The Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development's International Marketing Program Manager Jamie Zmitko-Somers, along with several food and agriculture Michigan food and agriculture companies met recently with U.S. Department of Agriculture officials and Brazilian companies to discuss export opportunities in Brazil.
Companies participating in the trade mission include BelleHarvest, North Bay Produce, Graceland Fruit Inc., and the Michigan Apple Committee. The delegation is focusing on opportunities for apples, dried fruit and various other fruits and vegetables grown and produced in Michigan.
"Brazil will host two major events in the next few years the World Cup and the Olympics, so we see a lot of opportunity for Michigan companies in this market," says Zmitko-Somers. "In 2012, Michigan's exports to Brazil totaled $11.5 million. I'm confident this trade mission will lead to increased opportunities for Michigan products leading to more exports to Brazil."
"The trade mission to Brazil is an excellent opportunity for the Michigan Apple Industry to explore new markets for our product," says Michigan Apple Committee Executive Director Diane Smith. "The Michigan apple industry has made huge investments into their orchards, packing facilities and process facilities to ensure the growth of the industry. In light of that expansion, this trip is happening at a perfect time. We are excited to move forward in 2013 with efforts like this, which are in line with Governor Snyder's goal to open up more export markets for Michigan agriculture."
The companies will visit retail establishments to learn more about Brazilian consumer shopping habits along with having one-on-one meetings with potential buyers for their products. The goal of the trip is to find new export opportunities for Michigan fruit and vegetables in the Brazilian market.
For more information on MDARD's International Program, visit www.michigan.gov/agexport.