computers due to government restrictions; however, an alternative strategy should be employed.

This researcher believes alternative options exist which would respect the privacy of FAS's

information users while still providing FAS with the information it needs to understand who is

using the information published on the FAS website. Implementing one of these solutions will

require FAS to walk the fine line between individual privacy and the needs of the Agency to

better serve the public. However, the benefits of implementing such a system are substantial as it

would allow FAS to be certain that its efforts are serving the primary customer group, the U.S.

agricultural industry, rather than potentially working for its competitors.

This researcher also recommends that FAS initiate a program to capture the knowledge and

experience of its most senior staff to create training materials and reference guides for standard

activities such as conducting market analyses. As noted earlier, formal FAS guidelines for

market analysis do not currently exist. This could be achieved by conducting several focus









groups with experienced FAS personnel and compiling their commentary into a draft reference

guide that is then circulated for further comments. To date, the informal process that has

developed within FAS has been successful because of the dedication of longtime FAS market

analysis experts and their commitment to training future generations of FAS employees.

However, a more formalized training manual or reference guide is needed in order to collect their

valuable experience and institutional knowledge to guarantee it will be available in years to

come.









APPENDIX A
QUESTIONAIRRE USED IN PHONE SURVEY OF FAS INFORMATION CUSTOMERS

FAS: Internal or External (choose one)

Division: Interviewee name: Job Title: Phone number: Date:

1) Who are your customers or stakeholders that need and use post generated information that you

may or may not analyze?

Cooperators

Exporters

World Board

GAINS Subscribers

Other

2) How often do you communicate with your stakeholders/members about FAS overseas post-

generated information?

3) How often do stakeholders/members contact you to give you feedback on a particular report?

4) Which of FAS overseas posts do you contact most often?

5) What types of information are you seeking when you contact posts? (Open-ended)

6) Please tell me yes or no if you use the specific services FAS posts provide (close-ended):

Y N Market access issues

Y N Trade data

Y N Food Service/ Food processing reports/Retail Reports

Y N Commodity Specific Reports

Y N Lists of Importers

Y N Lists of other key players (Government officials, etc)

Y N In-country product pricing









Y N Information about the commercial sector

Y N Information on Foreign Visitors (for briefing paper preparation)

Y N Marketing activity collaboration

7) How have FAS posts conveyed this information to you?

8) Of the different types of information you use, which is most important?

9) Do you share this information with your stakeholders/members?

A) Please list the groups with which you share this information:

10) How could this information be more valuable to you?

11) Of the posts you work with, which do a particularity good job conveying information to you?

12) Posts also provide other information such as (list the categories they responded "No" to in

question 6) Do you use this information? Why not?

13) What information needs does your division/organization have that are not being met?

14) Do you use any post-generated information in your UES (trade associations only)? If so,

what?

15) If posts were to stop reporting the information you use, how would you obtain this

information?

16) How accurate is this non-post generated information?

17) What other information sources do your stakeholders use?

18) Please describe your idea of a seamless information flow from an FAS post to you and your

stakeholders?

19) Do you use FAS online?

Frequently Infrequently Never

20) What specific information from FAS online do you use?









21) How do you use this information?

22) Do you use any post websites?

23) If yes, which FAS overseas posts websites do you use?

24) If yes, what information do you use from these sites and how do you use it?

25) What post websites are the most helpful and why?

*(Identifying sites with the information you need, this will help us in our current efforts to

improve post websites.)*

26) Which of your stakeholders or associates could provide candid thoughts about posts?









APPENDIX B
RESULTS FROM TELEPHONE SURVEY

Question #1: Who are your customers/stakeholders that need/use post generated information?

External Responses
Groups Raw # %
Exporters 24 71%
Cooperators 16 47%
GAINS Subscribers 15 44%
Producers 8 24%
State Government 4 12%


Internal Responses
Groups Raw# %
USDA 11 65%
GAINS Subscribers 10 59%
Exporters 9 53%
Cooperators 8 47%
USTR 4 24%
World Board 4 24%
State Government 4 24%
University Students or Faculty 3 18%
Producers 2 12%


Q2: How often do you communicate with your stakeholders/members about FAS overseas post-

generated information?

External Responses
Raw # %
Frequently 26 76%
Infrequently 8 24%
Never 0 0%
Total 34 100%


Internal Responses
Raw # %
Frequently 12 75%
Infrequently 4 25%
Never 0 0%
Total 16 100%












Q3: How often do stakeholders/members contact you to give you feedback on a particular


report?


External Results
Raw # %
Frequently 20 67%
Infrequently 7 23%
Never 3 10%
Did not answer 4 11%
Total 34

Internal Results
Raw # %
Frequently 10 59%
Infrequently 5 29%
Never 2 12%
Total 17









Q4: Which of FAS overseas posts do you contact most often?

External Results
Raw # % Rank
China 16 47% 1
Mexico 16 47% 1
Japan 13 38% 3
South Korea 8 24% 4
Taiwan 7 21% 5
Brazil 5 15% 6
Brussels 5 15% 6
Caribbean Basin 5 15% 6
Canada 4 12% 9
Chile 4 12% 9
Hong Kong 4 12% 9
Russia 4 12% 9
Singapore 4 12% 9
Argentina 3 9% 14
Colombia 3 9% 14
Thailand 3 9% 14
Spain 3 9% 14
Australia 2 6% 18
Malaysia 2 6% 18
Guatemala 2 6% 18
Poland 2 6% 18
Philippines 2 6% 18
London 2 6% 18
Germany 2 6% 18
Vietnam 2 6% 18

Internal Results
Raw # % Rank
Mexico 11 65% 1
Brazil 8 47% 2
Japan 8 47% 2
China 6 35% 4
Brussels 5 29% 5
Serbia 4 24% 6
Costa Rica 3 18% 7
Bulgaria 3 18% 7
Dominican Republic 3 18% 7
Guatemala 3 18% 7
Philippines 3 18% 7
Morocco 3 18% 7
South Korea 3 18% 7









South Africa 3 18% 7
Argentina 2 12% 15
Canada 2 12% 15
Colombia 2 12% 15
Dubai 2 12% 15
Egypt 2 12% 15
Kenya 2 12% 15
Russia 2 12% 15
Thailand 2 12% 15
Caribbean Basin 1 6% 23
Chile 1 6% 23
Malaysia 1 6% 23
Peru 1 6% 23
Poland 1 6% 23
India 1 6% 23
London 1 6% 23
Germany 1 6% 23
Spain 1 6% 23
Tunisia 1 6% 23
Vietnam 1 6% 23

External Results
Raw # % Rank
China 16 47% 1
Mexico 16 47% 1
Japan 13 38% 3
South Korea 8 24% 4
Taiwan 7 21% 5
Brazil 5 15% 6
Brussels 5 15% 6
Caribbean Basin 5 15% 6

Internal Results
Raw # % Rank
Mexico 11 65% 1
Brazil 8 47% 2
Japan 8 47% 2
China 6 35% 4
Brussels 5 29% 5
Serbia 4 24% 6
Costa Rica 3 18% 7
Bulgaria 3 18% 7
Dominican
Republic 3 18% 7
Guatemala 3 18% 7









Philippines 3 18% 7
Morocco 3 18% 7
South Korea 3 18% 7
South Africa 3 18% 7


Q5: What types of information are you seeking when you contact posts?

External Results
Raw # % Rank
Gather Data Not Available Anywhere Else 22 65% 1
Market Access Problems 16 47% 2
Policy Perspectives 15 44% 3
Codes And Regulatory Information 13 38% 4
Interpret Foreign Trade Laws 9 26% 5
Promotional Programs 9 26% 5
Information About Local Markets 9 26% 5
Clarification Of Info In Attache Reports 8 24% 8
Let Them Know We Are Coming Over 6 18% 9
Sensitive Information 5 15% 10


Internal Results

Raw # % Rank

Gather Data Not Available Anywhere Else 15 88% 1

Sensitive Information 11 65% 2

Policy Perspectives 9 53% 3

Information About Local Markets 7 41% 4

Interpret Foreign Trade Laws 6 35% 5

Market Access Problems 5 29% 6

Codes And Regulatory Information 4 24% 7

Promotional Programs 4 24% 7

Clarification Of Info In Attache Reports 3 18% 9

Let Them Know We Are Coming Over 2 12% 10










Q6: Please tell me yes or no if you use these specific services FAS posts provide.

External Results
Raw # % Rank
Trade data 33 97% 1
Market Access issues 31 91% 2
Commodity Specific Reports 28 82% 3
Information about the commercial sector 27 79% 4
Marketing Activity Collaboration 22 65% 5
Food Service/ Food processing reports/Retail Reports 21 62% 6
Lists of other key players 18 53% 7
Lists of Importers 15 44% 8
In-country product pricing 10 29% 9

Internal Results
Raw # % Rank
Market Access issues 15 88% 1
Commodity Specific Reports 13 76% 2
Trade data 11 65% 3
Information about the commercial sector 11 65% 3
Information on Foreign Visitors 11 65% 3
Lists of other key players 9 53% 6
Marketing activity collaboration 9 53% 6
In-country product pricing 8 47% 8
Food Service/ Food processing reports/Retail Reports 6 35% 9
Lists of Importers 1 6% 10


Q8: Of the different types of information you use, which is


most important?


External Results
Raw # % Rank

Market Information 12 35% 1

Trade Data 9 26% 2

Local Market trends 9 26% 2

Policy Updates 8 24% 4

Market Access Issues 8 24% 4

Post Collaboration 6 18% 6

Food Processing/Retail 6 18% 6










GAIN Reports 5 15% 8

Commodity Specific 4 12% 9

Attache Reports 4 12% 9

Specialty Crop Specific Reports 3 9% 11

Marketing Activity Collaboration 3 9% 11

Pre-qualified Trade Leads 2 6% 13

Lists of Importers 2 6% 13

All Equally Important 2 6% 13

Lists of other key players 1 3% 16

Info about Foreign Visitors 1 3% 16

Info about commercial sector 1 3% 16

In-Country Product Pricing 1 3% 16

Internal Results
Raw # % Rank
Market Information 11 65% 1
Policy Updates 6 35% 2
Local Market trends 5 29% 3
Market Access Issues 3 18% 4
Post Collaboration 3 18% 4
Trade Data 2 12% 6
Food Processing/Retail 2 12% 6
Commodity Specific 2 12% 6
Gain Reports 2 12% 6
In-Country Product Pricing 1 6% 10
Marketing Activity Collaboration 1 6% 10
All Equally Important 1 6% 10
Lists of Importers 0 0% 13
Lists of other key players 0 0% 13
Info about commercial sector 0 0% 13
Info about Foreign Visitors 0 0% 13
Attache Reports 0 0% 13
Specialty Crop Specific Reports 0 0% 13
Pre-qualified Trade Leads 0 0% 13
Fairs Reports 0 0% 13









Q14: Which FAS post generated information does your organization use for its UES reports?

(NOTE: Only external results are reported since the question only applies to external

information users.)

External Results
Raw # % Rank
Trade Statistics 11 39% 1
Market Segment Reports 11 39% 1
Retail Reports 10 36% 3
Attache Reports 9 32% 4
GAIN 9 32% 4
Overall information about the country 8 29% 6
Outlook Reports 5 15% 7
Country Guides/Exporter Guides 4 12% 8
Other Responses 0 0% 9


Q15: If posts were to stop reporting the information you use, how would you obtain this

information?

External Results
Raw % Rank
Private Contractors 13 38% 1
Foreign Government Statistics 12 35% 2
In Country Representatives 11 32% 3
Independent Information Services 8 24% 4
Industry Journals 3 9% 5
US Commerce Department 3 9% 5

Internal Results
Raw % Rank
US State Department Econ Officer 7 41% 1
Foreign Government Statistics 6 35% 2
Independent Information Services 6 35% 2
Private Contractors 5 29% 4
US Commerce Department 5 29% 4
No Replacement For The Information 4 24% 6
USTR 4 24% 6
FAO REPORTS 3 18% 8
USAID 2 12% 9
Us Customs Official Numbers 2 12% 9
APHIS 2 12% 9









In-Country Representatives 1 6% 10
Industry Journals 0 0% 11
Other Responses 0 0% 11


Q16: How accurate is this non-post generated information?


External Results
Raw # %
Reliable 19 63%
Neutral 8 27%
Not Reliable 3 10%
N/A 4
Total 30 100%


Q19: Do you use FAS online?

External Results
Raw # %
Frequently 28 82%
Infrequently 5 15%
Never 1 3%
N/A 0 0%
34

Internal Results
Raw # %
Frequently 12 71%
Infrequently 4 24%
Never 1 6%
N/A 0 0%
17


20) What specific information from FAS online do you use?

External Results
Raw # %
Trade Data 18 53%
GAIN 17 50%
Attache Reports 14 41%
Market Information 14 41%
Country Reports 10 29%
Commodity Specific 9 26%
Policy Updates 9 26%
FAIRS 8 24%









Food Processing/Retail 7 21%
Contact Information 7 21%
Regulations 7 21%
Price 6 18%
Market Access Issues 5 15%
Info About Commercial Sector 5 15%
Marketing Activity Collaboration 5 15%
Grant proposals information 5 15%

Internal Results
Raw # %
Trade Data 7 47%
Policy Updates 5 33%
Attache Reports 4 27%
GAIN 4 27%
Contact Information 3 20%
PS&D Tables 3 20%
Country Reports 3 20%
Commodity Specific 2 13%
Market Information 2 13%
Market Access Issues 1 7%
Regulations 1 7%
Price 1 7%
FAIRS 1 7%
Food Processing/Retail 0 0%
Lists Of Importers 0 0%
Info About Commercial Sector 0 0%
Info About Foreign Visitors 0 0%
Marketing Activity Collaboration 0 0%
Specialty Crop Specific Reports 0 0%
Grant Proposals Information 0 0%
Other 0 0%


21) How do you use this information?


External Results
Raw # % Rank
Reports/Newsletter Articles 14 70% 1
To Prepare Marketing Plans 13 62% 2
To Try And Assess Local Trends 13 62% 2
Stay Informed Regarding Changing Up-To-Date Regulations 8 31% 4
Sector Specific Analysis 7 26% 5
Find Out What Is The Us Position And Align Our Position To That 5 17% 6
For My Own General Knowledge 4 13% 7









Notify The Embassies That We Are Coming 3 10% 8
When We Are Trying To Resolve Specific Trade Issues. 2 6% 9
Country background to prepare for visitors to the U.S. 2 6% 9
Academic Research 1 3% 11
Other Response 0 0%


Internal Results
Raw # % Rank
To Try And Assess Local Trends 7 50% 1
Prepare Reports/Newsletter Articles 6 43% 2
Country background to prepare for visitors to the U.S. 5 36% 3
For My Own General Knowledge 5 36% 3
Sector Specific Analysis 4 29% 4
When We Are Trying To Resolve Specific Trade Issues. 4 29% 4
To Prepare Marketing Plans 2 14% 5
Stay Informed Regarding Changing Up-To-Date Regulations 2 14% 5
Notify The Embassies That We Are Coming 2 14% 5
Contact The Posts 2 14% 5
Find Out What Is The Us Position And Align Our Position To That 2 14% 5
Academic Research 1 7% 6









APPENDIX C
ALL CONTENT POSTED ON UF WEBSITE FOR WEB-BASED POST SURVEY

Informed Consent

Dr. James Sterns and Roy Justin Taylor

Food and Resource Economics Department, University of Florida

Please read this consent document carefully before you decide to participate in this study.

Purpose of the Research Study

The purpose of this study is to understand the process that Foreign Agriculture Service

employees use to conduct market analyses for U.S. Agricultural products. We are also examining

the ways in which information flows within the Foreign Agriculture Service (FAS) in an effort to

improve information flows and help FAS employees perform their jobs more easily.

What You Will be Asked to do in the Study

You will be asked to complete a survey that will be administered over the internet.

Time Required

Approximately 20-25 minutes.

Risks and Benefits

There are no reasonably foreseeable risks or discomforts that might occur as a result of

your participation in this research project.

Compensation

You will not be compensated for participating in this research and there are no direct

benefits to you for participating in this study.

Confidentiality

Your identity will be kept confidential to the extent provided by law. Your information

will be assigned a code number. The list connecting your name to this number will be kept in a









secure location on the University of Florida web server. When the study is completed and the

data have been analyzed, the list will be destroyed. Your name will not be used in any report.

Voluntary Participation

Your participation in this study is completely voluntary. There is no penalty for not

participating.

Right to Withdraw from the Study

You do not have to answer any question you do not wish to answer. You have the right to

withdraw from the study at anytime without consequence.

Whom to Contact if you Have Questions about the Study

Roy J. Taylor, James Sterns, PhD

Food and Resource Economics Department

Box 110240, University of Florida,

Gainesville, FL 32611-0240

ph (352) 392-1826 ext. 222

Whom to Contact about Your Rights as a Research Participant in the Study

UFIRB Office

Box 112250, University of Florida

Gainesville, FL 32611-2250

Phone: (352)-392-0433.



Agreement

I have read the procedure described above. I voluntarily agree to participate in the

procedure and I can receive a copy of this description if I contact the researchers at the above









addresses and telephone numbers. By typing my name below I certify that I agree with the terms

described above.

Participant:

Date:

Principal Investigator: Roy Justin Taylor Date: August 5, 2005

Questionnaire

For which type of FAS office are you answering this survey?

AAO

ATO

Other (Please Specify) -

In which city is your office located?



1) For the time period of October 1, 2004 September 30, 2005 please estimate the number of

market analyses initiated in each of the following ways?

Periodic scheduled reports

Direct contact from an individual U.S. company

Contact from a U.S. trade association or commodity group

Contact from a U.S. state governments (eg. State of Florida Dept. of Agriculture)

Office decision

Request by FAS/W

Request by U.S. embassy (State Econ section or other section)

Other (please specify):

Total









2) Of the total market analyses indicated in question 1, please estimate the number of market

analyses conducted between the following months:

October 1, 2004 December 31, 2004

January 1, 2005 ? March 31, 2005

April 1, 2005 June 30, 2005

July 1, 2005 September 30, 2005

Total



3) Of the total market analyses indicated in question 1, please estimate the number of market

analyses where the PRINCIPLE AUTHOR was each of the following, during the time period of

October 1, 2004 September 30, 2005:

FAS head of office

FSO (not head of office)

Locally employed permanent staff

Local consultant (contractor)

U.S. consultant (contractor)

Other (please specify)

Total



4) Market analyses are typically conducted for a variety of different types of agricultural

products or market sectors. Of the TOTAL NUMBER of the market analyses indicated in

question 1, please estimate how many were conducted for each of these product types, during the

time period of October 1, 2004 September 30, 2005?











Processed/High Value Agricultural products

Intermediate/Ingredients

Unprocessed/Bulk Commodities

Other (1)

Other (2)

Total



5) Market analyses are typically conducted for a variety of different types of agricultural

products or market sectors. Of the TOTAL AMOUNT OF TIME your office spent on market

analysis, please estimate the PERCENTAGE OF TIME spent on each of these product types,

during the time period of October 1, 2004 September 30, 2005?

Processed/High Value Agricultural products

Intermediate/Ingredients

Unprocessed/Bulk Commodities

Other (1)

Other (2)



6a) Between October 1, 2004 September 30, 2005, how many U.S. clients from each of the

following categories contacted your office to investigate export opportunities?

Potential U.S. exporters

Current U.S. exporters

Representatives of U.S. commodity groups based in a foreign country









Representatives of U.S. commodity groups based in a the United States

State Government officials

Employees of USDA Washington (not FAS)

Employees of FAS/W

Other (1)

Other (2)

Clients Total



6b) How would you characterize the knowledge levels of these U.S. clients that contacted your

office, during the time period of October 1, 2004 September 30, 2005? Please provide a

percentage.

% Very Knowledgeable (Has done research on culture, and general market structures of the

country or market, is familiar with relevant market size through best available data.)

% Somewhat Knowledgeable (Has limited understanding of culture, market conditions,

structures and relevant market size.)

% Not at all Knowledgeable (Has little or no understanding of culture, or local markets)



7) Of the following types of assistance, how often, if ever, did your office provide these services

to U.S. clients during the time period of October 1, 2004 September 30, 2005 ?

Please rate each choice on the following scale:

1 = This service was ALWAYS provided

2 = This service was FREQUENTLY provided

3 = This service was OCASSIONALLY provided









This service was SELDOM provided

This service was NEVER provided

Assistance finding an in-country partner to help with distribution 1 2 3

Assistance finding an in-country partner to help with marketing 1 2 3

Assistance with interpreting local country importation laws 1 2 3 4 5

Assistance with understanding trade barriers 1 2 3 4 5

Assistance with USDA Programs ie GSM, Cooperator programs, etc

Identifying marketing strategies 1 2 3 4 5

Identification of target consumers 1 2 3 4 5

Estimating/measuring overall market size 1 2 3 4 5

Identifying potential product competitors and competitor pricing strategies

45

Help companies plan their ?marketing mix? of products/services 1 2 3

Monitoring and Evaluating Market Response 1 2 3 4 5

Situational analysis- political 1 2 3 4 5

Situational analysis- cultural 1 2 3 4 5

Other(1) 1 2 3 4 5

Other (2) 1 2 3 4 5

Other (3) 1 2 3 4 5


45

45


1 2 3 4 5



1 2 3



123


4 5


8a) What types services for promotional activities did your office provide for U.S. companies

that were potential or current exporters, during the time period of October 1, 2004 September

30, 2005 ?









Please Rate each choice on the following scale:

1 = This service was ALWAYS provided

2 = This service was FREQUENTLY provided

3 = This service was OCASSIONALLY provided

4 = This service was SELDOM provided

5 = This service was NEVER provided

In-store menu promotions and tasting 1 2 3 4 5

Facilitated, designed, and/or critiqued/ public education and media campaigns 1 2 3 4 5

Provided technical assistance (addressing an SPS issue, sponsoring training courses or seminars

12345

Organized or conducted trade missions and reverse trade mission 1 2 3 4 5

Planned, organized and/or /hosted trade shows) 1 2 3 4 5

Public relations activities such as press events, journalist teams, and newsletters 1 2 3 4 5

Other(1) 1 2 3 4 5

Other (2) 1 2 3 4 5



8b) Of these services, which one was most effective? (Please include any comments/details you

wish to share about it.)



9) During the time period of October 1, 2004 September 30, 2005 what were the principle

sources of information used to conduct market analyses?

Please Rate each choice on the following scale:

1 = This source was ALWAYS used









2 = This source was FREQUENTLY used

3 = This source was OCASSIONALLY used

4 = This source was SELDOM used

5 = This source was NEVER used

Contact with key industry players 1 2 3 4 5

Contact with host country government 1 2 3 4 5

Contact with government officials representing third countries, e.g. officials from other

embassies 1 2 3 4 5

Cooperator or other U.S. commodity representative in the country 1 2 3 4 5

First-hand knowledge by a U.S. FAS employee 1 2 3 4 5

First-hand knowledge by a U.S. Embassy employee, e.g. Dep. of State Econ officer, U.S.

commercial service 1 2 3 4 5

First-hand knowledge by a FSN 1 2 3 4 5

Foreign government data 1 2 3 4 5

Foreign trade journals 1 2 3 4 5

Independent data gathering service 1 2 3 4 5

International news services websites/wire/print (CNN; BBC; Reuters; AP) 1 2 3 4 5

Local distributors in that industry 1 2 3 4 5

Survey or other primary data collection 1 2 3 4 5

United States Government data 1 2 3 4 5

United States trade journals 1 2 3 4 5

Other(1) 1 2 3 4 5

Other (2) 1 2 3 4 5









Other (3) 1 2 3 4 5


10a) How much do foreign consultants charge to conduct market analyses in the area that your

office covers (Please fill in all that you know):

$ (in USD) per hour

$ (in USD) per day

$ (in USD) per assessment

$ (in USD) other

Do not know



10b) How much do U.S. consultants (excluding the U.S. Department of Commerce) charge to

conduct market analyses in the area that your office covers (Please fill in all that you know):

$ (in USD) per hour

$ (in USD) per day

$ (in USD) per assessment

$ (in USD) other

Do not know



1 la) Does your office currently track the U.S. agricultural exports that occur as a direct result of

the assistance provided by your office?

Yes No

1 Ib) If yes, how do you track this information?

Formal contact database of assistance provided, with follow-ups on progress









Informal correspondence initiated by your office

Informal correspondence initiated by the exporter

There is no system in place and there are plans to create one

There is no system in place and there are not plans to create one

Other (Please Specify)



12) What can FAS do to improve the way that market analyses are conducted?

13) What can FAS do to improve the way that market analyses are reported/distributed?









APPENDIX D
RESULTS FROM SURVEY OF FAS POSTS WEB-BASED QUESTIONAIRRE











Question 1
1) For the time period of October 1, 2004 September 30, 2005 please
estimate the number of market analyses initiated in each of the following ways?
Count of Reports
qlfl 1000 Periodic scheduled reports
qlf2 2160 Direct contact from an individual U.S. company
qlf3 1265 Contact from a U.S. trade association or commodity group
qlf4 449 Contact from a U.S. state governments (eg. State of Florida Dept. of Agriculture)
qlf5 907 Office decision
qlf6 917 Request by FAS/W
qlf7 499 Request by U.S. embassy (State Econ section or other section)
qlf8 455 Other (please specify):
qlf9 0
Total: 7652


Question 2


Of the total market analyses indicated in question 1, please estimate the number of market analyses conducted between the
following months:
Count of Reports
q2fl 1816 October 1, 2004 December 31, 2004
q2f2 2069 January 1, 2005 March 31, 2005
q2f3 2116 April 1, 2005 June 30, 2005
q2f4 1614 July 1, 2005 September 30, 2005
Total: 7615









Question 3


Of the total market analyses indicated in question 1, please
estimate the number of market analyses where the PRINCIPLE
AUTHOR was each of the following, during the time period of
October 1, 2004 September 30, 2005:
(Unusable Results)
Question 4


Of the total market analyses indicated in question 1, please estimate the number of market
analyses where the PRINCIPLE AUTHOR was each of the following, during the time period of
October 1, 2004 September 30, 2005:
q4fl 3721 Processed/High Value Agricultural products
q4f2 1366 Intermediate/Ingredients
q4f3 1862 Unprocessed/Bulk Commodities
q4f4 304 Other (1)
q4f5 0
q4f6 213 Other (2)
q4f7 0
Total: 7466










Question 5
Market analyses are typically conducted for a variety of different types of agricultural products or market
sectors.
Of the TOTAL AMOUNT OF TIME your office spent on market analysis, please estimate the
PERCENTAGE OF TIME spent on each of these product types, during the time period of October 1, 2004
- September 30, 2005?
q5fl 1854 Processed/High Value Agricultural products
ExtraS 0
q5f2 597 Intermediate/Ingredients
q5f3 1278 Unprocessed/Bulk Commodities
q5f4 360 Other (1)
q5f5 0
q5f6 155 Other (2)
q5f7 0
Total: 4244 Hours (so it is okay it does not equal total from q4)


Combination of 4 and 5
# of Analyses % of time
3721 1854 0.498 Processed/High Value Agricultural products
1366 597 0.437 Intermediate/Ingredients
1862 1278 0.686 Unprocessed/Bulk Commodities
6949 3729 0.537 Average for all









Question 6a)
Between October 1, 2004 September 30, 2005, how many U.S. clients from each of the
following categories contacted your office to investigate export opportunities?
q7afl 0
q7bfl 2893 Potential U.S. exporters
q7bf2 2041 Current U.S. exporters
Representatives of U.S. commodity groups based in a foreign
q7bf3 1090 country
Representatives of U.S. commodity groups based in a the
q7bf4 796 United States
q7bf5 526 State Government officials
q7bf6 449 Employees of USDA Washington (not FAS)
q7bf7 1041 Employees of FAS/W
q7bf8 150 Other (1)
q7bf9 0
q7bfl0 65 Other (2)
q7bfl 10
Total 9051 (# of people, is okay it doesn't equal total from q4)

Question 6b)

How would you characterize the knowledge levels of these U.S. clients that contacted your office, during
the time period of October 1, 2004 September 30, 2005? Please provide a percentage.
Very Knowledgeable (Has done research on culture, and general market
structures of the country or market, is familiar with relevant market size
q7cfl 1258 through best available data.)
Somewhat Knowledgeable (Has limited understanding of culture,
q7cf2 2094 market conditions, structures and relevant market size.)
Not at all Knowledgeable (Has little or no understanding of culture, or
q7cf3 1543 local markets)
Total: 4895









Question 7
Of the following types of assistance, how often, if ever, did your office provide these services to U.S. clients during the time
period of October 1, 2004 September 30, 2005 ?
Please rate each choice on the following scale:
1 = This service was ALWAYS provided
2 = This service was FREQUENTLY provided
3 = This service was OCASSIONALLY provided
4 = This service was SELDOM provided
5 = This service was NEVER provided
total of
1 2 3 4 5 6 columns
Assistance finding an in-country partner
q8fl to help with distribution 18 13 8 5 6 0 50
Assistance finding an in-country partner
q8f2 to help with marketing 8 11 14 11 6 0 50
Assistance with interpreting local country
q8f3 importation laws 25 15 7 2 1 0 50
Assistance with understanding trade
q8f4 barriers 24 18 5 0 3 0 50
Assistance with USDA Programs ie
q8f5 GSM, Cooperator programs, etc 12 12 16 9 1 0 50
q8f6 Identifying marketing strategies 11 19 12 6 2 0 50
q8f7 Identification of target consumers 12 17 16 2 3 0 50
q8f8 Estimating/measuring overall market size 12 24 7 5 2 0 50
Identifying potential product competitors
q8f9 and competitor pricing strategies 7 15 20 5 2 0 49
Help companies plan their "marketing
q8fl0 mix" of products/services 4 7 20 11 7 0 49
Monitoring and Evaluating Market
q8fl 1 Response 3 8 14 16 8 0 49
q8f12 Situational analysis- political 14 11 11 13 1 0 50
q8fl3 Situational analysis- cultural 11 17 16 3 3 0 50
q8f14 0 0 0 0 0 0 0









q8f15 Other (1) 3 3 1 0 0 0 7
q8fl6 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
q8fl7 Other (2) 2 1 1 0 0 0 4
q8f18 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
q8fl9 Other (3) 1 0 0 0 0 0 1

Question 8 No useful information gathered because of technical problems
What types of services for promotional activities did your office provide for U.S. companies that were potential or current
exporters, during the time period of October 1, 2004 September 30, 2005 ?
total of
columns
q9fl In-store menu promotions and tasting 5 8 12 10 14 0 49
Facilitated, designed, and/or critiqued/ public education and
q9f2 media campaigns 5 21 15 7 2 0 50
Provided technical assistance (addressing an SPS issue,
q9f3 sponsoring training courses or seminars 7 18 14 4 7 0 50
Organized or conducted trade missions and reverse trade
q9f4 mission 6 18 10 4 12 0 50
q9f5 Planned, organized and/or /hosted trade shows) 5 13 15 6 10 0 49
Public relations activities such as press events, journalist teams,
q9f6 and newsletters 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
q9f7 Other (1) 0 0 12 10 14 0 36
q9f8 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
q9f9 Other (2) 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
q9fl0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1
q9fl 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
q9bfl 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Question 8b) No information gathered because of technical problems










Question 9
During the time period of October 1, 2004 September 30, 2005 what were the principle sources of
information used to conduct market analyses?
total of
1 2 3 4 5 6 columns
qlOfl Contact with key industry players 33 13 1 0 2 0 49
q10f2 Contact with host country government 23 19 5 1 1 0 49
Contact with government officials representing
q10f3 third countries, e.g. officials from other embassies 2 4 21 16 5 0 48
Cooperator or other U.S. commodity
q10f4 representative in the country 8 21 10 6 4 0 49
ql0f5 First-hand knowledge by a U.S. FAS employee 18 12 12 4 3 0 49
First-hand knowledge by a U.S. Embassy
employee, e.g. Dep. of State Econ officer, U.S.
ql0f6 commercial service 1 10 21 16 1 0 49
q10f7 First-hand knowledge by a FSN 34 8 2 4 1 0 49
ql0f8 Foreign government data 20 18 8 1 2 0 49
q10f9 Foreign trade journals 8 21 10 8 2 0 49
ql0fl0 Independent data gathering service 4 13 9 14 9 0 49
International news services websites/wire/print
qlfl 1 (CNN; BBC; Reuters; AP) 4 8 18 15 4 0 49
ql0fl2 Local distributors in that industry 18 21 7 1 2 0 49
q10fl3 Survey or other primary data collection 4 11 9 17 7 0 48
ql0fl4 United States Government data 13 16 14 5 1 0 49
ql0fl5 United States trade journals 3 7 12 17 9 0 48
ql0fl6 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
q10fl7 Other (1) 2 2 3 0 0 0 7
ql0fl8 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
ql0fl9 Other (2) 0 0 2 1 0 0 3
ql0f20 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
ql0f21 Other (3) 0 1 1 0 0 0 2






















Question 1 a)
Does your office currently track the U.S. agricultural exports that
occur as a direct result of the assistance provided by your office?
ql2afl
Yes NO Total
34 13 47


Question 1 lb)
If yes, how do you track this information?
9 Formal contact database of assistance provided, with follow-ups on progress
20 Informal correspondence initiated by your office
3 Informal correspondence initiated by the exporter
1 There is no system in place and there are plans to create one
2 There is no system in place and there are not plans to create one
5 Other (Please Specify)
40 Total (7 of the 13 No respondents did not answer part B of the question)


Question 10a)
How much do foreign consultants charge to conduct market analyses in the area
that your office covers (Please fill in all that you know):
Question 10b)
How much do U.S. consultants (excluding the U.S. Department of Commerce)
charge to conduct market analyses in the area that your office covers (Please fill in
all that you know):









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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH

R. Justin Taylor is a native of Fulton County, Kentucky, where he graduated as

valedictorian of Fulton County High School. He attended Murray State University and

graduated in 2003 with honors in agricultural business and Spanish. He expects to graduate with

a Master of Science in food and resource economics from the University of Florida in the spring

of 2008. Justin resides in Washington, DC, with his wife Carolyn.





PAGE 1

MARKET ANALYSIS AND PRACTICE WITH EM PIRICAL EVIDENCE FROM THE USDA FOREIGN AGRICULTURAL SERVICE By ROY JUSTIN TAYLOR A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLOR IDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF SCIENCE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2008 1

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2008 Roy Justin Taylor 2

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To my family (even the members I havent met yet) 3

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TABLE OF CONTENTS page LIST OF TABLES ...........................................................................................................................7 LIST OF FIGURES .........................................................................................................................8 ABSTRACT .....................................................................................................................................9 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION................................................................................................................. .11 Problem Setting ......................................................................................................................11 Motivation for This Research .................................................................................................11 Research Questions .................................................................................................................12 Organization of Thesis ............................................................................................................12 Operative Definitions ..............................................................................................................13 2 BACKGROUND MATERIALS............................................................................................15 The Need for Market Analysis ...............................................................................................15 The Foreign Agricultural Service as an Example of an Organization that Conducts Market Analyses ..................................................................................................................16 3 LITERATURE REVIEW.......................................................................................................27 Role of Market Analysis .........................................................................................................27 Sources of Information useful for Conducting a Market Analysis .........................................29 Summary of Findings fro m Literature Review .......................................................................38 4 METHODS...................................................................................................................... .......40 Description of Surveys and Databases ...................................................................................40 Telephone Survey of FAS Information Customers ................................................................40 Web-Based Survey of FAS Posts ...........................................................................................45 Database of Report Usage (Webtrends) .................................................................................50 5 RESULTS...................................................................................................................... .........58 Question One: Initiation of Market Analyses .........................................................................60 Methods Used to Conduct Market Analyses and Collect Market Information. ..............62 Identify Market Analysis Information Demanded by Users of FAS Services ................68 Results and Analysis of the Te lephone Survey of FAS Customers ................................68 4

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Results and Analysis of the GAIN Repor t Downloads By Country and Subject Using Webtrends..........................................................................................................69 Results and Analysis of GAIN Report Downloads By Type of Information Contained in the Report ...............................................................................................71 Differences in Methodology and Practice of Market Analysis between the Literature and FAS Posts. ....................................................................................................................73 Analyze the Information Demanded by Users of FAS Services and the Market Analysis Services Provided by FAS Posts to Determine FASs Most Valuable Market Analysis Functions. ............................................................................................................................75 Summary .................................................................................................................................76 6 CONCLUSTIONS AND OUTCOMES.................................................................................94 The Four Most Significant Observations ................................................................................94 FAS Report Information Usage System ..........................................................................94 FAS Knowing Its Primary Information Customers .........................................................94 Consensus in the Literature on Informa tion Needed to Conduct Market Analysis .........95 FASs Lack of a Systemized Met hod for Preparing Market Analysis ............................95 Applied Outcomes of the Research ........................................................................................96 Webtrends Downloads Database Long-Term Implementation ..............................................96 Suggestions for Further Re search and Applications ...............................................................97 APPENDIX A QUESTIONAIRRE USED IN PHONE SURVEY OF FAS INFORMATION CUSTOMERS......................................................................................................................100 B RESULTS FROM TELEPHONE SURVEY........................................................................103 C ALL CONTENT POSTED ON UF WEBSITE FOR WEB-BASED POST SURVEY.......114 INFORMED CONSENT ......................................................................................................114 Purpose of the Research Study ......................................................................................114 What You Will be Asked to do in the Study .................................................................114 Time Required ...............................................................................................................114 Risks and Benefits .........................................................................................................114 Compensation ................................................................................................................114 Confidentiality ...............................................................................................................114 Voluntary Participation .................................................................................................115 Right to Withdraw from the Study ................................................................................115 Whom to Contact if you Have Questions about the Study ............................................115 Whom to Contact about Your Rights as a Research Participant in the Study...............115 Agreement .............................................................................................................................115 Questionnaire........................................................................................................................116 D RESULTS FROM SURVEY OF FA S POSTS WEB-BASED QUESTIONAIRRE...........125 5

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LIST OF REFERENCES.............................................................................................................134 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH .......................................................................................................140 6

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LIST OF TABLES Table page 4-1 Number of unique GAIN reports downloa ded in 2005 and 2006 listed by the year in which the report was published by FAS. ...........................................................................57 5-1 Response Rate by FAS management region for the Web-based survey of FAS Posts. .....77 5-2 Results of web-based survey of FAS Posts question number one .....................................78 5-3 Totals for always and frequently re sponses to web-based survey of FAS Posts Question 7 ..........................................................................................................................79 5-4 Totals for always and frequently re sponses to web-based survey of FAS Posts Question 9 ..........................................................................................................................80 5-5 Cross tabular analysis showing positive co rrelation between largest U.S. agricultural trading partners and Posts that always or frequently provide cultural analysis. Results based on web-based survey of FAS Posts question 7 ...........................................81 5-6 Cross tabular analysis showing corre lation between FAS office size and Post providing political analysis. Results of web-based survey of FAS Posts question 7 .......82 5-7 Cross tabular analysis showing corre lation between first-hand knowledge Foreign Service Officer (FSO) and human developm ent index value of the host country. Results based on web-based survey of FAS Posts question 9 ...........................................83 5-8 Cross tabular analysis of positive association between always and frequent use of U.S. trade journals as an information source and a human development index value of less than 0.8 for the host country. Re sults based on web-based survey of FAS Posts question 9..................................................................................................................84 5-9 GAIN report matrix of 25 most downloa ded report categories and countries for 2005-2006. .........................................................................................................................85 5-10 GAIN report matrix showing total numb ers of report downloads in 2005 and 2006 by country, arranged from gr eatest total downloads to least total downloads. .......................89 5-11 GAIN reports matrix showing total nu mbers of report downloads in 2005 and 2006 by category, arranged from greatest tota l downloads to least total downloads. ................91 5-12 Analysis of GAIN reports by content fo r total reports downloaded and total unique report downloaded .............................................................................................................92 5-13 Analysis of GAIN reports showing each combination of type of information contained for trade data, thre ats, and opportunities paradigm. ..........................................93 7

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LIST OF FIGURES Figure page 1-1 The Process of Market Analysis and Implementation. ......................................................14 2-1 Organizational Structure of Foreign Agricultural Service in January 2005 ....................24 2-2 FAS Online as It Appeared on November 4, 1996 ...........................................................25 2-3 FAS Online as It Appeared on May 10, 2000. ...................................................................26 4-1 Number of Persons That Completed Telephone Pre-test or Survey; Break-out by Internal or External Source and Specific Type of Source. .................................................55 4-2 Number of FAS Posts Res ponding to Web-based Survey for Each Category of Post Analyzed by the Researcher. ..............................................................................................56 5-1 Market Analysis Flow-Chart..............................................................................................59 8

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Abstract of Thesis Presen ted to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Science MARKET ANALYSIS AND PRACTICE WITH EMPIRICAL EVIDENCE FROM THE USDA FOREIGN AGRICULTURAL SERVICE By Roy Justin Taylor May 2008 Chair: James A. Sterns Major Department: Food and Resource Economics This thesis utilizes the U.S. Department of Agricultures Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS), a public organization that conducts mark et analyses around the world, to compare the practice of market analysis as conducted by FAS with the methodology for market analyses found in the current literature. The literature reveals a c onsensus on the major steps of conducting market analysis. These steps are identif y potential threats, iden tify strengths that can be exploited, identify market segments to be targeted (opportunities), and identify market demand and trends. This research project also uses FAS as th e example to compare the types of market analysis information demanded by users with the types of market analysis information published by FAS. Download statistics for FAS General Agricultural Information Network (GAIN) reports, the primary market analysis information produced by FAS Posts, are the major source of data. Analysis of the information contained in the most downloaded GAIN reports revealed that FAS customers most frequently downloaded re ports containing packages of information including all components of market analysis (opp ortunities, threats, tr ade and trend data). However, the single report cate gory with the most total downloads for the 24 months analyzed contained none of those market analysis com ponents. The most demanded FAS GAIN report is 9

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the Food and Agricultural Import Regulations and Standard s (FAIRS) report which explains foreign country import laws and food safety standards. These results indicate FAS users rely on FAS for both market analysis information and market access/market entry information and assistance. Additionally, survey instruments were used to understand functions and operations of FA S posts and the needs of FAS customers. The researcher learned that FAS does not have a formal method for conducting market analysis. However, the two most comm on functions performed by FAS Posts are Understanding Trade Barriers and Interpreting Local Country Importation Laws which led to the conclusion that FAS is focused more on the processes of ma rket access and market entry rather than market analysis. 10

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CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION Problem Setting The question of how a company should conduct market research in order to decide if that particular market will be profita ble is central to a ny decision about entering a new market. New market entry decisions become more complicated when the potential new marketplace is in a different country. For over a century, the U.S. G overnment has had a role in the market research process by providing unbiased information to help inform business decisions. Under the federal structure, the Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS), a service within the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), helps fulfill this role by collecting data about food and agricultural markets outside the United States and then providi ng that information to the public. Some of this information is in the form of GAIN (General Ag ricultural Information Network) reports, which are available on the FAS website. This thesis summarizes the research and an alysis of the production and use for these GAIN reports. In so doing, this project serves thre e purposes. First, it he lps FAS and USDA gauge customer demand for information. Second, it analy zes the methods used by FAS posts abroad to conduct market analyses and suppl y GAIN reports. Third, it reports an analysis of a previously unexamined database of FAS report download statistics. Motivation for This Research FAS and USDA are facing pressure to right-size their presence abroad as part of a larger U.S. Government mandate presented in the Pr esidents Management Agenda in 2002. As a result of this mandate, the U.S. Department of State began to implement a number of measures designed to share more equitably the cost of hos ting personnel abroad. Thus, there has been an increase in the cost per person charged to FA S by the Department of State for FAS personnel 11

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located in Department of State f acilities abroad. This research project helps FAS as it seeks to collect objective data related to customer demand for FAS post-generated information. It also helps FAS by examining the current manner in whic h these reports are produced across the entire range of FAS offices so that FAS can prepare best-practices for similar posts. Currently, no such set of best-practices exist for the preparation of GAIN reports. Research Questions Are the techniques used by USDAs Foreign Agricultural Service offices abroad to conduct market analyses and supply market analysis reports consistent with the techniques identified in a review of the current literatu re? And second, to what degree are the resulting market analysis reports demanded by FASs customers? Objectives Using FAS as a case study, this rese arch project has five objectives: Conduct a literature review to identify the steps and methods proposed in the current literature for conducting market analyses. Design and conduct a web-based survey of FAS posts to identify the methods and practices used by the FAS posts to conduct market analyses. Conduct a telephone survey and construct a webt rends downloads database to identify the market analysis information demanded by users of FAS services. Analyze differences in the methods and practice of market analysis be tween the literature and FAS Posts. Analyze the information demanded by users of FAS services and the market analysis services provided by FAS posts to determine FASs most valuable market analysis functions. Organization of Thesis This thesis is organized into six chapters. Chapter One provides an introduction of the research problem, motivation, questions, objec tives and operative defi nitions. Chapter Two presents the argument for why this research is needed and why the Foreign Agricultural Service 12

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was chosen as the organization to study. It also presents the hist ory of the Foreign Agricultural Service as well as that of the General Agricult ural Information Network (GAIN). Chapter Three establishes the steps for market analyses r ecommended through a review of the literature. Chapter Four discusses the methods used for all of the analyses in the res earch project. Chapter Five presents the analysis of the data and the conclusions reached. Chapter Six summarizes the four most important conc lusions and outcomes from the research project. Operative Definitions The terms market assessment, market analysis and market research have similar meanings and are sometimes used interchangeabl y. Figure 1-1 below graphically represents the definitions given in this paragraph and will be used again later in the paper for further explanation. For the purpose of this work mar ket analysis is the part of a feasibility study, business plan, or marketing plan whereby the company examines the macro forces (economic, political-legal, social-cultural, technological) and the actors (c ompany, competitors, distributors and suppliers) in its environment (Kotler 2003, 1 12). Market research is the total combined data used by the business to formulate its mark et analysis and decisi on making processes (The Entrepreneur Magazine 1995, 42) (Evans 1998, A35). These data can be primary or secondary and can consist of published numbers, survey respons es, or a variety of othe r types of data. Once the market analysis has been completed, the firm or individual can create a market assessment. A market assessment is the determination of impo rtance, size, or value of a market (MerriamWebster 2007). The market assessment is the fina l determination resulting from all the market research data that is collected and evaluated during the market analysis. Once the company has its market assessment, it then makes a decision whet her or not to enter a market. If it does not enter the market it might begin the process again w ith market research for a different market. If 13

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it decides to enter the market, then next pha ses are implementation of the marketing plan, monitoring of the progress, and ad justing activities as needed. Figure 1-1 The Process of Market Analysis and Implementation. Created by the author for the purpose of this work. 14

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CHAPTER 2 BACKGROUND MATERIALS The Need for Market Analysis Market analyses are important now and will continue to be im portant to the American food marketer in the coming decades. Many peer-rev iewed articles and independently-researched projects about market analysis have been co mpleted using various demographic factors as components of demand functions for agricultural products. Studied relationships include race and type of meat consumed (Lanfranco 2002) food expenditures and age (Blisard 2001) and word choice and marketability (Degner 1991). Th ere are hundreds of other examples of such studies. Importance of Market Analysis in International Food Marketing The rising population and affluence of Muslims in Europe is increasing their buying power and causing the dynamics of food demand in Europe to change. An example of this change is occurring in France which has about five million Muslim residents making it the largest Muslim population of any country in Europe (Journo 2007). A recent article in the journal Population entitled Recent Demographic Developments in France republished data from the French Institut National DEtudes Dmographiques, which estimates that total population of France in 2004 was 59.9 million. The article also reports that 128,000 of Frances immigrants entered the country in 2003 because of family resettlement initiatives (Frejka 2007). This, combined with the fact that immigrants have higher birth rates than the general population (INEE 2006), indicates that demographic shif ts drive population food preferences in France for many years to come. Halal products are one niche market that has been positively impacted by the changing demographics of France. According to the Forei gn Agricultural Service (F AS) post in Paris, the 15

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Halal market in Europe is worth about 15 Billio n Euros and in France alone it is worth between 1.5 and 3 Billion Euros (Journo 2006). This is ju st one small example of the potential in international food marketing and the importance of using market analysis to keep up with changing trends. FAS assists U.S. agricultural firms by offering a variety of informational reports and market analyses free of charge. These reports assist U.S. firms by providing clear market information in English about markets all over the world. FAS has been involved in collecting agricultural market information and developing networks of contacts abroad for over five decades. The Foreign Agricultural Service as an E xample of an Organization That Conducts Market Analyses This thesis uses FAS as an example of a homogeneous worldwide organization that conducts market analyses in different markets around the world. This section presents the history of the FAS, a summary of the current op erational structure, and an explanation of the origin and use of the GAIN reporting system, which provides public access to FAS reports. This discussion will provide context and demonstrat e how deeply intertwined the conducting of market analyses is within the history and mission of FAS. History of FAS The organized analysis of foreign agricultura l markets was not codified in U.S. law until the 1930 Foreign Agricultural Service Act. In th is Act, the Foreign Agricultural Service was formed, consisting of the Attach Service with diplomatic status, while the overall division in Washington was called the Foreign Agricultural Service Division of USDA. The 1930 Act states that FAS was enacted, 16

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for the purpose of encouraging and promoti ng the agriculture of the United States and assisting American Farmers to adjust thei r operations and practi ces to meet world conditions The duties of the USDA officers outlined in the 1930 Act include, (a) Acquire information regarding world competition and demand for agricultural products and the production, marketing, and distributing of said products in foreign countries and disseminate the same thr ough agricultural extension agencies and by such other means as may be deemed advisable. (b) Investigate abroad farm manageme nt and any other economic phases of agricultural industry and, in so far as is necessary to carry out the purposes of this Act, conduct abroad any activities, incl uding the demonstration of standards for cotton, wheat, and other American agricu ltural products in which the Department of Agriculture now authorized or in the future may be authorized to engage. Nothing contained herein shall be constr ued as prohibiting the Department from conducting abroad any activity for which auth ority for thus conducing it may exist. (FAS Act 1930) In 1938 USDA was reorganized, and FASD was re named Foreign Agricultural Service, as a part of the reorganization of USDA the Division of Foreign Agricultural Service was established as a staff office of the Secretar y effective December 1st 1938 (Baker et al. 1963, 266). Even as USDA was undergoing the reorga nization in 1938, the U.S Congress was working its way through the Reorganization Act of 1939. This Act called for a reorganization of government and a streamlining of ac tivities. In this spirit the St ate Department was given control of both the Foreign Agricultural Service and the Foreign Comme rcial Service (Baker 1963, 267). The reorganization only affected the eight overseas offices of FA S and not FAS employees based in Washington, DC, or the commodity specialists wo rking in Washington or abroad. As a result, less than $100,000 of the total FAS appropriation of $300,000 was transferred to the Department of State and the remaining money was available to the Department of Agriculture to establish a new foreign office in the Department (Baker 1963, 268).vcc No significant legislative changes affected the Foreign Agricultural Service until the Foreign Service Act of 1980. This Act specified the benefits and opportunities for those in all 17

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parts of the Foreign Service, including State Department, Agriculture Department, Commerce Department, International Communications Ag ency and the United States International Development Cooperation Agency. Its overarc hing goal was to strengthen and improve the Foreign Service of the United States. Under the Act, plans were established for me rit-based promotion policies, improvement in diversity among the Foreign Service workforce and simplification of personnel salaries and grade categories. The Act changed the way d ecisions were made by es tablishing a statutory basis for representatives of Foreign Service pers onnel to take part in the forming of personnel policies and the resolving of grievances. It affected the standa rds of living for Foreign Service officers by making service easier on individuals and families and by providing salaries competitive enough to attract qualified people. It established the Senior Foreign Service for the most elite Foreign Service Officers to provide enough incentives to keep them employed even after they were eligible to retire. The overa ll goal was to increase th e cooperation between all the Foreign Service Agencies, and otherwise enab ling the Foreign Service to serve effectively the interests of the United States and to provide the highest cal iber of representation in the conduct of foreign affairs (P.L. 96-466 Oct. 17, 1980 94 Stat. 2075). After the Foreign Service Act of 1980, the rules that govern th e Foreign Service section of the Foreign Agricultural Service have not been modified as of November 2007. Current Mandates and Legislation Governing FAS FAS operates under Title 7 Subtitle A, Section 2.43 of the Code of Federal Regulations. This section specifies all of the current functions of FAS. Three of the sections specifically deal with FASs function of conducting worldwide analys is and assisting U.S. exporters with market analyses. 18

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(3) Conduct studies of worldwide pr oduction, trade, marketing, prices, consumption, and other factors affecting e xports and imports of U.S. agricultural commodities; obtain information on methods used by other countries to move farm commodities in world trade on a competitive basis for use in the development of programs of this Department; provide information to domestic producers, the agricultural trade, the public and other interests; and promot e normal commercial markets abroad Paragraph (3) discusses the role of FAS in monitoring factors worl dwide that affect U.S. markets both domestically and abroad. The outgrowth of th is paragraph is the set of FAS trade database systems that offer objective statistics on all agri cultural commodities. In later chapters when respondents say that they rely on FASs statistics, they are referring to data fulfilling this section of FASs mandate. (23) Maintain a worldwide agricultural in telligence and reporting system, including provision for foreign agricultur al representation abroad to protect and promote U.S. agricultural interests, and to acqui re information on demand, competition, marketing, and distribution of U.S. agricultural commodities abroad pursuant to title VI of the Agricultural Act of 1954, as amended (7 U.S.C. 1761). Paragraph (23) discusses and re ferences Title VI of the Agri cultural Act of 1954, as amended. This Act is discussed in more detail later in this chapter. Of particular note, however, is that the Act brought agricultural attachs back into the exclusive servi ce of USDA from the Department of State. Title VI spelled out unequivocally that the purpose of Agricultural Attachs abroad is to work for the American agricultural system--pr oducers, marketers, processors and exporters as well as the Secretary of Agriculture. This was spelled out in no unc ertain terms since the purpose of this Act was to call back and redefine th e role of Agricultural Attachs abroad. They would no longer be working for both the Department of State and the Depart ment of Agriculture. (38) Disseminate, upon request, information on subjects connected with agriculture which has been acquired by USDA agencies th at may be useful to the U.S. private sector in expanding foreign markets and investment opportunities through the operation of a Department information center, pursuant to 7 U.S.C. 2201. 19

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Paragraph (38) combines with paragraph (23) to create the groundwor k for the current FAS public reporting system. Paragra ph (38) does not limit the inform ation disseminated to that information collected at FAS posts abroad, rather leaving it open to all information acquired by USDA and useful to the U.S. private sector. The reports generated by combining all of the available sources of information are the synthesis of market analyses by FAS staff and are tacitly mandated in this paragraph. Current Structure of FAS The Foreign Agriculture Service (FAS) is one of the 17 agencies of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). FAS is the only foreign service agency of the USDA. It covers 142 countries around the world with 103 staffed offices (FAS 2007). The domestic side of the FAS has about 800 employees working in Washington D.C., though this number is slightly fluid due to temporary contract workers that are hired for short-term work such as development projects (FAS FASTNET 2007). The mission of FAS is to work to improve foreign market access fo r U.S. products, build new markets, improve the competitive position of U.S. agriculture in the global marketplace, and provide food aid and technical assistance to foreign countries. Figure 2-1 shows the five FAS program areas as of January 2005 (Mustard 2006): Foreign Agricultural A ffairs, International Cooperation and Development, International Trade Policy, Commodity and Marketing Programs and Export Credits. As of November 13, 2006, FAS reorganized into the current structure of nine program areas designed to correspond to its mission and strategic objectives. The new program areas are Office of the Administrator, Office of Scientific and Technical Affairs, Office of Country and Regional Affairs, Office of Negotiations and Agreements, Office of Global Analysis, Office of Trade Programs, Office of Capacity Building and Development, Office of Administrative Operations and Office of Forei gn Service Operations (FAS 2007). Of these nine 20

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program areas, Export Credits administers th e largest budget, approximately $4.4 billion (Terpstra 2005). The Foreign Service budget of FAS requires just $8.8 million (Terpstra 2005). During Fiscal Year 2006, the FAS budgeted $148 m illion for salaries and expenses. It has responsibility for over $6.1 billion in funds for various programs to promote U.S. agricultural exports, develop long-term markets overseas, and foster economic growth in developing countries (Terpstra 2005). GAIN Reporting System The current Global Attach Informational Netw ork (GAIN) system of electronic reporting can be traced back to the original Global Ec onomic Data Exchange System (GEDES) system developed by the State Department and first used by FAS in 1981 (Mustard 2006). In 1988 the reporting system used by attachs became known as Telemail. In 1995 FAS launched its first website and it provided links to Foreign Market Research, wh ich allowed the visitor to see some select GAIN reports in .txt format. Figur e 2-2 from the internet web archive depicts how the FAS website looked on November 4, 1996. Th is page has a link to Foreign Market Research which led to the listing of FA S Telemail reports (web.archive.org). The GAIN system was launched in 1997. This is the system that was still in use as of October 2006. GAIN submissions from the field are composed as Microsoft Word documents and then loaded into a macro that formats them for the GAIN system. GAIN is a database that simply holds all of the reports until they are retrieved by a user through one of the GAIN search engines. The system ran internally for th ree years until it was loaded onto the public FAS website so that it could be easil y accessed by the general public. Sometime between April 7, 2000 and May 10, 2000, the link to the Attach Reports and the GAIN report search engine first appeared on the FAS homepage. Figure 2-3 shows www.fas.usda.gov as it appeared on May 10, 2000. The sixth bulleted point on the main page 21

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is a link to Attach Reports. That link direct ed visitors to the GAIN report search engine whereby they could obtain any releva nt GAIN reports (web.archive.org). Opening up the GAIN reports database to the public became a powerful tool for U.S. agricultural firms. It gave users access to mark et intelligence from the entire globe. While the GAIN database had the potential to be used by FAS to track pub lic demand for each of its public reports, the system was not created with these metr ics readily available; th erefore, the different levels of demand for each of the public re ports remained unknown. It was not until the Webtrends download tracking software was in stalled in 2003 that tracking the number of downloads became possible, even if this inform ation was still not readily accessible. The downloads database was further developed and translated into useable information for FAS by the researcher as described in Chapter Four. Summary Research about how market analyses are conducted, particularly w ithin the context of FASs legislative mandates, is needed because U.S. agricultural firms are in an evolving, diverse marketplace both at home and abroad. In order for them to remain competitive with their international rivals, they must use all available resources to re main ahead of trends in the agricultural industry. FAS is f unded by taxpayers and provides its information to the public free of charge, and for this reason U.S. agricultu ral firms wishing to enter the international marketplace should consider it as a resource. As FAS continues to maintain its global presence and strives to provide relevant information to its customers, i.e. the U.S. agricultural industry, it needs to know what its customers demand so it can remain relevant to thei r requirements. This project helps to bridge the gap between customer demand and the intelligence and services supplied by FAS. 22

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The next chapter reviews the relevant literature associated with market analysis in both the private and public sectors. The similarities disc overed in the literature will serve as a basis by which to judge both the information supplied by FAS and the information demanded by FASs customers. The resulting analysis will help both FAS and its customers better understand their roles vis-a-vis market research and market analysis. 23

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Figure 2-1. Organizational Struct ure of Foreign Agricultural Se rvice in January 2005 ((Mustard 2006). 24

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Figure 2-2. FAS Online as It Appeared on November 4, 1996 (http://web.archive.org). 25

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Figure 2-3. FAS Online as It Appeared on May 10, 2000 (http://web.archive.org). 26

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CHAPTER 3 LITERATURE REVIEW Figure 1-1 presented in Chapter One outlines the progression from market research using data sets to market analysis resulting in information sets which are then used for market assessment and ultimately a firms decision for entering a new market. In this chapter the concept of market analysis (and its components) is presented from its original sources in business literature, followe d by a review of available sources of market information and its role in conducting market analyses. The techniques and recommendations specific to conducting market analysis that appear most often in the literature are not discussed in detail for each cited source of information; rather, they are summarized at the end of the chapter. Role of Market Analysis Conducting a market analysis is widely recomm ended as an important step in determining the viability of a project or en terprise (The Entrepreneur Ma gazine 1995, 121; Dalton et al. 2002, 11; Kotler 1999, 168; Peter 1991, 20; Winer 1965, 2). Sources differ regarding whether the market analysis should come before an internal analysis of the firms capabilities and resources or if the internal anal ysis should drive the market analysis. Porters famous SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) analysis (Porter 1979, 141) conceptualizes the situation from the internal perspective of the firm and then considers external forces. Alternatively, Kotler suggests that the perspective shou ld be changed and the steps be carried out in the order of TOWS (threats, opportunities, weaknesses and streng ths). Kotler says the SWOT structure may place an undue emphasis on internal factors and limit the identification of threats and opportunities to only those that fit in the comp anys strengths (Kotler 1999, 113). In either case, market analysis is the stage in the decisi on making process when a firm gathers information on macro forces and actors in the environment it is analyzing. The company examines the macro 27

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forces (economic, politico-legal, socio-cultural, technological) and the actors (companies, competitors, distributors and suppliers) in its environment. Two Goals of Market Analysis Market analyses are used to break down all of the factors that ultima tely affect the demand for a product or service. All of the various strategies for market analysis ultimately come down to answering two fundamental questions: Are customers in group X able to buy product Y? Are customers in group X willing to buy product Y? Are customers in group X able to buy product Y? Information that will help answer this question includes data related to general f acts about the country or geographic area. This includes statistics such as GDP, populati on by age group, income, education levels, and rural/urban mix. Publicly available data such as these can be found in the data sets provided by information resources such as universities or the federal government. Also associated with this question is an assessment of existi ng or potential trade restrictions. Is product Y allowed to enter into country X? Answering this question often requires a knowledgeable contact point in that country for current and accurate information. Are customers in group X willing to buy product Y? This question deals more directly with demand for product Y. If product Y is currently being sold, it has a customer group somewhere. When approaching a new group of consumers, the company needs to apply the knowledge it has learned regarding its principal customers for product Y to try and market the product to the new group of consumers. The consumers who currently purchase product Y compose at least one specific Market Segment. The term Market Segmentation can be defined as, an appeal to one, well-defined consumer group through one marketing plan. (E vans 1998, A34) Market segments can be 28

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divided in a variety of ways. Kotler (2003, 163) mentions in Marketing Insights from A to Z that a market segment can be defined in three ways : as a demographic sect or (e.g., women between the ages of 35-45), a need group (e.g., travelers w ho wish to fly to another city but do not have much money), or behavior groups (e.g., cust omers who order specia lty cheeses over the Internet). Weinstein (2004, 6) proposes a more detailed definition in his work, Handbook of Market Segmentation Strategic Targe ting for Business and Technology Firms. He lists six of the most common segmentation dimensions: Ge ographic, business demographics, adopter categories, benefits, product usage, and purchasing approaches. Often reams of secondary data are analyzed to produce segmenta tion divisions for various products. Typical customers can then be grouped by a set of traits and be referred to as, demographic/lifestyle clusters (Blankenship 1998, 342). Sources of Information Useful fo r Conducting a Market Analysis It is widely known that market analyses have an important role in the marketing process. Therefore, it is not surprising that a variety of resources are available to assist agricultural producers or businesses that need to conduct market analyses. The three sources of information are universities, private enterpri ses, and government entities. Th ese three vary in the types of information they are best suited to provide. University Publications and Resources This section reviews examples of the types of market information available through universities and the assistance they provide for firms wanting to conduct a market analysis. The universities reviewed represen t major public universities kno wn for their expertise in agribusiness and/or agricultural economics. Their re sources fall into categorizes of both data sets (either primary or secondary) and also inform ation sets produced by university experts who collaborate with businesses to condu ct market analyses. Specific examples are discussed below. 29

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Purdue University Extension has extensive resources for indi viduals interested in starting a new agricultural business, through a program and resource site called New Ventures (http://www.agecon.purdue.edu/newventures). Th e New Ventures website features a free webbased business planning tool. Purdue Extension also offers a number of resources on market analysis topics through their extension publications. Relevant publications include the following: Industry Analysis: the Five Forces (Ehmke et al. 2005). The Competitive Environment: New R ealities (Boehlje et al. 2004). The Internal Analysis of Your Farm Business: What is Your Farm's Competitive Advantage? (Gray et al. 2004). Each of these publications poses questions and guides strategi c thinking for agribusinesses as part of a market analysis. The Industry Analys is publication helps readers identify potential threats to their business by evaluatin g each of five forces that aff ect their industrys structure. For example, threats of new entrants into an industry and of substitutes for a product can be assessed (Ehmke et al. 2005). As indicated by the title, the Intern al Analysis publication focuses on helping businesses to evaluate their strengths as part of a ma rket analysis. The report breaks this topic down into specific questions for a self-assessment by a firm to determine its core competencies and then strategies for improving margins through process improvement (Boehlje et al. 2004). The Competitive Environment publication looks at general trends and market demands in agriculture in todays global economy (Gray et al. 2004). University of Florida Department of Food and Resource Economics (FRED), provides substantial information on export-oriented market analysis through UFL Cent er for Agribusiness. One such market analysis resource available on the Centers website is the Export Primers publications for various countries. These are abridged versions of the Country Commercial 30

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Guides (CCGs) published by U.S. Department of Commerce, with additional information supplied by University of Florida that is more dir ectly relevant to agribusiness firms such as an analysis of the prospects for U.S. agricultural exports by commodity or industry sector. The UFL Center for Agribusiness also provides a lis ting of Exporter Resources which includes links to data sets produced by government or intern ational sources that ar e referenced on other government sites links (Center for Agribusiness 2007). University of Illinois Extension provides interactive onlin e resources to enable agribusiness and entrepreneurs to conduct market analysis including the Market Maker which allows the user to map various demographic characteristics to determine where the highest concentrations of people in the target market reside. Other resources and tools for market analysis provided by Univer sity of Illinois Extension include the Farm Doc website which has price and data tools to access information on region al and historical data that can be used in market analysis. Michigan State University provides a resource for agricultural entrepreneurs similar to the New Ventures program at Purdue University Michigan States P roduct Center provides innovation counselors to entrepreneur s in the development stage of a new business to assist with market analysis and busin ess planning functions. University of Wisconsin offers the Ag Innovation Center as a support network for agricultural entrepreneurs and as a collection po int of resources on market research. Market research resources listed on this site include the Wisconsin I nnovation Service Center which can provide professional guidance on conducting both new product assessments and competitive intelligence searches as parts of a firms market analysis. 31

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Penn State University produces information that divides the overall task of preparing a business plan and conducting market analysis into a series of several sepa rate publications. An example is the publication, Developing a Business Plan (Kime 2004) which is designed to help a potential new business view the issue of entering a new market as an approachable rather than a daunting task. This publicati on has numerous refere nces to other Penn State publications that focus exclusively on specific steps of the mark et analysis and business plan development. The University of Tennessee Extension has a forty page publication entitled: Marketing for the Value-Added Agricultural Enterprise (Da lton et al. 2002, 39). This publication draws on several projects conducte d by the Tennessee Agricultural Development Center including, actual one-on-one, value-a dded enterprise evaluations by the ADC to emphasize marketing concepts that specifically a pply to value-added agricultural enterprises (Dalton et al. 2002, 2). Its focus is not neces sarily limited to creating a business plan or conducting market research; it is, as the title su ggests, simply improving the marketing of value added agricultural products. The important compone nts it identifies towards this purpose are the following: Identifying the best marketing channel Identifying your niche market Conducting market research Establishing price a nd estimating cash flows Understanding competition Product packaging Developing a marketing plan that uses all of the information gathered in the previous sections (Dalton et al.). 32

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The conducting market research chapter of th is publication states that market research, involves a study, review and analysis of the over all market environment for a product. Market research is the collection and evaluation of da ta pertaining to consum ers usage, interest, preference and awarenes s of products and services (Dal ton et al. 2002, 10). The section explaining market research is two pages and mentions specifically using primary data and secondary data. However, it is noteworthy that other sections including, establishing price, understanding competition, and even product packag ing are at least in part reliant on some level of market research. Cornell University Extension developed a publication series called, Smart Marketing. This is a monthly series of newsletters sim ilar to the publication pr oduced by Penn State that deconstruct marketing an agricultu ral product into component pieces The subjects discussed are as varied as marketing your product abroad to th e marketing of tree-ripened fruit. Many of the subjects deal with market research and market analysis. These topics include, Do Consumers Matter? (Milligan 2002), Tra vel the Road to Success with a Marketing Plan (Uva 1999), Knowing Your Market The most Challenging Part of a Business Plan (Schlough 2001), Market Research for New Products (Rowles 2000) and many others. These articles tend to be easy to read and offer informati on in easy-to-understand pieces. Government Sources Many government agencies also have published res ources that seek to as sist in the tasks of conducting market research and market analysis These agencies include The U.S. Census Bureau, Department of Commerce, the U.S. Trade and Development Agency, and U.S. Department of Agriculture Foreign Agricultural Service among others. The United States Census Bureau website provides access to an extensive database of facts and figures about the American populat ion with an emphasis on incomes, household 33

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characteristics, health statistics, agricultural st atistics, business statistics and much more. While the Census bureau does not offer any direct in structional resources re garding, how to conduct market analysis it does offer the raw data th at most other resources cite throughout their publications. The Department of Commerce maintains a centralized collection of all federal traderelated data in electronic format, as required by the Omnibus Trade and Competitiveness Act of 1998. This database, called the National Trade Da ta Bank (NTDB) was originally operated by Department of Commerce Office of Business Analysis. In 1994, NTDB was removed from federal appropriations and Office of Business An alysis changed its name to STAT-USA which operates the database and other services thr ough access user fees. ST AT-USA works with 40 federal agencies and offices to operate the NTDB which contains 200,000 plus documents on export opportunities (STAT-USA, 2007). STAT-USA has three major information database s that all require paid subscriptions to access. NTDB is part of STAT-USA/Internet ( http://www.stat-usa.gov ) which also contains the State of the Nation database on the domestic U.S. economy. The other two databases of STATUSA are USA Trade Online ( http://www.usatradeonline.gov ) offering specific export and import information on over 18,000 commodities and Euro Trade Online ( http://www.eurotradeonline.gov ) offering similar information focusing on European markets. U.S. Commercial Service is the trade promotion branch of the U.S. Department of Commerce International Trade Administration. U.S. Commerci al Service provides market research, trade events, and introductions to buye rs and distributors thro ugh trade specialists posted in 107 U.S. cities and over 80 count ries (U.S. Commercial Service 2007). 34

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Export.gov ( http://www.export.gov/index.asp ) is the main online resource for U.S. Commercial Service exporting clie nts. In addition to market rese arch and trade leads from the U.S. Commercial Service, E xport.gov brings together reso urces from across the U.S. Government to assist U.S. companies. These include information from the Export-Import Bank, Small Business Administration, and USDA Fo reign Agricultural Service (Export.gov 2007). The United States Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) was created in 1981 as a foreign assistance agency It awards grants to U.S. companies to provide technical assistance and investment analysis that supports development of modern infras tructure and fair, open trading environment for overseas partners, including forei gn governments, organizations and firms. By giving emphasis to sectors that benefit from U.S. exports and services, USTDA projects have generated $40 in U.S. exports for every dol lar invested in UST DA activities (USTDA 2007). U.S. companies seeking export opportunities and technical feasibility studies for a specific product or service can benefit from USTDAs extens ive library of f easibility studie s and reports. Report summaries are available on the USTDA website, while full copies are available from USTDA headquarters library or for purchase from the National Technical Information Service. The United States Department of Agricu lture (USDA) Foreign Agriculture Service (FAS) provides numerous information sources specifi c to market analysis for agricultural commodities and products. FAS has a network of agricultu ral trade specialists posted in over 80 countries worldwide, similar to the U.S. Co mmercial Service of De partment of Commerce mentioned above but differentiated by their agricultural expertise. USDA FAS provides two major databases for agricultural trade information: U.S. Trade Reports ( http://www.fas.usda.gov/ustrade ) provide a commodity-by-country breakdown of exports and imports, while The Bulk, Intermediate and Consumer site (BICO) 35

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( http://www.fas.usda.gov/scri ptsw/bico/bico_frm.idu ) provides statistics on international market sizes and the current U.S. share of a countrys imports. Other major sources of information for market analyses that are a significant focus of this thesis are the FAS Global Agricultural Information Network (GAIN) reports, also know n as Attach reports. The searchable FAS GAIN database ( http://www.fas.usda.gov/scriptsw/attacherep/default.asp ) contains over 23,000 reports submitted by FAS offices oversees and falls into several categories of content and format including exporter guides retail guides, sector guides, Food and Agricultural Import Regulations (FAIRS), and commodity reports (Foreign Agricultural Service 2007c). In addition to the agricultural trade data and market information reports, FAS provides practical web-based tools for potential agri cultural exporters who want to develop a detailed export plan. FAS outlines market research basics as a three-step process: Screen potential markets, assess target markets, and develop an export plan. The final st ep includes a link to a tutorial that instructs the user in all phases of export plan development including the following topics: Company: outline goals, resources, trends and practices, production capacity Target Market: selected target market resulting from an assessment of potential markets Product: demands of potential consumers and import requirements Pricing: all costs that will de termine export pricing Market Entry: market entry and promotional strategies Action Plan: tasks, priorities, schedule, resources required This tutorial is the only free export tutorial th e author of this research paper discovered in a literature review (Foreign Agri cultural Service 2007c). Other government sites simply provide the demographic da ta or trade data and leave the forming of specific analyses based on those statis tics up to the individual website visitor. A few examples of such public sites for data gath ering include the CIA World Fact book (CIA), Organization for Economic Cooperation and Devel opment (OECD) Statistics Portal, FAOSTAT 36

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Agricultural Data, and World Bank Country Summary Data. Th e latter are just a few of numerous sources for public data sets. A more complete and categorized summary of such pubic resources and data sets has already been comp iled by the University of Florida Center for Agribusiness as Competition Research (Center for Agribusiness 2007). This site lists resources in the following categories which provide primary and secondary data sets: international organizations, statistical publicati ons, online data sets, integration sites and other information. Private Sector Resources The same types of information and assistance for conducting market analysis offered through Universities and on public websites are availabl e for a fee through numerous companies and consulting groups that make a business out of conduc ting market analysis for other businesses. The Export Institute USA provides online courses to help companies become more export savvy and understand the practical asp ects of conducting business overseas including courses on identifying export markets, locating expor t sales representatives, pricing products and budgeting for export, writing your export marketing agreemen ts, shipping your products overseas and receiving payment for your export sa les. The Institute also publishes a well known reference manual entitled Export Sales & Marketing Manual which is updated yearly (Export Institute USA 2007). MarketResearch.com claims to be the worlds largest and continuously updated collection of market research. The website prov ides collections of rese arch reports on market areas or specific products including informati on on market trends and analysis, as well as specifics on market size, share, and growth in worl dwide markets. The site also provides country reports with economic projections and risk assessment informa tion. The available publications range in price from $65 for a country specific Dun & Bradstreet, Inc., Export Guide for any 37

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country to $10,073 for an IMES Consulting Limite d report on Soft Drinks in Levant (i.e., Syria, Lebanon, Jordan) (MarketResearch.com, 2007). Foreign Trade Online ( www.foreign-trade.com ) is a membership-based Business-toBusiness network site which offers searchable databases of importers an d exporters as well as research and analysis reports accessible only to members. Summary of Findings from Literature Review Several conclusions about available informa tion resources are made based on Figure 1-1 presented in Chapter 1. Conclusions made in th is review following Figure 1-1 are as follows: Primary and secondary data sets are availa ble from all three information resources. Universities provide interactive tools for accessing regional and local data sets on demographics, as well as price, while governmental, as well as private, sites provide data on a national and international scale. Both universities and private resources are able to provide expertise virtually or in person to assist an agribusiness in conducting analyses and form ing information sets which can be used for market assessment and decision making. Two ma jor differences are the cost of service as well as targeted clients. The private sector ch arges higher fees and focuses on larger companies with export potential; the universities as a whole provide assistance for free or at minimal cost and focus primarily on smaller, more rural firms. Furthermore, private resources will actually perform a market analysis and provide a r ecommendation for a client, whereas university publications and consultants typically only go as far as guiding the client. In this review, University of Florida is an exception among universities, as it provides more export-oriented information and assistance, due to location and the export focus of Florida agribusiness. The only government resource found to provide expertise in the form of tutorials as well as public contacts for conducting market analysis is the Foreign Agricultural Service, 38

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which focuses on commodity groups as a whole but is mandated to assist all U.S. exporters regardless of size. In regard to the specific techniques fo r conducting market analysis, the following conclusion was reached based on a review of info rmation resources that conduct market analysis. Although the following steps are sugg ested in a slightly different order by each resource, they are all mentioned by each of the information sources exam ined in this literature review as well as the original sources in business literature: Identify potential threats to the business Identify strengths within the bus iness that can be exploited Identify the market segments or clusters that are to be targeted (i.e ., specific opportunities) Use primary and/or secondary data to identify market demand and trends. The above four steps are somewhat general; but as has been noted in this chapters literature review, they provide great leeway regarding the cr eation and implementation of a market analysis for a specific product. These four steps are referred to in Chapter Five of this thesis to provide the basis for a study of the content of FASs most frequently downloaded GAIN reports. They are also used as the basis for discerning if FAS offices abroad employ the same techniques while conducting ma rket analysis that are r ecommended in the literature. 39

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CHAPTER 4 METHODS Four data sources were used to address the rese arch objectives in this thesis. The first data source, a literature review, is presented in Chapte r Three. The additional three data sources will be described in this chapter. Results and analyses of all the data will be presented in Chapter Five. Description of Surve ys and Databases In addition to the literature review, two surveys and one data base are resources for this research. The first survey is a telephone survey of 50 FAS in formation customers designed to elicit details about how they use FAS information. The second survey is a web-based survey of the 103 FAS posts abroad which focuses on the mark et analysis methods used by each office. The database was created by this researcher. It is a compilation of download statistics for a subset of GAIN reports produced by FAS offices abroad. Combin ed, this data source provides a picture of both what data are supplied by FAS and what data are demanded by its customers. Telephone Survey of FAS Information Customers The first data collection exercise was a survey of FAS information users. This data set is important to the overall project since it establis hes what basic information FAS customers are seeking when they contact FAS posts. The comp lete telephone survey que stionnaire is provided in Appendix A. The survey instrument was a questionnaire ad ministered over the phone with 26 questions, 23 of which were open-ended. The questions can be classified into two main categories, those that address the information flowing between FAS posts and their customers and those that explore the relationship between those customers a nd the customers customers. The survey had four objectives: 40

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Determine what FAS information the customers use Determine how the customers obtain the FAS information Determine how often the customers obtain FAS information Determine what the customers do with the information once they have it The survey design was guided by four refe rence texts (Andrew and Hildebrand 1993; Dillman 1994; Fowler 2002; Fink 2003). These texts were used to guide question construction and survey flow. The thesis committee reviewed th e questionnaire as did one official of FAS. This questionnaire was designed using open-ende d questions and was administered over the telephone in such a way as to elicit a wide variety of respons es and suggestions from the interviewees. It was intentionally exploratory in nature in order to provide context for future research projects and to provide a starting point for design of the web-based questionnaire for FAS posts abroad. It was noted that qualitative research instruments are excellent for instances such as this when the researcher is not looki ng for one single uniting factor or motivation but a whole variety of factors that color each decision (Auerbach et al. 2003, 23). Target Population The target population of this survey was customers of FA S post-produced information. This population can be broadly di vided into two parts, those cu stomers inside USDA and those outside USDA. This researcher hypothesized that each of these two groups would have similar uses for the information. Internal USDA users would likely be focused on using the information to inform policy decisions and to add perspec tive to other analyses already formed within USDA. It was also thought that much of the information needed internally would not be available to the public in publicly available reports such as GAIN reports. It was hypothesized that external USDA custom ers would share simila r characteristics yet their informational needs would be more focused on marketing concerns such as segmentation or assessing countries distribution systems. Each of these customers would also have information 41

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needs further specified by the area of their busin esses. It was also hypothesized that each of these businesses and organizations would have a wide range of sources in foreign markets and within the United States of which FAS information was just one. Since FAS information is released to the public, they would have to assume that all of thei r competitors also have access to the same information. Each of the two main customer groups was divi ded further into two subgroups. The internal USDA users could be grouped along departmental lines, e.g., Economic Research Service and Agricultural Marketing Service. Separately, within FAS respondent s were classified by division such as trade negotiations, commodity analysis and agricultural development. The external USDA customer groups was divided into three main groups including cooperators (business or trade associations), state agricultural departments, and private companies. The sampling of cooperators was varied based on their principal crop focus. Sampling Methodology A nonprobability sampling method was employed with this survey since it was difficult for the researcher to identify individuals that use FAS information on a consistent basis. Respondents were recruited using an adjusted form of snowball sampling method which allows participants to recommend additional respondent s for participation in the survey. (Fink 2003, 19). In addition to the standard snowball method, two main groups of respondents were identified, internal USDA and external USDA user s. This method was combined with a cluster sampling method (Fink 2003, 15). Specifically once respondents had completed the questionnaire, they were asked to identify others who might be ab le to add information to this survey. The potential respondents who were reco mmended were then considered based on what sub-groups they represented i.e., what division of USDA for the internal respondents and which specific commodity group/company/state government office for which they work for external 42

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respondents. The researchers atte mpted to obtain a sample that included at least one respondent from each of the major subgroups contained within the two main categories. Fifty-one persons completed the telephone questionnaire, this included 47 for the official questionnaire and 4 for the pre-test. Of the 47 completing the questionnaire, 15 were clas sified as internal and 32 as external. The full breakout of respondents can be seen in Figure 4-1. Pre-testing of the survey Once the questionnaire received approval by th e Institutional Review Board (IRB) at the University of Florida, four pre-test subjects we re selected by Margie Bauer of FASs Knowledge Management group, in conjunction with this researcher. The pre-test participants were selected because of their knowledge of the subject and thei r backgrounds in conducting similar research. The four pre-test subjects were evenly divided be tween internal to USDA and external to USDA. The two external to USDA subjects were evenly divided, one each from a commodity group and a trade association. The pre-tests were administered over the phone in conference calls with both Bauer and two members of the University of Florida resear ch advisory panel. These pre-tests aided in improving both the wording and question order of th e questionnaire. The pre-tests also allowed Bauer and the research panel to collaborate regarding exactly what comments should be included when taking interview notes. This input prove d important later as the responses were entered into spreadsheets for analysis. Questionnaire Administration The questionnaire was administered between April 1 and June 16, 2005. The phone calls were placed from the offices of the Food and Re source Economics Department at the University of Florida. As respondents were interviewe d notes were taken with pen and paper, and immediately following each interview, notes we re typed detailing the discussions and comments 43

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of the interviewed subjects. Since the questions were structured in such a way as to elicit ad hoc comments from the respondents, careful note taki ng was important to the overall quality of the survey procedure. Analyzing the Survey Responses Responses provided to each question were categorized so they could be tabulated in Microsoft Excel. The responses to each questio n occupy columns and each respondent is listed in rows on the spreadsheet. Bauer provided insi ghts into specific acronyms used by respondents during the answering of questions to aid in the categorization of each response. These compiled results of the telephone survey are found in Appendix B. Using Telephone Survey to inform the web-based Post Survey A limited amount of useful information was gleaned from the 51 telephone interviews conducted with FAS information customers. So me common responses are provided in Chapter Five. The researcher also gained an understand ing of the FAS jargon used to describe various functions of FAS posts, which was particularly us eful in formulating the web-based survey of FAS posts. The greatest impact was that the rese archer was able to determine more effectively appropriate response choices for each question while designing the web-based survey. Furthermore, it was also helpful to have an idea of the ways customers were using the information once it was available. After conducting 51 telephone interv iews the research advisory panel determined that this was not a viable method for reaching a true repres entation of FAS's information customers. It was impossible to verify that the subjects being interviewed were truly re presentative of FAS's customer base. It was also difficult to determine who within an organization would be the individual responsible for using FAS informa tion. No sampling method could be devised to 44

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categorically reach all of the customer groups within the time and resource constraints under which the research was being conducted. Although the lessons learned from the telephone survey were us ed to help create the webbased survey, most of the questi ons in the published web-based survey are entirely different than those in the telephone survey. Web-Based Survey of FAS Posts The second data collection tool was a questionnaire for the in formation creators working at FAS Posts worldwide. Survey Instrument The survey instrument was a web-based que stionnaire with 15 questions, 11 of the questions were radio buttons for the subject to choose the best answer with space available to type in an other option. Four questions were completely open-ended, and the respondent entered the response in a text box. The complete survey instrument is provided in Appendix C. Objectives The objectives of the survey were to determine-How these offices conduct market anal yses for U.S. agricultural products The effectiveness of information flows within and associated with the Foreign Agriculture Service (FAS) The methods used by FAS offices abroad to conduct market analyses The number and characteristics of th e FAS customers who contact posts The number and characteristics of market analyses conducted by each post. General topic areas Two general topic areas were covered by the survey: The first is identifying how and why market analyses were conducted and the second describes the ways that FAS offices interact with 45

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their customers. Both of these topics overlap those covered by the telephone survey. By identifying how and why market analyses were conducted, the re searcher hoped to see if the methods used by FAS employees abroad are sim ilar to those used by FASs customers or to those recommended by the literature. By l earning how FAS employees abroad view the interactions with their customer s, those perceptions can be an alyzed in conjunction with the results from the telephone survey of FAS information customers. This analysis can help determine if any major communication problems exis t between the groups or if both parties view the interactions in a similar way. Pre-Test In lieu of a pretest, officials inside FAS we re given copies of the questionnaire and asked for their comments. Some changes to the an swer choices were recommended by these FAS employees and most suggestions were adopted by the research advisory panel. These changes dealt with word choice and phrasing questions in the particular language used by FAS offices when describing market analyses and associated activities. A complete copy of the questionnaire can be found in Appendix C. Target Audience An e-mail announcing the research project and containing the summary information approved by the University of Florida IRC was sent to all FAS posts on December 27, 2005. This e-mail was followed on January 3, 2006 by a para graph about the project that appeared in the newsletter Notes to the Field that is sent each week by Washington-based FAS officials to keep its foreign posts up to date on issues with wide-spanning in terest. The target audience of this survey was FAS employees stationed abro ad who conduct market analyses. There are 103 offices and approximately 300 employees in the possible respondent pool. The research team 46

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sought to conduct a census of all FAS offices abro ad; however the instructions stated that each office should only have one employee answer on behalf of the office to prevent double-counting. The survey instructions requested that only one person from each office fill out the questionnaire but should consult with other peop le in the office when necessary. In addition, each respondent gave their post ci ty and country along with their name to ensure that no office double reported its statistics. Within two weeks, 25 posts had responded. The research panel contacted the nonresponsive posts as a reminder to please complete the questionnaire. Th is brought in another 15 responses by the end of February 2005. From Fe bruary 27th March 15 th the research panel sent another reminder message to those FAS offices that had not responded. This effort brought in another ten submissions and also a few responses from FAS offices stating that their office did not have time to fill out the questionnaire. By March 17, 2006, a total of 50 questionnair es had been submitted from the 103 FAS offices worldwide. The research advisory panel decided to not act ively seek additional questionnaire responses and the final questionnaire was registered on the respondent website on March 17, 2006. The 50 completed questionnai res represented both types of FAS offices, Agricultural Affairs Offices (AAO) and Agricultural Trade O ffices (ATO). The AAOs conduct both marketing and diplomatic activities while the ATOs are completely focused on marketing activities. There was also representation fr om countries with varying levels of economic development. Figure 4-2 shows this breakdown of the responding FAS Posts by region and type of office as well as by the addi tional categories prescribed by the researcher which will be discussed in the next section, including number of Foreign Se rvice Officers (FSO) at Post, 47

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Human Development Index value, and trade valuation with the US. The compiled results of the web-based questionnaire responses are in Appendix D. Cross Tabular Analysis and Ch i-Squared Test Statistics The analysis converted the original five point Likert scale of the survey into a three point Likert scale. The simplificati on of the Likert scale was done by combining responses one with responses two (Never and Seldom), combining re sponses four with responses five (Frequently and Always) and leaving response 3 (Occasionally) unchanged and alone. This conversion was done because the five point Likert scale offered no meaningful insights due to the small number of respondents. The responses to two questi ons, question seven (Of the following types of assistance, how often, if ever, did your office pr ovide these services to U.S. clients during the time period of October 1, 2004 September 30, 2005?) and question nine (During the time period of October 1, 2004 September 30, 2005 what were the principal sources of information used to conduct market analyses?) are examined and the percentages given refer to the number of respondents that placed either a level five or a level four on that question, indicating that they always or frequently provided the service or used the information source in question. Four categories were used in the cross tabul ar analysis and chi-squared statistics of responses: The host countrys level of development (i.e., the country where the FAS office was located), region of the world, agricultural trade vo lume of host countries, and office size in terms of number of staff members. This analysis was conducted by us ing either the country where the office was located or the individual office as th e primary unit of analysis. The cross tabular analysis allows the researcher to look for patterns in responses across groups of respondents. The four categories were used to test for bot h positive and negative a ssociations between the cross-tabulated categories and the de tailed responses to the questions 48

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The Human Development Index is a broad index developed by the United Nations to approximate the overall level of development of a country (UNDP 2007). The index ranges from 0 to 1. For the purposes of the cross tabulation, the .8 threshold was used to distinguish more developed from less developed countr ies. There is no threshold in United Nations reports, but it does provide an easy benchmark on the conti nuum. The researcher hypothesized that information is more difficult to obtain in countri es with lower HDI scores and that FAS offices would be asked for more se rvices in these countries. The regional distinctions are those used by FAS when classifying posts The three regions, (1) Europe, (2) Asia, and (3) Middle East, Afri ca, and Western Hemisphere are divided into those classifications by FAS/USDA management. Each of these regions has a regional director and they are grouped in this way because of the similarities of the countries within each of these regions. Regions would have similar cu ltures and would, therefore, behave similarly. The size of agricultural trade with the United States divides the posts into countries that have no more than $500 million or less in agricultur al trade with the United States in 2005 and those that had more than $500 million in agricultu ral trade with the United States. This group was formed to test if there were any similarities between how offices in the major or minor U.S. agricultural trading part ners operate. The hypothesis was that offices in countries that import relatively more agricultural products from the U. S. would be asked to perform different tasks than those in countries that import relativ ely less agricultural pr oducts from the U.S. FAS office size distinguishes between offices that have one U.S. FAS employee and those that have more than one. The researcher proposed that since offices with more than one U.S. FAS employee tend to be larger offices in general, they might be able to supply different services or use different sources of information for market analyses. The hypothesis tested whether larger 49

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FAS offices were able to perform more tasks than smaller offices. It also tested if larger FAS offices had more expertise to offer than smaller offices. Each of the responses to web-based questionn aire questions seven, eight and nine were cross-tabulated with the categor ies described above, and the results are summarized in Chapter Five, along with the analysis of these findings as they relate to the research objectives. Webtrends Database to Det ermine Information Demanded Since most of the customers surveyed by phone indicated that they used FAS online and by extension, the GAIN reporting system to retrieve information from FAS, the research advisory panel concluded that using dow nloaded statistics of GAIN repo rts or hits on various FAS webpages could provide a metric to accurately assess demand for different types of FAS information. The research panel next cont acted FASs Washington, D.C. headquarters to investigate the availability of the above mentioned data. After contacting officials within FAS, this re searcher determined that the raw data for a complete database did exist; however, no one had ever assembled all the pieces into a usable product. This task would require assembling three disjointed databases and joining them into an entirely new database. The researcher undertook th is task to develop in concept and then in practice a Webtrends downloads database to comp are download statistics from GAIN reports. Database of Report Usage (Webtrends) The database created for this research project has been named GAIN Reports Webtrends database. The name Webtrends is used because it is the name of the software package run on FAS servers to track the demand for all of the file s on the FAS public servers. The report that is used to generate the GAIN Reports Webtrends data base is Most Downloaded Files. This report tracks the top 250 most frequently downloaded files from all of the FAS servers. On average 80 of these files are GAIN reports each month. The other 170 files on the list contain 50

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various other types of FAS information produc ed mainly by FAS employees in Washington. The GAIN reports hold the majority of th e information produced by FAS posts abroad. Sample of Target Population The full database of GAIN reports contains the complete list of over 25,000 reports produced at FAS posts from 1995 to 2006. The comp lete list of availa ble download statistics begins in February 2004 and continues to December 2006. Because the GAIN reports are released on a yearly schedule from January to December, it was important that data for each month be counted in the database an equal number of times. Therefore, for this research project only those reports downloaded within the timeframe of January 2005 December 2006 were analyzed. Data about each report are collected auto matically as it is submitted through the GAIN reporting system. Fields automatically included in the database include report category, title, date submitted, country, post, and voluntary or required. In the 24 months analyzed, 1,843 observations were collected, accounting for 675 unique GAIN reports. Some 52 of the 73 different report categories app ear on the list at least once as well as 89 of the 103 different countries. Table 4-1 shows the breakdown of the 675 unique reports appearing on the list by the year in which they were produced. When the download statistics are taken from Webtrends the GAIN files are only indexed by file number. The files are then indexed against the larger Reports Produced database in order to compile full descriptive details about each of the reports appearing in the download list. Methods for setting up Web-trends database The simplest way to approximate demand for the information being produced by FAS is to use download statistics of FAS GAIN reports. Th ese reports can easily be divided by country and subject. Download statistics from the GAIN database of online reports created and analyzed 51

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by the researcher for this study have been used to act as a proxy of demand for each report. If the information noted in the litera ture review is in fact the most important to the preparation of market analyses, then demand statistics for those reports should be the highest. An alternative theory is that the most demanded GAIN reports reflect the most valuable information supplied by FAS. The Webtrends program tracks the number of file downloads from FAS servers. Chapter Five reports and analyzes the de scriptive statistics of the files downloaded through the external search engine of GAIN reports. Tracking downloads of these re ports is one way of providing tangible statistics to the concep t of customer demand. Download statistics are not perfect but they are more reliable than webpage hits or other similar measures (Webtrends 2006). These statistics report do wnloads for the Calendar Years 2005 and 2006. Comparing only calendar year to calendar year is important so that the statistics are not skewed due to seasonality in demand for certain types of reports. Because of limitations in the reporting programs, a report must be downloaded 140 times in a month before it is recorded in the database. Most reports that are posted on the public se rver are not downloaded more than 140 times in any one month and thus do not appear in thes e statistics. Using Calendar Year 2005 as an example, in 2005 about 2,100 GAIN reports were re leased to the public. By the end of 2006, after each report had been on the server for at least twelve months, only 310 of the 2,100 (or 15%) had appeared on the download list. Determining What Information is the Most Demanded The first step in the analysis of the GAIN re ports downloads was to count which countries and categories appear most often, the next step is to describe what information is contained in each of the top report categories to completely address the fourth research objective, What information is FAS customers demandi ng in the form of GAIN reports? 52

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This question is somewhat difficult to tackle since each category of report can contain many different types of information. The first step was to review the reporting instructions provided by FAS to each post regarding what inform ation should be contained in each report. These instructions showed promise since each of them were very clear and specific. The second step involved comparing the re porting instructions with some actual reports that had been marked as being in each category. From this comparison it was soon apparent that many of the reports did not contain all of the informa tion outlined in the reporting instructions. The types of information needed to conduct ma rket analysis suggest ed by the literature, (i.e., potential opportunities and thre ats, and critical data sets) could not be equated by report category only, nor could they be equated by reading the titles of the reports since many reports have non-descript titles. Hence, a strategy of exam ining the contents of each report to determine if it contained these type s of information was developed. If th e contents of the report mentioned opportunities for American industry or positive tr ends in the industry, then it was deemed to contain information about opportunities; if a repo rt contained information about competitors or problems that occur when trying to do business in a particular country, it was deemed to contain a threat; and if the GAIN report contained in formation about the production, supply, demand, volume produced or volume consumed by a country, it was deemed to contain critical data. In the instances where it was difficult to discern ho w the information presented in a particular report related to those categories, that determ ination was left up to the discernment of the researcher. This analysis proved to be time consuming and in an effort to streamline this process only reports that appeared on the list in more than one month were reviewed. This subset is a 53

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reasonably representative sample since it shows at least a sustained interest in the report and together this subset accounts for 446,000 of the total 514,710 downloads or 86.6 per cent. This chapter reviewed the methods used to colle ct and clean the data us ed for this research project. We saw how each of the three data sets was collected and compiled and some descriptive statistics about each dataset. The next chapter will analyze these datasets and answer the research questions asked in Chapter One. 54

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Figure 4-1. Number of Persons that Completed Telephone Pretest or Survey; Break-out by Internal or External Source and Specific Type of Source. 55

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Category of FAS Post Post differentiation by category Number of Posts Responding Total Survey Population Asia 15 34 Europe 15 27 FAS Regional Categories W. Hemisphere, M. East, Africa 20 42 Agricultural Affairs Office (AAO) 39 89 Type of FAS office Agricultural Trade Office (ATO) 11 14 Less than or equal to 1 26 103 Number of Foreign Service Officers (FSO) at Post Greater than 1 24 103 HDI < .8 27 103 Human Development Index (HDI) value for host country HDI > .8 23 103 Less than billion US$ 26 103 2005 agricultural trade value with the U.S. Greater than billion US$ 24 103 Figure 4-2. Number of FAS Posts Responding to Web-based Survey for Each Category of Post Analyzed by the Researcher. 56

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Table 4-1. Number of unique GAIN reports dow nloaded in 2005 and 2006 listed by the year in which the report was published by FAS. Year Published Unique Report Downloads in 2005-06 1999 5 2000 15 2001 10 2002 21 2003 53 2004 57 2005 311 2006 203 Total 675 57

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CHAPTER 5 RESULTS The results chapter will address and discuss th e five research objectives. The first three research objectives are met by an alyzing and synthesizing each of the following data sources: The literature review, the web-based survey of FAS posts, the telephone survey of FAS customers, and the webtrends database of on-line demand for FAS reports. The remaining two research objectives require comparative analysis of the results of the data sources to determine the conclusions of this research. As stated in Chapter One, the five research objectives are-To conduct a literature review to identify the steps and methods proposed in the current literature for conducting market analyses; To design and conduct a web-based survey of FAS posts to identify the methods and practices used by the FAS posts to conduct the market analyses; To conduct a telephone survey and construct a webtrends downloads database to identify the market analysis information demanded by users of FAS services; To analyze differences in the methods and practice of market an alysis between the literature and FAS Posts, and To analyze the information demanded by users of FAS services and the market analysis services provided by FAS Posts to determine FASs most valuable market analysis functions. Identify Methods Proposed in the Current Li terature for Conducting Market Analysis. The results of the literature re view were presented in Chapter Three; the summary results significant to addressing further research objectives are outlined here. In regard to the first research objective, an analysis of the literature suggested that four prin ciple steps of market research and analysis were sugge sted by most of the sources revi ewed. Those four steps are-Identify potential threats to the business Identify strengths within the bus iness that can be exploited Identify the market segments or clusters that are to be targeted (i.e ., specific opportunities) 58

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Use primary and/or secondary data to identify market demand and trends. These four principle steps will be used late r to answer the fourth research objective. The other major result of the l iterature review is the comparison of information sources to the market analysis process or flow chart develo ped by this researcher to summarize the various steps of market analysis described in the literatu re. This flow chart is presented as Figure 1-1 and is displayed again here because of its importan ce to the results and analysis presented in this chapter. Figure 5-1: Market Analysis Flow-Chart Summary of Results In relation to this market analysis flow char t, this researcher determined that university publications presented in the lite rature review focus mainly on th e process of ma rket analysis, which often includes developing a business plan a nd looking at the feasibility of new ventures. The difference is that university resources typically guide the user while the private resources will actually perform the analysis for an individual or firm for a fee. This researcher also 59

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discovered that numerous government information resources are most useful for providing data sets which can inform market research and market analysis. Identify the Methods and Practices Used by the FAS Posts to Conduct Market Analysis The second research objective is addressed us ing the web-based survey of FAS overseas posts as the primary data sources. A complete copy of the questionnaire as published on the University of Florida website for FAS posts is available in Appendix B and a complete breakout of responses to each question is in Appendix D. Of the 13 questions asked in the web-based survey, only three (questions Nos. one, seven, and nine) are discussed in detail to inform the results of this thesis. Other questions did not dir ectly relate to the resear ch objectives but met the needs of collaborators within FAS. Overall, 50 of the 100 posts responded to the survey. This includes 39 Agricultural Affairs Offices and 11 Agricultural Trade Offices. As noted in Chapter Four, in the FAS system of managing international offices, the world is divi ded into three branches: Asia Branch, Europe Branch, and Middle East, Afri ca and Western Hemisphere Br anch. Table 5-1 shows the response rates and totals for each of these bran ches. The response rates are very consistent worldwide with approximately half of the posts in each region responding to the survey. Question One: Initiation of Market Analyses The analysis of question one is used to determine the total number of market analyses conducted within one fiscal year and reasons that market analyses are initiated by posts. This researcher believed that this information was necessary as background to understand responses to other questions about the actual pr actices of market analysis. Question one: For the time period of Oct ober 1, 2004 September 30, 2005 please estimate the number of market analyses ini tiated in each of the following ways: 60

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Table 5-2 shows the results of this question; the brea kdown of various reasons for initiating market analysis reveal s several key pieces of informati on. The first is that responding FAS posts conducted a total of 7,652 market analyses during fiscal year 2005. This result can be extrapolated to determine an estimate for all FAS posts including non-responding posts. The responding posts represent larger FAS posts and av erage 2.9 market analys es per week (153 per year). Therefore, for the 50 remaining non-responding posts, this researcher estimates only two market analyses per week (i.e., 100 per year). Th is researcher estimates two market analyses per week for smaller posts relative to the 2.9 market analyses conduc ted per week by larger posts. Using this estimation the research er concluded that the 50 non-re sponding posts contribute on an average of 5,000 market analyses per year, sugge sting a worldwide total of approximately 12,500 market analyses conducted in Fiscal Year 2005. Th is researcher cautions th at this figure is only an approximation given the assumptions require d to estimate the total worldwide market analyses. Secondly, Table 5-2 shows that the largest si ngle group requesting market analyses was individual U.S. companies. This researcher then compared the reasons for initiating market analyses between government and non-government s ources to draw further conclusions. These results are also presented in Table 5-2 whic h sub-totals the govern ment or non-government sources within the table. The two largest groups requesting FAS to initiate market analyses are both non-governmental (individual U.S. companie s and U.S. trade associations). However, overall slightly more market an alyses are initiated on behalf of governmental sources, including periodic scheduled reports, within post proj ects, and requests from FAS Washington, embassies, or state governments. 61

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Methods Used to Conduct Market Analys es and Collect Market Information. The results of the other two survey questions we re used to determine the methods and practices used by FAS offices to conduct their market analyses. Question seven: Of the following types of assistance, how often, if ever, did your office provide these services to U.S. clients during the time period of October 1, 2004 September 30, 2005? Question nine: During the time period of Oc tober 1, 2004 September 30, 2005 what were the principal sources of information used to conduct market analyses? As noted in Chapter Four, in analyzing the responses to these questions, the researcher determined it was necessary to further compare the responses based on different categories of FAS posts. These sub-groupings included the Human Development Index, region, value of agriculture trade with th e U.S. and number of U.S. staff at post. The methods for this cross tabular analysis are described fully in Chapter Four. The following section will first present results and analyses of each question as published in the survey followed by the results of the cross tabular analyses for correlations betw een responses and post categories with a 95% confidence level of significance. Question seven: Market Analysis Services Provided by Post Table 5-3 presents results of question seve n and shows the percentages of posts which always or frequently provide various services as listed in the questi onnaire. The top three services are more than ten per centage points higher than the remaining responses and should be carefully noted within the results. The two most common responses about provided services were u nderstanding trade barriers and interpreting local country importation laws which are related in that many of the trade barriers faced by U.S. agricultural pr oducts are due to legislation or regulations 62

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preventing the importation of U.S. products. Specifically these services re late more to market access and market entry than to the process of market analysis. The third most frequently provided service is estimating/measuring overall market size In contrast to the top two services which deal with market entry and support of the export process, this service can be characterized as market research. This information could be requested by either government or non-government sources. An individual firm may need to gather market research data or a government agency could be gathering background information for WTO negotiations related to und erstanding possible market distor tions and trade disputes. In cases such as the latter, estimating overall mark et size is related to both understanding trade barriers and interpreting local country importation laws. The fourth most frequently provided service, finding an in-country partner to help with distribution, is similar to the top two services as it rela tes to the market entry step of Figure 1-1. It follows that this service is requested less often as it is a strictly private sector service request. However, it should be noted that among private sector service requests, it is the most requested service. The fifth and sixth most frequently provided services are also strictly private sector requests, identifying market ing strategies and identifying target consumers Both of these activities were discussed in Chapter Two as being important parts of developing a market analysis and are specifically mentioned in Daltons Marketing for the Value-Added Agricultural Enterprise and Weinsteins Handbook of Market Segmentation St rategic Targeting for Business and Technology Firms. It is possible that they occur fu rther down the list because they are specific tasks needed only by a subset of all of the customers that request market analyses. 63

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The seventh and eighth most fr equently provided services, providing cultural analysis and providing political analysis utilize FAS in-country expertise to help a customer understand the current cultural or political e nvironment of a potential market. Both governmental and non-governmental customers have a need for these services, and these analyses can range in depth of the analysis requested from providing general insight about a press report or developing a formal report to explain a developing poli tical situation in a country. Question nine: Sources of Market An alysis Information Used by Post Question nine of the web-based survey as ks FAS posts to identify the sources of information most often used when preparing market analyses. Table 5-4 presents results of question nine a nd the percentages of pos ts which always or frequently utilize the information sources listed as choices in the webbased survey. Broadly speaking these results reflect th e importance of personal relations hips and local knowledge to the gathering of information in foreign countries. The top four categorie s rely on people with insights and history of the local agricultural industries. The data and trade journals that are more widely available appear lower on the list of FAS information sources The highest ranked source, contact with in-country industry is eight percen t higher than the next source on the list. This reveals the most valuable information source as a source requiring personal relationships a nd contacts to maintain. In many countries FAS offices have cultivated these types of contacts over a period of many years. It is often noted in the area of market analysis that the best sources, such as contacts with existing in-country industry, are those that will likely be the competitors of new products in that market. This can sometimes make it difficult to extract good information from firms that perceive a potential th reat from FAS clients in the future. 64

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Two sources are ranked with the second highest percentage of positive responses. These are contact with host country governments and first-hand knowledge by an FSN (Foreign Service National). Both of these responses are related to each ot her since often times the relationships with host country governments are nurtured over a pe riod of years by not only U.S. FAS staff but also loca l staff known as FSNs (Foreign Service Nationals). The continuity of information sources provided by such lasting rela tionships is crucial for FAS performing market analyses and market entry functions because personal relationships ar e recognized as a key aspect to business success worldwide (Fey 2002, 57). Often FSNs remain in their position for many years at FAS posts; therefore, they are extr emely important for maintaining this continuity of contacts with local in dustry and government. As the Attach s cycle in and out every three to four years, the FSNs maintain long-standing co ntacts and help the attachs establish such important connections in the country. The fourth most cited source is contact with local distributors in that industry This source can actually be considered as a subgroup of the highest rated source, in-country industry, as distributors are a sub-sect or of the larger group of in -country industry officials. Distributors are listed separately in the questionnaire because th ey play a key roll with their knowledge of exactly how much product is moving through the supply chain at all points. The fifth most cited source is foreign government data. It is important to be aware that not all foreign government data are as accessible or easy to obtain as government data for the United States. In a number of countries forei gn government data must be laboriously pursued through a series of phone calls and personal visits to government ministri es to obtain paper records. Nevertheless, foreign government data are a crucial source of information for FAS offices worldwide. 65

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Cross Tabular Analysis Results for Question seven and Question nine The response choices listed in Table 5-3 and Table 5-4 for both question seven and question nine were used in the cr oss tabular analysis. This secti on will provide the results of the four statistically significant ( 95% probability) correlations that were determined from the cross tabular analysis and can, therefore, be used to dr aw further conclusions in this research. Each correlation is presented along with the complete matrix of responses to that question used in the cross tabular analysis. Table 5-5 shows the cross tabular analysis of question seven showing the relationship between posts providing cultural an alysis and the 2005 US agricult ural trade dollar value with that country. This analysis reveals a positive correlation between the largest U.S. agricultural trading partners and th e frequency of the post providing a cultural analysis of a situation in that country (Chi Square = 6.88, p-value = .032). One po ssible explanation for this association is that since these trading partners are so large, there are also many inst ances of both private sector and governmental officials meeting with their forei gn counterparts and, theref ore, requiring cultural analysis briefings prior to their interactions. Table 5-6 shows the cross tabular analysis of question seven showing a relationship between posts providing political analysis and FAS office size. There is both a positive association between FAS offices with more employees providing political analysis and smaller FAS offices not providing politic al analysis (Chi Square = 12. 74, p-value =.002). One possible explanation is that larger offices tend to be located in countri es where the domestic political situation is important to the United States, su ch as Moscow and Tokyo, whereas smaller offices tend to be places where domestic politics do not di rectly impact the United States as much, such as Italy or Nicaragua. A second straightforward possi bility is that the larg er offices simply have 66

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more people available to fill the requests for politi cal analysis and are able to provide these more regularly than are smaller offices with less staff resources available. Table 5-7 shows a positive correlation of more reliance on knowledge of the FAS Attachs in less developed countries as well as ne gative correlations fo r reliance on attach knowledge in more developed countries (Chi Squa re = 11.04, p-value = .004). It is possible this relationship exists because of the relative difficulty of obtaining information in less developed countries and often the Attach must rely on experiences that occurr ed previously in their career to find the information they need. As a general rule, FAS sends more highly-qualified and experienced officers to less devel oped countries, and they are often the only U.S. officer at post. Table 5-8 shows a positive corr elation between the use of U. S. trade journals and less developed countries (Chi Square = 5.89, p-value = .052). Overall, only 10 of the 48 posts that responded to this question indicated that they use these sources; however, of those that did indicate that they use them, 90 percent (9 of 10) were in less developed countries. This is probably because less developed countries often do not have separate trade journals and possibly the only sources of information on their countries are U.S. journals with an international scope. Summary of Analysis of FAS Web Survey Results This researcher determined that FAS market analysis functions pr imarily include tasks focused on market entry or market access such as understanding trade barriers, interpreting local country importation laws and finding an in-country partner to help with distribution They also included classic market analysis elements, such as estimating/measuring overall market size, identifying marketing strategies and, identifying target consumers Important sources of information were primarily those that hinge on close physical proximity and continuing 67

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relationships including, contact with key industry players, co ntact with host country government, first-hand knowledge by a FSN and local distributors in that industry Identify Market Analysis Information Demanded by Users of FAS Services To address the third research objective, two primary data sources were used: the telephone survey of FAS customers and the creation and an alysis of the webtrends download database. Results and Analysis of the Telephone Survey of FAS Customers The telephone survey of FAS customers high lighted some significant details about the information used by FAS customers. The firs t common response of the telephone survey was that FAS information customers do not distingui sh between information that comes from FAS and information that comes from other USDA agencies It is all considered to have originated from the same source. This observation is ba sed on the open-ended responses recorded during the survey with 70% of the respondents commenting on FAS reports in the midst of referring to other USDA reports. This patter n indicates that respondents do not view the agencies within USDA as materially different. Much of what customers identified as important sources of information coming from USDA were actually pa rticular GAIN reports pr oduced by FAS offices abroad. A second result of the telephone su rvey is that customers use FAS information for a variety of purposes including preparing market analyses, assessing local food tren ds and writing reports and articles for newsletters. Many of these pur poses require adding the FAS information to the firm-specific analyses that already exist within their organizations. This can be seen from the results of Question 21, How do you use the informati on (that you obtain from FAS)?, with 14 of the 20 external subjects responding th at the information is used to prepare reports or newsletter articles and also 13 of the 20 sta ting that it is used to prepare marketing plans or to attempt to assess local trends 68

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Thirdly, the majority of FAS cust omers surveyed use the internet as their primary source of obtaining information from FAS. When asked, Do you use FAS online? 27 of 33 (82%) of external customers responded that they use it frequently. With an additional five customers noting they use it infrequently. This is logical as the website can be accessed anytime from any location. Respondents also indicated that FAS onlin e information is relatively easy to locate and is stored in standardized formats. Overall, results from the telephone survey indi cate that FAS customers perceive that FAS offices abroad are involved in al most all phases of the market an alysis flow chart presented in Figure 1-1. For the open-ended question, What types of information are you seeking when you contact posts? the most popular responses were Gather Data Not Available Anywhere Else with 22 out of 33 (67%) re spondents stating this, Market Access Problems with 16 out of 33 (48%) and Codes and Regulatory Information with 13 out of 33 (39%). The first response is not particularly telling; however, the second two responses relate to the market access and market entry phases of the export process. While the telephone interviews did provide some useful information, this data source also presented several problems as discussed in the Chapter Four. Therefore, this researcher transitioned to a more reliable and complete data source, the we btrends database, to answer the research objective concerning in formation demanded by FAS users Results and Analysis of the GAIN Report Downloads by Country and Subject Using Webtrends As described in Chapter Four, this researcher determined the simplest way to approximate demand for the information being produced by FAS was to analyze the download statistics of FAS GAIN reports. Download statistics from th e GAIN database of online reports created and analyzed by the researcher for th is study act as a proxy of demand for each report. This section 69

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will describe the most downloaded GAIN reports in 2005 and 2006. The webtrends database reveals that the most popular countries and repor t categories account for the heavy majority of the total downloads. For instance the 20 most popular countrie s provide 80% of the reports written in 2005 that were on the list, and the t op 20 categories account for 90% of the reports that appear on the list. This tre nd goes beyond report categories or c ountries demands for individual reports. The top 10% of the most downloa ded 2005 reports account for 55% of the total downloads. The above example only includes those reports wr itten in 2005. The en tire list of reports downloaded in 2005 and 2006 includes reports wr itten years 1999 through 2006. A total of 675 different reports types were downloaded during the years 2005 and 2006. As an example of the diversity among the most downloaded reports consid er that only three reports appear on every monthly download list for the en tire 24 months reported, The Ca nada Organics report from 2002, Canadas Food Brokers list from 2001, and Japans Organics report from 2000. Table 5-11 shows that overall seven repor t categories are among the top ten most downloaded in both 2005 and 2006. These cat egories are Retail Food Sector, Food and Agriculture Import Regulations and Standard s (FAIRS) Country Repor t, Grain and Feed, Exporter Guide, Oilseeds and Products, Food Processing Ingredients, and Organic Products. Similarly Table 5-11 shows seven countries are in the top ten in bot h 2005 and 2006: Canada, China, EU-25, France, India, Japan and Mexico. The combination of the top seven countries and top seven categories yields 25% of th e total reports downloaded each year. Expanding this analysis to include the top 25 countries and categories gives us an idea of the wider patterns shown in the da ta. We see that 15 of the c ountries and 18 of the categories appear in the top 20 in both 2005 and 2006. The combination of these 25 countries and 70

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categories accounts for 86% of tota l downloads during these years. Table 5-9 is the matrix that results when the 25 countries and categories ar e combined. This matrix demonstrates the popularity of specific countries su ch as China and EU-25 and of categories such as the FAIRS Country reports and the Exporter Guides. The matrix in Table 5-9 allows for a visual comparison between countries and categories so th e viewer can see patterns in how those two distinctions interact. Results and Analysis of GAIN Report Download s by Type of Information Contained in the Report After analyzing the total downloads of GAIN reports by country and category, the researcher conducted a second analysis looking at the information contained in the GAIN report downloads. Chapter 4 explains how this resear cher categorized the information contained in reports into the three categories of opportunities, threats, and trade data as a basis for the analysis. These three categories were determined based on the results of the literature review which identified four key steps for the market analysis process. They were necessarily condensed into three categories for the analysis of the GAIN reports. This analysis did prove to be fruitful and revealed the types of informati on most demanded by FAS information customers. Table 5-12 shows the total number of downloads as well as number of unique reports downloaded for each of the three categories. Acco rding to this analysis, the type of market analysis information that FA S customers demand most is information about opportunities. However, because each report typically contai ns more than one type of information, the researcher created Table 5-13 to analyze the package of information content in the report downloads. It was determined as a result of this analysis that customers actually tend to demand packages of information. The most demanded package of information is the one that contains all three types of information: Opportunities, threats and trade data. Th e four most popular 71

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categories of GAIN reports that contain this p ackage are Food Processing Ingredients Sector, Retail Food Sector, Product Brief an d Exporter Guide. It is intere sting that while all four of these categories appear in the top ten most downloaded GAIN reports by categories, they rank third, fifth, sixth and ninth. In this case we cannot draw a dire ct relationship between demand for specific packages of information and demand for specific GAIN reports. The second most popular interaction of the thr ee information types is, in fact, an absence of all three types of information. There were 67 GAIN reports with a total of approximately 88,000 downloads that did not contain any of the three information types examined in this research. This begs the logical question, what t ype of information do thes e reports contain? It was determined that many of the reports in this category are FAIRS (Food and Agricultural Import Regulations and Standards) reports that contain explana tions of foreign country import laws and food safety standards. Basically, thes e are the GAIN reports that coincide to the two most often provided services by posts according to the web-based post survey noted earlier, Understanding trade barriers and Interpreting local country importation laws. The most common report category in this section is the FAIRS report. It is interes ting to note that in many of these reports there is very little inform ation added by the FAS posts besides alerting the audience to the change(s) in laws or regulations and then translating the text of such change(s). The third most downloaded set of information is the one that cont ains opportunities and threats but not trade data. The four report categori es that occur most frequently with these types of information are Oilseeds and Products, Organic Products, Product Brief and Retail Food Sector. These reports often address coming trends in a country and explain some of the same services identified in the Web-based survey, such as estimating market size, identifying target consumers and marketing strategies, as well as cultural and situational analysis. Though these 72

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reports do not contain trade data, they still contai n statistics such as prices of similar products and estimates of domestic demand for particular products. The information contained in these reports would most likely be used by a firm duri ng the market research phase of the flow chart depicted in Figure 1-1. The analysis of GAIN report downloads coll ected in the Webtrends download database provides two basic conclusions. The first is that FAS customer s are seeking information about opportunities in foreign markets and the second is that the most popular category of report for both years in which data was collected is th e FAIRS report, which focuses on each countrys specific set of import regulations and often includes information about non-tariff barriers to trade. This coincides exactly with the services FAS posts indicated they most often provide and again falls into the market acce ss and market entry phases of the Figure 1-1 flowchart. Differences in Methodology and Practice of Market Analysis between the Literature and FAS Posts. The literature review presented th e results of the market analysis process in a flow chart. The literature on market analysis is mainly focu sed on the process of market analysis which often includes developing a business plan and ex ploring the feasibility of new ventures. These are the focuses of many uni versity publications and private resources on the topic. Within that market analysis process, this researcher identifie d the four key steps of market analysis in the literature which were later condens ed to three: Opportunities, Threats, and Trade Data. The literature review also revealed numerous government sources primarily used to provide data sets which inform the market research and market analysis process. With regard to research question four, this researcher determined the major difference between the literature on market analysis and the practices of FAS is that FAS deals more often with market entry and market access than the gene ral market analysis process. Both the most 73

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common services performed by FAS offices abroad ( Understanding trade barriers, Interpreting local country importation laws ) and the sources of information used (Contact with key industry players, Contact with host country go vernment, First-hand knowledge by a FSN ) indicate that FAS offices are involved in the marketing pro cess several steps beyond wh ere market analysis and market assessments happen. Therefore, this researcher was not able to directly compare market analysis methods between the literature and FA S practices. Nonetheless, the conclusion drawn from this analysis is significant in understanding the role of FAS in the market analysis process. It costs a great deal of money for U.S. taxpa yers to have these offices abroad and their value-added is on the ground with operational detail s of how to move a product within a country and how to address potential tr ade barriers that might prevent US imports to that country. The survey of FAS posts paints a clear picture of offices that receive hundreds of requests a year to conduct market analyses for a variety of products. They only have time and resources to pursue the ones that have the potential to benefit FAS customers, which are primarily US exporters. This research suggests that FAS posts work mainly with established exporters that are already exporting product(s). These exporters will call upon FAS when there are regulatory or trade barriers that they cannot addres s through the private sector processes. FASs organizational structure is set-up to have background work, or more general market analysis functions, preformed by the staff in Washington. Of FASs 1000 employees, 700 are in Washington and only 300 are abroad Yet the 300 stationed abroad cost the organization much more money per capita. The FAS Washington sta ff has employees with the titles such as Marketing Specialist whose job descriptions includes helping ne w and existing U.S. exporters investigate foreign markets. The role of the staff at oversea post is to assist U.S. firms when they 74

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come to the country for visits with contacts and to aid the company when trade barriers arise, whether political (a protectionist import ban to support domestic pr ices) or physical (an official at the port refuses to let a product be unloaded un til he receives a bribe). These are the types of wide-ranging activities that can be st be done by posts and are a more logical use of their scarce resources since they benefit many U.S. exporters a nd result in maintaining or increasing exports, which has immediate financial recompense for US agribusinesses. Examination of the Information Demanded by Users of FAS Services and the Market Analysis Services Provided by FAS Posts to Determine FASs Most Valuable Market Analysis Functions The information demanded by FASs customers seems to be two pronged. The first is that they demand information about market opportun ities, and the second is that they demand a specific type of report that detail s technical barriers to trade. These varied types of information demanded indicate that FAS has at least two types of informati on customers: Those that are investigating a wide variety of information about agricultural markets in a variety of countries and those that are alread y engaged in exporting and are interested in technical barriers to trade. The first group of information customers seems to be engaged in the data gathering stage of market analysis where various marketing opportunities are weighed against each other by collecting as much data as possi ble about various markets. Th e other group of exporters is probably smaller in number, but the type of informa tion they need is more precise and, therefore, all of their information demands are concentrat ed in one (very popular) report. This second group of exporters seems to be in line with the su bset of U.S. firms to which FAS posts cater. This is the reason that we see the overlap between the services offered ( Understanding trade barriers, Interpreting local country importation la ws, Finding an in-country partner to help with distribution) and the top demanded report by number of downloads (Food and Agriculture Import Regulations Report ). 75

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Summary Consolidation in the U.S. agricultural industry has led to only a limited number of agricultural firms controlling much of the nations agri cultural exports. These few firms have teams of people dedicated to international marketing and supporting the process of exporting product(s). When these organizations contact FAS, it is likely that a lot of money is at stake. These large firms are likely to be the ones driving demand for the FA IRS report and for the services most frequently provided by FAS posts. The smaller firms with more limited resources are more likely the ones driving demand for the rest of FASs GAIN reports. These firms n eed greater assistance and need to be accessing FASs marketing specialists in Washington, DC, before they contact posts with specific questions. These smaller or new-to-exporting firm s are the ones that stand to benefit the most from FASs improved methods fo r conducting market analyses. In addition to answering the re search objectives, this chapte r revealed two particularly unexpected conclusions included in the results above. First, the researcher learned that FAS does not have a formal method for conducting market an alysis as was assumed at the start of this project. Secondly, the discovery that FAS focuse s more on market access and market entry than market analysis is a key resu lt of this research. The next chapter, Chapter Six, Conclusions and Outcomes highlights a few of the other insights gained during the process of completing this research proj ect and offers suggestions that address the conclusions discu ssed in this chapter. 76

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Table 5-1. Response Rate by FAS management re gion for the Web-based survey of FAS Posts. Number of Posts Responses Response Rate Asia 34 15 44.1% Europe 27 15 55.6% Middle East, Africa and Western Hemisphere 42 20 47.6% Total 103 50 48.5% 77

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Table 5-2. Results of web-based surv ey of FAS Posts question number one: For the time period of October 1, 2004 September 30, 2005 please estimate the number of market analyses initiated in ea ch of the following ways? Reason for Post to initiate a ma rket analysis Count Percentage Request by Individual U.S. company 2160 28% Request by U.S. trade association/commodity group 1265 17% Periodic scheduled report 1000 13% Initiated within post 961 13% Request by FAS Washington 917 12% Request by U.S. embassy 499 7% Request by U.S. state governments 449 6% Other 170 2% Request by other USDA office 87 1% Request by local contact 75 1% Request by other FAS Posts 39 1% Request by USTR 30 0% Sub-total of U.S. Govt. requests 3982 52% Sub-total of nonU.S. Govt. requests 3500 45% Sub-total unknown other requests 170 2% Total 7652 100% 1/ Response Rate = 50/103 78

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Table 5-3. Totals for always and frequently responses to web-based survey of FAS Posts Question 7: Of the following types of assistance, how often, if ever, did your office provide these services to U.S. clients during the time period of October 1, 2004 September 30, 2005? Responses indicating occasionally, seldom, or never responses not scored. Service was ALWAYS or FREQUENTLY performed by post. Number of always or frequently responses Total responses % Understanding trade barriers 42 50 84% Interpreting local country importation laws 40 50 80% Estimating/Measuring overall market size 36 50 72% Finding an in-country partner to help with distribution 31 50 62% Identifying marketing strategies 30 50 60% Identifying target consumers 29 50 58% Providing situational analysis cultural 28 50 56% Providing situational analysis political 25 50 50% Assistance with USDA Programs i.e. GSM, Cooperator programs, etc. 24 50 48% Identifying potential product competitors and competitor pricing 22 49 45% Assistance finding an in-country partner to help with marketing 19 50 38% Help companies plan their 'marketing mix' of products/services 11 49 22% Monitoring and Evaluating Market Response 11 49 22% 1/ Response Rate = 50/103 79

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Table 5-4. Totals for always and frequently responses to web-based survey of FAS Posts Question 9: During the time period of October 1, 2004 September 30, 2005 what were the principal sources of informa tion used to conduct market analyses? Responses indicating occasionally, sel dom, or never responses not scored. Service was ALWAYS or FREQUENTLY performed by post. Number of always or frequently responses Total responses % Contact with key industry players 46 49 94% Contact with host country government 42 49 86% First-hand knowledge by a FSN 42 49 86% Local distributors in that industry 39 49 80% Foreign government data 38 49 78% First-hand knowledge by a U.S. FAS employee 30 49 61% Cooperator or other U.S. commodity representative in the country 29 49 59% Foreign trade journals 29 49 59% United States Government data 29 49 59% Independent data gathering service 17 49 35% Survey or other primary data collection 15 48 31% International news services websites/wire/print (CNN; BBC; AP) 12 49 24% First-hand knowledge by a U.S. Embassy employee, (Dep.of State) 11 49 22% United States trade journals 10 48 21% Contact with government officials representing third countries 6 48 13% 1/ Response Rate = 50/103 80

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Table 5-5. Cross tabular analysis showing positive correlation between largest U.S. agricultural trading partners and Posts that always or frequently provide cultural analysis. Results based on web-based survey of FAS Posts question 7: Of the following types of assistance, how often, if ever, did your o ffice provide these services to U.S. clients during the time period of October 1, 2004 September 30, 2005? Agricultural Trade Value with U.S. between 0.5 billion and 10 billion USD Agricultural Trade Value with U.S. less than 0.5 billion USD Total Always or Frequently provide cultural analysis. 18 (75%) 10 (38.5%) 28 (56%) Occasionally provide cultural analysis 4 (16.7%) 12 (46.2%) 16 (32%) Seldom or Never provide cultural analysis 2 (8.3%) 4 (15.4%) 6 (12%) 1/ Response Rate (N) = 50/103 2/ Chi-square = 6.88, p-value = .032 81

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Table 5-6. Cross tabular analysis showing correlation between FAS office size and Post providing political analysis. Results of we b-based survey of FAS Posts question 7: Of the following types of assistance, how often, if ever, did your office provide these services to U.S. clients during the time period of October 1, 2004 September 30, 2005? One or less Foreign Service Officers at Post. More than one Foreign Service Officer at Post Total Always or Frequently provide political analysis. 7 (26.9%) 18 (75%) 25 (50%) Occasionally provide political analysis 7 (26.9%) 4 (16.7%) 11 (22%) Seldom or Never provide political analysis 12 (46.2%) 2 (8.3%) 14 (28%) 1/ Response Rate (N) = 50/103 2/ Chi-square =12.74, p-value = .002 82

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Table 5-7. Cross tabular analysis showing correlation between firs t-hand knowledge Foreign Service Officer (FSO) and human developm ent index value of the host country. Results based on web-based survey of FAS Posts question 9: During the time period of October 1, 2004 September 30, 2005 w hat were the principal sources of information used to c onduct market analyses? Human Development Index < .8 Human Development Index >.8 Total No response provided 0 (0%) 1 (4.3%) 1 (4.2%) Always or Frequently depend on first-hand knowledge of FSO 22 (81.5%) 8 (34.8%) 30 (60%) Occasionally depend on first-hand knowledge of FSO 4 (14.8%) 8 (34.8%) 12 (24%) Seldom or Never depend on first-hand knowledge of FSO 1 (3.7%) 6 (26.1%) 7 (14%) 1/ Response Rate (N) = 49/103 2/ Chi-square = 11.04, p-value = .004 83

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Table 5-8. Cross tabular analysis of positive asso ciation between always and frequent use of U.S. trade journals as an information source and a human development index value of less than 0.8 for the host count ry. Results based on web-based survey of FAS Posts question 9: During the time period of Oct ober 1, 2004 September 30, 2005 what were the principal sources of inform ation used to conduct market analyses? Human Development Index < 0.8 Human Development Index > 0.8 Total No response provided 0 (0%) 2 (8.7%) 2 (4%) Always or Frequently use U.S. trade journals as info. source 9 (33.3%) 1 (4.3%) 10 (20%) Occasionally use U.S. trade journals as info. source 6 (22.2%) 6 (26.1%) 12 (24%) Seldom or Never use U.S. trade journals as info. source 12 (44.4%) 14 (60.9%) 26 (52%) 1/ Response Rate (N) = 48/103 2/ Chi-square = 5.89, p-value = .052 84

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Table 5-9. GAIN report matrix of 25 most downl oaded report categories and countries for 20052006. Argentina Australia Brazil Canada China Colombia Agricultural Situation 179 1858 Bio-Fuels 9531 Biotechnology 179 185 344 Citrus 391 771 458 Coffee 1215 Exporter Guide 174 4544 5875 191 Fishery Products 478 FAIRS Country 1089 476 938 163 6252 Food Processing Ingredients 8234 Fresh Deciduous Fruit 204 600 Grain and Feed 1310 1446 1536 840 2590 HRI Food Service Sector 2465 Kosher Foods 1821 373 1904 Livestock and Products 247 1415 1575 601 1163 Market Development 300 14753 1686 Oilseeds and Products 410 2664 1178 Organic Products 123 8058 154 Planting Seeds 244 164 Poultry and Products 229 1702 460 2092 Product Brief 769 Retail Food Sector 4761 1441 11195 Solid Wood Products 9399 Sugar 4707 186 Trade Policy Monitoring Wine 735 208 1481 Total 6476 4820 16134 36269 57629 11386 85

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Table 5-9. Continued EU-25 France Germany Greece India Japan Korea Agricultural Situation 4204 1736 559 Bio-Fuels 1670 354 2497 Biotechnology 1237 897 239 223 Citrus 353 153 Coffee Exporter Guide 415 405 767 7693 1182 Fishery Products 1212 FAIRS Country 1809 390 1304 4947 4274 6118 Food Processing Ingredients 4835 714 437 2389 149 Fresh Deciduous Fruit 102 220 Grain and Feed 8312 132 2351 1012 2230 HRI Food Service Sector 4817 1202 344 316 185 Kosher Foods 10813 919 Livestock and Products 3239 1024 433 Market Development Oilseeds and Products 25119 9953 10032 396 Organic Products 6172 5438 1833 Planting Seeds 1463 Poultry and Products 3658 1262 408 Product Brief 9815 195 1478 2830 Retail Food Sector 2898 2074 166 2263 Solid Wood Products Sugar 11948 170 Trade Policy Monitoring 1951 Wine 882 750 310 Total 68864 48264 13001 4185 14450 28137 17376 86

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Table 5-9. Continued Malaysia Mexico Netherlands Nigeria Philippines Russian Fed. Agricultural Situation 768 2656 Bio-Fuels Biotechnology 3234 228 3115 Citrus 170 Coffee 305 Exporter Guide 877 4188 Fishery Products FAIRS Country 2761 1761 324 622 3236 1893 Food Processing Ingredients 5012 4320 227 Fresh Deciduous Fruit 260 Grain and Feed 322 642 1143 HRI Food Service Sector Kosher Foods 1503 Livestock and Products 2067 757 Market Development 1012 Oilseeds and Products 6776 495 Organic Products Planting Seeds 124 Poultry and Products 2456 392 211 2162 Product Brief 1753 Retail Food Sector 148 188 138 220 6664 Solid Wood Products 7300 1128 641 Sugar 186 Trade Policy Monitoring 176 Wine Total 10488 16839 10122 5634 17060 14418 87

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Table 5-9. Continued Saudi Arabia Singapore Thailand UAE UK Vietnam Total Agricultural Situation 150 12110 Bio-Fuels 14052 Biotechnology 144 223 10248 Citrus 2296 Coffee 378 1898 Exporter Guide 698 2514 198 29721 Fishery Products 389 2079 FAIRS Country 3818 5411 4540 529 1413 1986 56054 Food Processing Ingredients 26317 Fresh Deciduous Fruit 1386 Grain and Feed 209 3507 1556 29138 HRI Food Service Sector 898 1095 480 11802 Kosher Foods 1981 19314 Livestock and Products 337 12858 Market Development 154 17905 Oilseeds and Products 57023 Organic Products 885 22663 Planting Seeds 1995 Poultry and Products 322 496 15850 Product Brief 1415 628 18883 Retail Food Sector 2261 1549 35966 Solid Wood Products 178 18646 Sugar 17197 Trade Policy Monitoring 2127 Wine 4366 Total 6754 7724 11187 5072 4972 4633 441894 88

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Table 5-10. GAIN report matrix showing total numbers of report downloads in 2005 and 2006 by country, arranged from greatest total downloads to least total downloads. GAIN Report Country Total Downloads 2005 Total Downloads 2006 Total Downloads 2005 & 2006 EU-25 18667 50366 69033 China 19043 43010 62053 France 14497 33937 48434 Canada 16367 20373 36740 Japan 15810 13325 29135 Mexico 8863 9655 18518 Korea 5432 11944 17376 Philippines 5674 11635 17309 Brazil 7935 8776 16711 Russian Fed. 7941 6891 14832 India 5855 8783 14638 Germany 5097 8216 13313 Colombia 5321 6065 11386 Thailand 6015 5172 11187 Malaysia 2107 8491 10598 Netherlands 495 9627 10122 Singapore 4592 3132 7724 Argentina 4281 2844 7125 Saudi Arabia 1026 5728 6754 Nigeria 478 5156 5634 Australia 2923 2425 5348 United Arab Emirates 1404 3668 5072 United Kingdom 1976 2996 4972 Vietnam 2356 2277 4633 Greece 1259 3318 4577 Israel 1868 2011 3879 Dominican Republic 464 3272 3736 Sweden 785 2526 3311 Taiwan 2034 1234 3268 South Africa 738 2443 3181 Indonesia 538 2523 3061 Czech Republic 620 2312 2932 Italy 2095 592 2687 Spain 1935 722 2657 Ukraine 1030 1395 2425 89

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Table 5-10. Continued GAIN Report Country Total Downloads 2005 Total Downloads 2006 Total Downloads 2005 & 2006 Turkey 1455 898 2353 Austria 1320 956 2276 Bulgaria 166 2004 2170 Pakistan 206 1783 1989 Unknown* 1443 391 1834 Egypt 789 914 1703 Hungary 0 1583 1583 New Zealand 841 701 1542 Chile 879 549 1428 Portugal 612 806 1418 Venezuela 844 511 1355 Poland 458 696 1154 Hong Kong 1069 0 1069 EU-15 558 505 1063 Trinidad and Tobago 193 741 934 Peru 386 509 895 Caribbean Basin 527 303 830 Qatar 0 792 792 Morocco 318 268 586 Jamaica and Dominican Rep. 534 0 534 Kuwait 319 161 480 Denmark 0 360 360 Romania 348 0 348 Oman 0 333 333 Estonia 190 0 190 Lithuania 163 0 163 Belgium-Luxembourg 0 159 159 Croatia 0 158 158 El Salvador 0 138 138 Jordan 0 134 134 Bahrain 0 128 128 Cambodia 0 127 127 Belize 0 123 123 Totals 177521 306840 484361 90

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Table 5-11. GAIN reports matrix showing total numbers of report downloads in 2005 and 2006 by category, arranged from greatest tota l downloads to least total downloads. GAIN Report Category Total Downloads 2005 Total Downloads 2006 Total Downloads 2005 & 2006 FAIRS Country 19902 47853 67755 Oilseeds and Produc ts 15466 43630 59096 Retail food Sector 19904 19295 39199 Grain and Feed 16671 21227 37898 Exporter Guide 15686 15541 31227 Rood Processing Ingredients Sector 8679 20511 29190 Organic Products 8028 17809 25837 Kosher Foods 11277 12573 23850 Product Brief 6598 16370 22968 Solid Wood Products 5960 13924 19884 Market Development Reports 7714 10766 18480 Sugar 2177 15020 17197 Poultry and Products 7043 9860 16903 HRI Food Service Sector 8833 6230 15063 Bio-Fuels 0 14052 14052 Agricultural Situation 5923 7634 13557 Livestock and Products 6068 7316 13384 Biotechnology 1862 11332 13194 Wine 3819 1793 5612 Trade Policy Monitoring 3540 339 3879 Citrus 1263 1806 3069 Fishery Products 575 1636 2211 Fresh Deciduous Fruit 1652 377 2029 Planting Seeds 1206 789 1995 Coffee 1333 565 1898 Promotion Opportunities 1425 433 1858 Unknown* 1443 391 1834 Dairy and Products 1285 525 1810 Cotton and Products 259 1072 1331 Trade data Multiple commodities 1191 134 1325 Tomatoes and Products 555 665 1220 Canned Deciduous Fruit 781 340 1121 Sanitary/Phytosanitary/Food Safety 177 577 754 Export Certificate FAIRS Report 668 0 668 Asparagus 551 0 551 FAIRS Product Specific 110 441 551 Tree Nuts 326 214 540 Strawberries 0 531 531 Honey 461 0 461 Frozen Potato Products 421 0 421 Stone Fruit 307 0 307 Total 191139 323571 514710 91

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Table 5-12. Analysis of GAIN reports by conten t for total reports downloaded and total unique report downloaded that were on top 250 dow nloads list in web-trends download database for more than one month in 2005 2006. (Each report may contain more than one type of information) Number of downloads Number of reports Contains information on Opportunities 313,249 173 Contains information on Threats 236,947 153 Contains information on Trade Data 221,841 170 Total 772,037 496 92

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Table 5-13. Analysis of GAIN reports showing each combination of type of information contained for trade data, threats, and oppor tunities paradigm. Matrix shows total reports downloaded and total unique repor ts downloaded that were on top 250 downloads list in web-trends download da tabase for more than one month in 2005 2006. Contains Trade Data Contains Information on Threats Contains Information on Opportunities Total Number of reports Number of unique reports Y Y Y 126,899 99 N N N 88,369 67 N Y Y 82,561 35 Y N Y 61,440 26 N N Y 42,349 13 Y N N 17,558 33 Y Y N 15,944 12 N Y N 11,093 7 Totals 446,213 292 93

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CHAPTER 6 CONCLUSTIONS AND OUTCOMES The Four Most Significant Observations Over the past two years of studying and anal yzing both FAS and its information systems, many interesting phenomena were observed. The four most important to this work are as follows: FAS did not have a system that collec ted and reported information usage. FAS does not know exactly who are its primary information customers. There is an apparent consensus in the literature regarding the types of information needed to conduct market analyses. FAS does not have a systemized method for preparing market analyses. FAS Report Information Usage System Regarding the first point, the greatest outcome of this research pr oject is that it has contributed to the establishment of a system th at FAS can use to syst ematically collect and analyze GAIN report usage data. This research ca nnot take full credit for drawing attention to the problem that FAS needs to collect and anal yze this information. However, the database created by this researcher for the project, along with the insight s gained as a result of the database, provided FAS management with evidence that a permanent system could help manage the reporting work done by overseas posts. The October 2007 FAS demonstration of the revamped GAIN system included metr ics for tracking report usage data. FAS Knowing Its Primary Information Customers Regarding the second point, no change is likely regarding know ledge about primary information customers. Due to privacy concerns federal agencies are fo rbidden from installing cookies onto users computers to track their use of government information. Other solutions such as creating a log-in system to track usag e yet still allow anonymity or requiring users to give a valid e-mail address each time they use the system have also been rejected by FAS 94

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officials. It appears that at no time in the foreseeable future will FAS create a system to track who are its primary information customers. Consensus in the Literature on Informat ion Needed to Conduct Market Analysis This researcher was surprised to learn through the literature review process that, in fact, much of the market analysis information from the reviewed sources is quite similar. The most interesting examples of this similarity are in the agricultural land grant section of Chapter Three where eight departments attempts to help the user learn how to conduct market analyses are presented. The approaches vary widely, from the University of Floridas collection of available databases and country pages to Michigan State Universitys persona l interactions with innovation counselors. Among the schools that have created guides to marketing there is a large amount of variability. The University of Tenne ssee created a forty-page paper while Cornell University Extension Service created a series of one or two page pub lications. It is interesting to note how many ways there are to presen t information that is so similar. FASs Lack of a Systemized Method for Preparing Market Analysis The discovery that FAS lacks a systemized me thod of market analys is is another finding that is unlikely to change for a reasons rooted in FASs Foreign Service selection process. When this research project began, the concept was to compare FASs written procedures for conducting market analysis with the current literature. A problem arose when the researcher discovered that FAS did not have a collection of these written procedures. This begged the question, How does a multi-national organization with hundreds of em ployees preparing market analyses function without a standardized set of procedures? The answer was slowly revealed as more in formation was discovered about the culture of FAS and the specific process used to recruit and select Foreign Service officers. FAS requires that its Foreign Service applican ts be with the Agency for at least 18 months before they are 95

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eligible to apply to the Forei gn Service (though many work for FAS for years before they apply). During the time the applicant is working in Washi ngton for FAS, he or she is expected to learn about the FAS style of researching and writing reports through his/ her everyday duties. Once an applicant passes the Foreign Service examination, he/she spends eight to si xteen years at two to four different posts as a junior officer before running his/her own office. During this time the junior officer learns from superi ors and from the foreign staff how to conduct market research in each of the different posts; he/she then presen ts the information in the style learned while working in Washington. The process FAS uses to train its new Foreign Service Officers to conduct and present market analyses is a lot more complicated than providing employees with a manual, rather it is based in years of on-the-job training. This is a signif icant conclusion that led the researcher to reframe an original research objective as it is not possible to compare an FAS standard for market analysis with that of the literature review. Applied Outcomes of the Research As a result of this research project, FAS made significant changes in the way it manages the GAIN system, specifically the collection a nd use of download data to inform FASs operations. Webtrends Downloads Database Long-Term Implementation The Webtrends download database developed for this research project was a proof of concept for FASs management. It motivated FAS to begin thinking about ways the data collected can help inform management decisions. Concurrently with this research project, FAS was undertaking a system redesign of the GAIN re porting system. This fortunate timing enabled the researcher to present findings and reco mmendations to FAS ma nagement which were incorporated into the requirements of the new GAIN system. 96

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One such improvement implemented because of this research is that the new GAIN system collects granular data about report downloads and usage. The new GAIN system will also have a user-friendly dashboard that allows managers to pre-designate the GAIN downloads data they need and display it in a variety of graphic formats. Another important feature is that it will regist er every report that is downloaded at least once as opposed to the current system which only reports the top 250 most downloaded reports of any type. This will allow FAS officials to obt ain a clear understanding of which reports have not been viewed. This upgrade is an impor tant improvement widely requested by FAS management. This researcher also suggested one minute time and date logs implemented in the new GAIN system. This is an upgrade over the monthly summary statistics available now. Tracking downloads in periods of one minute will allow for a much more robust dataset that will facilitate more detailed data analysis in the future. At the time of the completion of this research, it appears that th e Webtrends downloads database will have a substantial impact on the management of th e overall GAIN reporting system. It will provide quantifiable evidence of relative differences in demand of GAIN reports. It is not likely that FAS management will base changes in post reporting requirements solely on this data set; however, it is expected that this data set will become an important factor in FAS managements decision making processes. Suggestions for Further Research and Applications Once the new GAIN system is implemented, a more robust dataset will become available for future research linking demand for FAS inform ation with a variety of factors. The new GAIN database will include a complete list of all reports downloaded each minute from the GAIN server resulting in a detailed time series dataset with millions of observations. This will 97

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allow for a variety of tests to be applied to the varying levels of downloads including, event shocks (i.e., a case of BSE is reported in a particular country), deviations in currency exchange rates, changing prices of agricultu ral inputs, etc. The list of poten tially explanatory variables is extensive. Ultimately, it would be interesting to construct a model of the relative impacts of various independent variables on the demand for GAIN information. This researcher recommends that FAS adopt a systemized method for collecting information from its information customers. Cu rrently, FAS does not have the capability to track how many users from a particular co untry are using its information. It is a glaring deficiency in FASs information security system that it likel y provides such reports de veloped with taxpayers funding to competitors of the Unite d States free of charge. As previously noted, FAS cannot accomplish this by installing cookies onto users computers due to government restrictions; however an alternative strate gy should be employed. This researcher believes alternative options exist which would respec t the privacy of FASs information users while still pr oviding FAS with the informati on it needs to understand who is using the information published on the FAS website Implementing one of these solutions will require FAS to walk the fine line between indi vidual privacy and the needs of the Agency to better serve the public. However, th e benefits of implementing such a system are substantial as it would allow FAS to be certain that its efforts are serving the primary customer group, the U.S. agricultural industry, rather than pote ntially working for its competitors. This researcher also recommends that FAS in itiate a program to cap ture the knowledge and experience of its most senior staff to create tr aining materials and refere nce guides for standard activities such as conducting ma rket analyses. As noted earlier, formal FAS guidelines for market analysis do not currently exist. Th is could be achieved by conducting several focus 98

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groups with experienced FAS personnel and compili ng their commentary into a draft reference guide that is then circulated for further comm ents. To date, the informal process that has developed within FAS has been successful becau se of the dedication of longtime FAS market analysis experts and their commitment to training future generations of FAS employees. However, a more formalized training manual or refe rence guide is needed in order to collect their valuable experience and institutional knowledge to guarantee it will be available in years to come. 99

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APPENDIX A QUESTIONAIRRE USED IN PHONE SURVEY OF FAS INFORMATION CUSTOMERS FAS: Internal or External (choose one) Division: Interviewee name: J ob Title: Phone number: Date: 1) Who are your customers or stakeholders that need and use post generated information that you may or may not analyze? Cooperators Exporters World Board GAINS Subscribers Other __________ 2) How often do you communicate with your stak eholders/members about FAS overseas postgenerated information? 3) How often do stakeholders/members contact you to give you feedback on a particular report? 4) Which of FAS overseas posts do you contact most often? 5) What types of information are you seek ing when you contact po sts? (Open-ended) 6) Please tell me yes or no if you use the spec ific services FAS posts provide (close-ended): Y N Market access issues Y N Trade data Y N Food Service/ Food pr ocessing reports/Retail Reports Y N Commodity Specific Reports Y N Lists of Importers Y N Lists of other key play ers (Government officials, etc) Y N In-country product pricing 100

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Y N Information about the commercial sector Y N Information on Foreign Visito rs (for briefing paper preparation) Y N Marketing activity collaboration 7) How have FAS posts conveyed this information to you? 8) Of the different types of informa tion you use, which is most important? 9) Do you share this information with your stakeholders/members? A) Please list the groups with wh ich you share this information: 10) How could this information be more valuable to you? 11) Of the posts you work with, which do a part icularity good job conveyi ng information to you? 12) Posts also provide other information such as (list the categories they responded No to in question 6) Do you use this information? Why not? 13) What information needs does your division/organization have that are not being met? 14) Do you use any post-generated information in your UES (trade associations only)? If so, what? 15) If posts were to stop reporting the information you use, how would you obtain this information? 16) How accurate is this non-post generated information? 17) What other information sources do your stakeholders use? 18) Please describe your idea of a seamless inform ation flow from an FAS post to you and your stakeholders? 19) Do you use FAS online? Frequently Infrequently Never 20) What specific information from FAS online do you use? 101

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21) How do you use this information? 22) Do you use any post websites? 23) If yes, which FAS overs eas posts websites do you use? 24) If yes, what information do you use from these sites and how do you use it? 25) What post websites are the most helpful and why? *(Identifying sites with the information you need, this will help us in our current efforts to improve post websites.)* 26) Which of your stakeholders or associates could provide candid thoughts about posts? 102

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APPENDIX B RESULTS FROM TELEPHONE SURVEY Question #1: Who are your customers/stakeholders that need/use post generated information? External Responses Groups Raw # % Exporters 24 71% Cooperators 16 47% GAINS Subscribers 15 44% Producers 8 24% State Government 4 12% Internal Responses Groups Raw # % USDA 11 65% GAINS Subscribers 10 59% Exporters 9 53% Cooperators 8 47% USTR 4 24% World Board 4 24% State Government 4 24% University Students or Faculty 3 18% Producers 2 12% Q2: How often do you communicate with your st akeholders/members about FAS overseas postgenerated information? External Responses Raw # % Frequently 26 76% Infrequently 8 24% Never 0 0% Total 34 100% Internal Responses Raw # % Frequently 12 75% Infrequently 4 25% Never 0 0% Total 16 100% 103

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Q3: How often do stakeholders/members contact you to give you feedback on a particular report? External Results Raw # % Frequently 20 67% Infrequently 7 23% Never 3 10% Did not answer 4 11% Total 34 Internal Results Raw # % Frequently 10 59% Infrequently 5 29% Never 2 12% Total 17 104

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Q4: Which of FAS overseas posts do you contact most often? External Results Raw # % Rank China 16 47% 1 Mexico 16 47% 1 Japan 13 38% 3 South Korea 8 24% 4 Taiwan 7 21% 5 Brazil 5 15% 6 Brussels 5 15% 6 Caribbean Basin 5 15% 6 Canada 4 12% 9 Chile 4 12% 9 Hong Kong 4 12% 9 Russia 4 12% 9 Singapore 4 12% 9 Argentina 3 9% 14 Colombia 3 9% 14 Thailand 3 9% 14 Spain 3 9% 14 Australia 2 6% 18 Malaysia 2 6% 18 Guatemala 2 6% 18 Poland 2 6% 18 Philippines 2 6% 18 London 2 6% 18 Germany 2 6% 18 Vietnam 2 6% 18 Internal Results Raw # % Rank Mexico 11 65% 1 Brazil 8 47% 2 Japan 8 47% 2 China 6 35% 4 Brussels 5 29% 5 Serbia 4 24% 6 Costa Rica 3 18% 7 Bulgaria 3 18% 7 Dominican Republic 3 18% 7 Guatemala 3 18% 7 Philippines 3 18% 7 Morocco 3 18% 7 South Korea 3 18% 7 105

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South Africa 3 18% 7 Argentina 2 12% 15 Canada 2 12% 15 Colombia 2 12% 15 Dubai 2 12% 15 Egypt 2 12% 15 Kenya 2 12% 15 Russia 2 12% 15 Thailand 2 12% 15 Caribbean Basin 1 6% 23 Chile 1 6% 23 Malaysia 1 6% 23 Peru 1 6% 23 Poland 1 6% 23 India 1 6% 23 London 1 6% 23 Germany 1 6% 23 Spain 1 6% 23 Tunisia 1 6% 23 Vietnam 1 6% 23 External Results Raw # % Rank China 16 47% 1 Mexico 16 47% 1 Japan 13 38% 3 South Korea 8 24% 4 Taiwan 7 21% 5 Brazil 5 15% 6 Brussels 5 15% 6 Caribbean Basin 5 15% 6 Internal Results Raw # % Rank Mexico 11 65% 1 Brazil 8 47% 2 Japan 8 47% 2 China 6 35% 4 Brussels 5 29% 5 Serbia 4 24% 6 Costa Rica 3 18% 7 Bulgaria 3 18% 7 Dominican Republic 3 18% 7 Guatemala 3 18% 7 106

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Philippines 3 18% 7 Morocco 3 18% 7 South Korea 3 18% 7 South Africa 3 18% 7 Q5: What types of information ar e you seeking when you contact posts? External Results Raw # % Rank Gather Data Not Available Anywhere Else 22 65% 1 Market Access Problems 16 47% 2 Policy Perspectives 15 44% 3 Codes And Regulatory Information 13 38% 4 Interpret Foreign Trade Laws 9 26% 5 Promotional Programs 9 26% 5 Information About Local Markets 9 26% 5 Clarification Of Info In Attach Reports 8 24% 8 Let Them Know We Are Coming Over 6 18% 9 Sensitive Information 5 15% 10 Internal Results Raw # % Rank Gather Data Not Available Anywhere Else 15 88% 1 Sensitive Information 11 65% 2 Policy Perspectives 9 53% 3 Information About Local Markets 7 41% 4 Interpret Foreign Trade Laws 6 35% 5 Market Access Problems 5 29% 6 Codes And Regulatory Information 4 24% 7 Promotional Programs 4 24% 7 Clarification Of Info In Attach Reports 3 18% 9 Let Them Know We Are Coming Over 2 12% 10 107

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Q6: Please tell me yes or no if you use th ese specific services FAS posts provide. External Results Raw # % Rank Trade data 33 97% 1 Market Access issues 31 91% 2 Commodity Specific Reports 28 82% 3 Information about the commercial sector 27 79% 4 Marketing Activity Collaboration 22 65% 5 Food Service/ Food processing re ports/Retail Reports 21 62% 6 Lists of other key players 18 53% 7 Lists of Importers 15 44% 8 In-country product pricing 10 29% 9 Internal Results Raw # % Rank Market Access issues 15 88% 1 Commodity Specific Reports 13 76% 2 Trade data 11 65% 3 Information about the commercial sector 11 65% 3 Information on Foreign Visitors 11 65% 3 Lists of other key players 9 53% 6 Marketing activity co llaboration 9 53% 6 In-country product pricing 8 47% 8 Food Service/ Food processing re ports/Retail Reports 6 35% 9 Lists of Importers 1 6% 10 Q8: Of the different types of information you use, which is most important? External Results Raw # % Rank Market Information 12 35% 1 Trade Data 9 26% 2 Local Market trends 9 26% 2 Policy Updates 8 24% 4 Market Access Issues 8 24% 4 Post Collaboration 6 18% 6 Food Processing/Retail 6 18% 6 108

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GAIN Reports 5 15% 8 Commodity Specific 4 12% 9 Attach Reports 4 12% 9 Specialty Crop Specific Reports 3 9% 11 Marketing Activity Collaboration 3 9% 11 Pre-qualified Trade Leads 2 6% 13 Lists of Importers 2 6% 13 All Equally Important 2 6% 13 Lists of other key players 1 3% 16 Info about Foreign Visitors 1 3% 16 Info about commercial sector 1 3% 16 In-Country Product Pricing 1 3% 16 Internal Results Raw # % Rank Market Information 11 65% 1 Policy Updates 6 35% 2 Local Market trends 5 29% 3 Market Access Issues 3 18% 4 Post Collaboration 3 18% 4 Trade Data 2 12% 6 Food Processing/Retail 2 12% 6 Commodity Specific 2 12% 6 Gain Reports 2 12% 6 In-Country Product Pricing 1 6% 10 Marketing Activity Collaboration 1 6% 10 All Equally Important 1 6% 10 Lists of Importers 0 0% 13 Lists of other key players 0 0% 13 Info about commercial sector 0 0% 13 Info about Foreign Visitors 0 0% 13 Attach Reports 0 0% 13 Specialty Crop Specific Reports 0 0% 13 Pre-qualified Trade Leads 0 0% 13 Fairs Reports 0 0% 13 109

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Q14: Which FAS post generated information doe s your organization use for its UES reports? (NOTE: Only external results are reported since the question only applies to external information users.) External Results Raw # % Rank Trade Statistics 11 39% 1 Market Segment Reports 11 39% 1 Retail Reports 10 36% 3 Attach Reports 9 32% 4 GAIN 9 32% 4 Overall information about the country 8 29% 6 Outlook Reports 5 15% 7 Country Guides/Exporter Guides 4 12% 8 Other Responses 0 0% 9 Q15: If posts were to stop reporting the information you use, how would you obtain this information? External Results Raw % Rank Private Contractors 13 38% 1 Foreign Government Statistics 12 35% 2 In Country Representatives 11 32% 3 Independent Information Services 8 24% 4 Industry Journals 3 9% 5 US Commerce Department 3 9% 5 Internal Results Raw % Rank US State Department Econ Officer 7 41% 1 Foreign Government Statistics 6 35% 2 Independent Information Services 6 35% 2 Private Contractors 5 29% 4 US Commerce Department 5 29% 4 No Replacement For The Information 4 24% 6 USTR 4 24% 6 FAO REPORTS 3 18% 8 USAID 2 12% 9 Us Customs Official Numbers 2 12% 9 APHIS 2 12% 9 110

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In-Country Representatives 1 6% 10 Industry Journals 0 0% 11 Other Responses 0 0% 11 Q16: How accurate is this non-post generated information? External Results Raw # % Reliable 19 63% Neutral 8 27% Not Reliable 3 10% N/A 4 Total 30 100% Q19: Do you use FAS online? External Results Raw # % Frequently 28 82% Infrequently 5 15% Never 1 3% N/A 0 0% 34 Internal Results Raw # % Frequently 12 71% Infrequently 4 24% Never 1 6% N/A 0 0% 17 20) What specific information from FAS online do you use? External Results Raw # % Trade Data 18 53% GAIN 17 50% Attach Reports 14 41% Market Information 14 41% Country Reports 10 29% Commodity Specific 9 26% Policy Updates 9 26% FAIRS 8 24% 111

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Food Processing/Retail 7 21% Contact Information 7 21% Regulations 7 21% Price 6 18% Market Access Issues 5 15% Info About Commercial Sector 5 15% Marketing Activity Collaboration 5 15% Grant proposals information 5 15% Internal Results Raw # % Trade Data 7 47% Policy Updates 5 33% Attach Reports 4 27% GAIN 4 27% Contact Information 3 20% PS&D Tables 3 20% Country Reports 3 20% Commodity Specific 2 13% Market Information 2 13% Market Access Issues 1 7% Regulations 1 7% Price 1 7% FAIRS 1 7% Food Processing/Retail 0 0% Lists Of Importers 0 0% Info About Commercial Sector 0 0% Info About Foreign Visitors 0 0% Marketing Activity Collaboration 0 0% Specialty Crop Specific Reports 0 0% Grant Proposals Information 0 0% Other 0 0% 21) How do you use this information? External Results Raw # % Rank Reports/Newsletter Articles 14 70% 1 To Prepare Marketing Plans 13 62% 2 To Try And Assess Local Trends 13 62% 2 Stay Informed Regarding Changing Up-To-Date Regulations 8 31% 4 Sector Specific Analysis 7 26% 5 Find Out What Is The Us Position And Align Our Position To That 5 17% 6 For My Own General Knowledge 4 13% 7 112

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Notify The Embassies That We Are Coming 3 10% 8 When We Are Trying To Resolve Specific Trade Issues. 2 6% 9 Country background to prepare for visitors to the U.S. 2 6% 9 Academic Research 1 3% 11 Other Response 0 0% Internal Results Raw # % Rank To Try And Assess Local Trends 7 50% 1 Prepare Reports/Newslett er Articles 6 43% 2 Country background to prepare for visitors to the U.S. 5 36% 3 For My Own General Knowledge 5 36% 3 Sector Specific Analysis 4 29% 4 When We Are Trying To Resolve Specific Trade Issues. 4 29% 4 To Prepare Marketing Plans 2 14% 5 Stay Informed Regarding Changing Up-To-Date Regulations 2 14% 5 Notify The Embassies That We Are Coming 2 14% 5 Contact The Posts 2 14% 5 Find Out What Is The Us Position And Align Our Position To That 2 14% 5 Academic Research 1 7% 6 113

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APPENDIX C ALL CONTENT POSTED ON UF WEBSITE FOR WEB-BASED POST SURVEY Informed Consent Dr. James Sterns and Roy Justin Taylor Food and Resource Economics Department, University of Florida Please read this consent document carefully befo re you decide to partic ipate in this study. Purpose of the Research Study The purpose of this study is to understand th e process that Foreign Agriculture Service employees use to conduct market analyses for U.S. Agricultural products. We are also examining the ways in which information flows within the Fo reign Agriculture Service (FAS) in an effort to improve information flows and help FAS empl oyees perform their jobs more easily. What You Will be Asked to do in the Study You will be asked to complete a survey that will be administered over the internet. Time Required Approximately 20-25 minutes. Risks and Benefits There are no reasonably foreseeable risks or discomforts that might occur as a result of your participation in this research project. Compensation You will not be compensated for participating in this research and there are no direct benefits to you for part icipating in this study. Confidentiality Your identity will be kept confidential to the extent provided by law. Your information will be assigned a code number. The list connecti ng your name to this number will be kept in a 114

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secure location on the University of Florida web server. When the study is completed and the data have been analyzed, the list will be destroye d. Your name will not be used in any report. Voluntary Participation Your participation in this study is comple tely voluntary. There is no penalty for not participating. Right to Withdraw from the Study You do not have to answer any question you do not wish to answer. You have the right to withdraw from the study at anytime without consequence. Whom to Contact if you Have Questions about the Study Roy J. Taylor, James Sterns, PhD Food and Resource Economics Department Box 110240, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611-0240 ph (352) 392-1826 ext. 222 Whom to Contact about Your Rights as a Research Participant in the Study UFIRB Office Box 112250, University of Florida Gainesville, FL 32611-2250 Phone: (352)-392-0433. Agreement I have read the procedure described above. I voluntarily agree to participate in the procedure and I can receive a copy of this descri ption if I contact the re searchers at the above 115

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addresses and telephone numbers. By typing my name below I certify that I agree with the terms described above. Participant: Date: Principal Investigator : Roy Justin Taylor Date: August 5, 2005 Questionnaire For which type of FAS office ar e you answering this survey? AAO ATO Other (Please Specify) In which city is your office located? 1) For the time period of October 1, 2004 Se ptember 30, 2005 please estimate the number of market analyses initiated in each of the following ways? Periodic scheduled reports Direct contact from an individual U.S. company Contact from a U.S. trade association or commodity group Contact from a U.S. state governments (eg. State of Florida Dept. of Agriculture) Office decision Request by FAS/W Request by U.S. embassy (State Ec on section or other section) Other (please specify): Total 116

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2) Of the total market analyses indicated in question 1, please estimate the number of market analyses conducted between the following months: October 1, 2004 December 31, 2004 January 1, 2005 ? March 31, 2005 April 1, 2005 June 30, 2005 July 1, 2005 September 30, 2005 Total 3) Of the total market analyses indicated in question 1, please estimate the number of market analyses where the PRINCIPLE AUTHOR was each of the following, during the time period of October 1, 2004 September 30, 2005: FAS head of office FSO (not head of office) Locally employed permanent staff Local consultant (contractor) U.S. consultant (contractor) Other (please specify) Total 4) Market analyses are typically conducted for a variety of different types of agricultural products or market sectors. Of the TOTAL NUMBER of the ma rket analyses indicated in question 1, please estimate how many were conducted for each of these product types, during the time period of October 1, 2004 September 30, 2005? 117

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Processed/High Value Agricultural products Intermediate/Ingredients Unprocessed/Bulk Commodities Other (1) Other (2) Total 5) Market analyses are typically conducted for a variety of different types of agricultural products or market sectors. Of the TOTAL AMOUNT OF TIME your office spent on market analysis, please estimate the PERCENTAGE OF TIME spent on each of these product types, during the time period of October 1, 2004 September 30, 2005? Processed/High Value Agricultural products Intermediate/Ingredients Unprocessed/Bulk Commodities Other (1) Other (2) 6a) Between October 1, 2004 September 30, 2005, how many U.S. clients from each of the following categories contacted your office to investigate export opportunities? Potential U.S. exporters Current U.S. exporters Representatives of U.S. commodity groups based in a foreign country 118

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Representatives of U.S. commodity groups based in a the United States State Government officials Employees of USDA Washington (not FAS) Employees of FAS/W Other (1) Other (2) Clients Total 6b) How would you characterize the knowledge levels of these U.S. clients that contacted your office, during the time period of October 1, 2004 September 30, 2005? Please provide a percentage. % Very Knowledgeable (Has done research on culture, and general market structures of the country or market, is familiar with relevant market size through best available data.) % Somewhat Knowledgeable (Has limited unde rstanding of culture market conditions, structures and relevant market size.) % Not at all Knowledgeable (Has little or no understanding of culture, or local markets) 7) Of the following types of assi stance, how often, if ever, did your office provide these services to U.S. clients during the time period of October 1, 2004 September 30, 2005 ? Please rate each choice on the following scale: 1 = This service was ALWAYS provided 2 = This service was FREQUENTLY provided 3 = This service was OCASSIONALLY provided 119

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4 = This service was SELDOM provided 5 = This service was NEVER provided Assistance finding an in-country partner to help with distribution 1 2 3 4 5 Assistance finding an in-country partner to he lp with marketing 1 2 3 4 5 Assistance with interpreting local country importation laws 1 2 3 4 5 Assistance with understanding trade barriers 1 2 3 4 5 Assistance with USDA Programs ie GSM, Cooperator programs, etc 1 2 3 4 5 Identifying marketing strategies 1 2 3 4 5 Identification of target consumers 1 2 3 4 5 Estimating/measuring overall market size 1 2 3 4 5 Identifying potential product competitors and competitor pricing strategies 1 2 3 4 5 Help companies plan their ?marketing mix? of products/services 1 2 3 4 5 Monitoring and Evaluating Market Response 1 2 3 4 5 Situational analysispolitical 1 2 3 4 5 Situational analysiscultural 1 2 3 4 5 Other (1) 1 2 3 4 5 Other (2) 1 2 3 4 5 Other (3) 1 2 3 4 5 8a) What types services for promotional activit ies did your office provide for U.S. companies that were potential or current exporters, dur ing the time period of October 1, 2004 September 30, 2005 ? 120

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Please Rate each choice on the following scale: 1 = This service was ALWAYS provided 2 = This service was FREQUENTLY provided 3 = This service was OCASSIONALLY provided 4 = This service was SELDOM provided 5 = This service was NEVER provided In-store menu promotions and tastings 1 2 3 4 5 Facilitated, designed, and/or critiqued/ public educa tion and media campaigns 1 2 3 4 5 Provided technical assistance (add ressing an SPS issue, sponsoring training courses or seminars 1 2 3 4 5 Organized or conducted trade missions and reve rse trade mission 1 2 3 4 5 Planned, organized and/or /hosted trade show(s) 1 2 3 4 5 Public relations activities such as press events, jour nalist teams, and newsletters 1 2 3 4 5 Other (1) 1 2 3 4 5 Other (2) 1 2 3 4 5 8b) Of these services, which one was most eff ective? (Please include any comments/details you wish to share about it.) 9) During the time period of October 1, 2004 September 30, 2005 what were the principle sources of information used to conduct market analyses? Please Rate each choice on the following scale: 1 = This source was ALWAYS used 121

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2 = This source was FREQUENTLY used 3 = This source was OCASSIONALLY used 4 = This source was SELDOM used 5 = This source was NEVER used Contact with key industry players 1 2 3 4 5 Contact with host country government 1 2 3 4 5 Contact with government officials representi ng third countries, e.g. officials from other embassies 1 2 3 4 5 Cooperator or other U.S. commod ity representative in the country 1 2 3 4 5 First-hand knowledge by a U.S. FAS employee 1 2 3 4 5 First-hand knowledge by a U.S. Embassy empl oyee, e.g. Dep. of State Econ officer, U.S. commercial service 1 2 3 4 5 First-hand knowledge by a FSN 1 2 3 4 5 Foreign government data 1 2 3 4 5 Foreign trade journals 1 2 3 4 5 Independent data gathering serv ice 1 2 3 4 5 International news services websites/wire/print (CNN; BBC; Reuters; AP) 1 2 3 4 5 Local distributors in that i ndustry 1 2 3 4 5 Survey or other primary data collection 1 2 3 4 5 United States Government data 1 2 3 4 5 United States trade journals 1 2 3 4 5 Other (1) 1 2 3 4 5 Other (2) 1 2 3 4 5 122

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Other (3) 1 2 3 4 5 10a) How much do foreign consultants charge to conduct market analyses in the area that your office covers (Please fill in all that you know): $ (in USD) per hour $ (in USD) per day $ (in USD) per assessment $ (in USD) other Do not know 10b) How much do U.S. consultant s (excluding the U.S. Departme nt of Commerce) charge to conduct market analyses in the area that your o ffice covers (Please fill in all that you know): $ (in USD) per hour $ (in USD) per day $ (in USD) per assessment $ (in USD) other Do not know 11a) Does your office currently track the U.S. agricu ltural exports that occur as a direct result of the assistance provided by your office? Yes No 11b) If yes, how do you track this information? Formal contact database of assistance provided, with follow-ups on progress 123

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Informal correspondence initiated by your office Informal correspondence initiated by the exporter There is no system in place and there are plans to create one There is no system in place and there are not plans to create one Other (Please Specify) 12) What can FAS do to improve the way that market analyses are conducted? 13) What can FAS do to improve the way that market analyses are reported/distributed? 124

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125 APPENDIX D RESULTS FROM SURVEY OF FAS POSTS WEB-BASED QUESTIONAIRRE

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Question 1 1) For the time period of October 1, 2004 September 30, 2005 please estimate the number of market analyses initiated in each of the following ways? Count of Reports q1f1 1000 Periodic scheduled reports q1f2 2160 Direct contact from an individual U.S. company q1f3 1265 Contact from a U.S. trad e association or commodity group q1f4 449 Contact from a U.S. state governments (e g. State of Florida Dept. of Agriculture) q1f5 907 Office decision q1f6 917 Request by FAS/W q1f7 499 Request by U.S. embassy (State Econ section or other section) q1f8 455 Other (please specify): q1f9 0 Total: 7652 126 Question 2 Of the total market analyses indicated in question 1, please estimate the number of market analyses conducted between the following months: Count of Reports q2f1 1816 October 1, 2004 December 31, 2004 q2f2 2069 January 1, 2005 March 31, 2005 q2f3 2116 April 1, 2005 June 30, 2005 q2f4 1614 July 1, 2005 September 30, 2005 Total: 7615

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Question 3 Of the total market analyses indicated in question 1, please estimate the number of market analyses where the PRINCIPLE AUTHOR was each of the following, during the time period of October 1, 2004 September 30, 2005: (Unusable Results) Question 4 Of the total market analyses indicated in question 1, please estimate the number of market analyses where the PRINCIPLE AUTHOR was each of the following, during the time period of October 1, 2004 September 30, 2005: q4f1 3721 Processed/High Value Agricultural products q4f2 1366 Intermediate/Ingredients q4f3 1862 Unprocessed/Bulk Commodities q4f4 304 Other (1) q4f5 0 q4f6 213 Other (2) q4f7 0 Total: 7466 127

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Question 5 Market analyses are typically conducte d for a variety of different types of agricultural products or market sectors. Of the TOTAL AMOUNT OF TIME your office spen t on market analysis, please estimate the PERCENTAGE OF TIME spent on each of these produc t types, during the time period of October 1, 2004 September 30, 2005? q5f1 1854 Processed/High Value Agricultural products Extra5 0 q5f2 597 Intermediate/Ingredients q5f3 1278 Unprocessed/Bulk Commodities q5f4 360 Other (1) q5f5 0 q5f6 155 Other (2) q5f7 0 Total: 4244 Hours (so it is okay it does not equal total from q4) 128 Combination of 4 and 5 # of Analyses % of time 3721 1854 0.498 Processed/High Value Agricultural products 1366 597 0.437 Intermediate/Ingredients 1862 1278 0.686 Unprocessed/Bulk Commodities 6949 3729 0.537 Average for all

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Question 6a) Between October 1, 2004 September 30, 2005, how many U.S. clients from each of the following categories contacted your office to investigate ex port opportunities? q7af1 0 q7bf1 2893 Potential U.S. exporters q7bf2 2041 Current U.S. exporters q7bf3 1090 Representatives of U.S. commod ity groups based in a foreign country q7bf4 796 Representatives of U.S. commodity groups based in a the United States q7bf5 526 State Government officials q7bf6 449 Employees of USDA Washington (not FAS) q7bf7 1041 Employees of FAS/W q7bf8 150 Other (1) q7bf9 0 q7bf10 65 Other (2) q7bf11 0 Total 9051 (# of people, is okay it doesn't equal total from q4) 129 Question 6b) How would you characterize th e knowledge levels of these U.S. clie nts that contacted your office, during the time period of October 1, 2004 Septem ber 30, 2005? Please provide a percentage. q7cf1 1258 Very Knowledgeable (Has done res earch on culture, and general market structures of the country or market, is familiar with relevant market size through best available data.) q7cf2 2094 Somewhat Knowledgeable (Has limited understanding of culture, market conditions, structures and relevant market size.) q7cf3 1543 Not at all Knowledgeable (Has litt le or no understanding of culture, or local markets) Total: 4895

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Question 7 Of the following types of assistance, how of ten, if ever, did your office provide these services to U.S. clients during the tim e period of October 1, 2004 September 30, 2005 ? Please rate each choice on the following scale: 1 = This service was ALWAYS provided 2 = This service was FREQUENTLY provided 3 = This service was OCASSIONALLY provided 4 = This service was SELDOM provided 5 = This service was NEVER provided 12345 6 total of columns q8f1 Assistance finding an in-country partner to help with distribution 18 13 8 5 6 0 50 q8f2 Assistance finding an in-country partner to help with marketing 8 11 14 11 6 0 50 q8f3 Assistance with interpreting local country importation laws 25 15 7 2 1 0 50 q8f4 Assistance with understanding trade barriers 24 18 5 0 3 0 50 q8f5 Assistance with USDA Programs ie GSM, Cooperator programs, etc 12 12 16 9 1 0 50 q8f6 Identifying marketing strategies 11 19 12 6 2 0 50 q8f7 Identification of target consumers 12 17 16 2 3 0 50 q8f8 Estimating/measuring overall market size 12 24 7 5 2 0 50 q8f9 Identifying potential product competitors and competitor pricing strategies 7 15 20 5 2 0 49 q8f10 Help companies plan their "marketing mix" of products/services 4 7 20 11 7 0 49 q8f11 Monitoring and Evaluating Market Response 3 8 14 16 8 0 49 q8f12 Situational analysispolitical 14 11 11 13 1 0 50 q8f13 Situational analysiscultural 11 17 16 130 3 3 0 50 q8f14 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

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q8f15 Other (1) 3 3 1 0 0 0 7 q8f16 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 q8f17 Other (2) 2 1 1 0 0 0 4 q8f18 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 q8f19 Other (3) 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 Question 8 No useful information gath ered because of technical problems What types of services for promotional ac tivities did your office provide for U.S. co mpanies that were pot ential or current exporters, during the time period of October 1, 2004 September 30, 2005 ? total of columns q9f1 In-store menu promotions and tastings 5 8 12 10 14 0 49 q9f2 Facilitated, designed, and/or cr itiqued/ public education and media campaigns 5 21 15 7 2 0 50 q9f3 Provided technical assistance (addressing an SPS issue, sponsoring training courses or seminars 7 18 14 4 7 0 50 q9f4 Organized or conducted trade missions and reverse trade mission 6 18 10 4 12 0 50 q9f5 Planned, organized and/or / hosted trade show(s) 5 13 15 6 10 0 49 q9f6 Public relations activities such as press events, journalist teams, and newsletters 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 q9f7 Other (1) 0 0 12 10 14 0 36 q9f8 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 q9f9 Other (2) 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 q9f10 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 q9f11 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 q9bf1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Question 8b) No information gathered because of technical problems 131

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Question 9 During the time period of October 1, 2004 Septem ber 30, 2005 what were the principle sources of information used to conduct market analyses? 123456 total of columns q10f1 Contact with key industry players 33 13 1 0 2 0 49 q10f2 Contact with host country government 23 19 5 1 1 0 49 q10f3 Contact with government officials representing third countries, e.g. officials from other embassies 2 4 21 16 5 0 48 q10f4 Cooperator or other U.S. commodity representative in the country 8 21 10 6 4 0 49 q10f5 First-hand knowledge by a U.S. FAS employee 18 12 12 4 3 0 49 q10f6 First-hand knowledge by a U.S. Embassy employee, e.g. Dep. of State Econ officer, U.S. commercial service 1 10 21 16 1 0 49 q10f7 First-hand knowledge by a FSN 34 8 2 4 1 0 49 q10f8 Foreign government data 20 18 8 1 2 0 49 q10f9 Foreign trade journals 8 21 10 8 2 0 49 q10f10 Independent data gathering service 4 13 9 14 9 0 49 q10f11 International news services websites/wire/print (CNN; BBC; Reuters; AP) 4 8 18 15 4 0 49 q10f12 Local distributors in that industry 18 21 7 1 2 0 49 q10f13 Survey or other primary data collection 4 11 9 17 7 0 48 q10f14 United States Government data 13 16 14 5 1 0 49 q10f15 United States trade journals 3 7 12 17 9 0 48 q10f16 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 q10f17 Other (1) 2 2 3 0 0 0 7 q10f18 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 q10f19 Other (2) 0 0 2 1 0 0 3 q10f20 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 q10f21 Other (3) 0 1 1 0 0 0 2 132

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133 Question 10a) How much do foreign consultants charge to conduct market analyses in the area that your office covers (Please fill in all that you know): Question 10b) How much do U.S. consultants (excludi ng the U.S. Department of Commerce) charge to conduct market analyses in the ar ea that your office covers (Please fill in all that you know): Question 11a) Does your office currently track th e U.S. agricultural exports that occur as a direct result of the assistance provided by your office? q12af1 Yes NO Total 34 13 47 Question 11b) If yes, how do you track this information? 9 Formal contact database of assistan ce provided, with follow-ups on progress 20 Informal correspondence initiated by your office 3 Informal correspondence initiated by the exporter 1 There is no system in place and there are plans to create one 2 There is no system in place and there are not plans to create one 5 Other (Please Specify) 40 Total (7 of the 13 No respondents did not answer part B of the question)

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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH R. Justin Taylor is a native of Fulton County, Kentucky, where he graduated as valedictorian of Fulton County High School. He attended Murray State University and graduated in 2003 with honors in ag ricultural business and Spanish. He expects to graduate with a Master of Science in food and resource economics from the Univer sity of Florida in the spring of 2008. Justin resides in Washi ngton, DC, with his wife Carolyn. 140