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Michigan companies, MDARD partner to showcase Michigan's Food and Ag products to Global Buyers in Chicago: More than 60,000 food service leaders expected to attend

Agency: Agriculture and Rural Development

For immediate release: May 19, 2017 Media contact: Jennifer Holton, 517-284-5724 Program contact: Jamie Zmitko-Somers, 517-284-5738

Chicago – With increasing interest in Michigan’s high-quality food and agriculture products, companies from across the state partnered with the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development to showcase their products at the American Food Fair during the National Restaurant Show at McCormick Place in Chicago. The American Food Fair, featuring more than 90 small to large American food and beverage companies, will be open May 20 through 23 from 9:30 AM to 5:00 PM.

“Through partnerships with the Food Export Association and the National Association of the State Departments of Agriculture, MDARD can offer our growing food and ag companies an opportunity to sell their products to international buyers,” said Jamie Clover Adams, MDARD Director. “The buyers’ missions provide Michigan companies the ability to have one-on-one meetings with pre-qualified international buyers from around the world. An important component for growth in today’s global economy.”

Part of the larger National Restaurant Show, the floor is expected to be visited by more than 60,000 foodservice leaders from 50 states and more than 120 countries. In addition to Michigan, the state departments of agriculture from Hawaii, Illinois, Minnesota and Wisconsin are all participating to promote their state’s unique value-added food products to restaurants, institutions, hotels, and retail locations. The show is produced using funds from the congressionally funded Market Access Program.

Also, 2017 is the first time that MDARD has offered a pavilion at the BAR Show to help expand sales of craft beverages.

“The expansion of export opportunities for U.S. food and beverage producers is vital to the health of our economy,” said NASDA CEO Dr. Barbara P. Glenn. “The international trade partnerships established at this show are critical tools for the economic success of the U.S. food and agriculture sector.” 

In 2016, American Food Fair exhibitors reported over $19 million in projected and gross sales over the course of four days. Ten companies reported first export sales to a new market including three that made their first ever export sale. 

Companies looking to exhibit in NASDA’s 2018 American Food Fair Pavilion at the National Restaurant Show, May 19-22, should contact Jamie Zmitko-Somers at zmitkoj@michigan.gov or 517-284-5738.

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