Exports continue to help grow and expand Michigan’s food and agriculture economy, while generating nearly $2.8 billion in economic activity with support from the nation’s second most diverse agriculture industry, strong public and private investment, and a diversified portfolio for food processing. Exports of consumer food products are growing three times faster than sales in the United States due to the foreign consumers’ growing purchasing power and lower trade barriers. Thus, exporting is vital to Michigan companies as an opportunity to increase sales and profits, as 95 percent of the world’s consumers live outside of the United States. Moreover, food and agriculture producers can reduce dependence on existing domestic markets, and off-set slow sales due to economic changes, demands, and cyclic fluctuations resulting in short and long-term security for Michigan.

The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development’s (MDARD) International Marketing Program assists Michigan producers in taking advantage of trade opportunities by entering new export markets or expanding existing markets. MDARD’s International Marketing Program has partnered with the Food Export Association of the Midwest to help Michigan businesses expand their international marketing reach by tapping into federal export assistance programs. This partnership enables the International Marketing Program to provide export educational resources, technical assistance, access to foreign buyers’ missions and trade missions, additional support and services at trade shows, as well as access to matching marketing funds. The services provided by the International Marketing Program are not limited to domestic and international trade shows, they also offer export consulting services for Michigan’s top export markets, Canada, Mexico, Japan, South Korea, and China, as well as educational seminars and webinars.

Currently, Michigan leads the nation in the production of eighteen commodities, while maintaining a robust manufacturing infrastructure, well-trained workforce, and reliable food safety partnerships. Demonstrating growth, products, and skills internationally is important for Michigan’s economy, and the International Marketing Program is working to ensure this growth continues well into Michigan’s future.

Companies interested in learning more about the International Marketing Program can visit, or contact Jamie Zmitko-Somers, International Marketing Manager, at (517)-284-5738 or Please, “follow” the International Marketing Program on Twitter @MiAgExport, and “like” the International Marketing Program at on Facebook!

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