Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development Officials Meet to Expand Export Opportunities in ChinaContact: Heather Throne 517-373-1085Agency: Agriculture and Rural Development
PODCAST: The podcast is available for download at www.michigan.gov/mdard/0,1607,7-125-1572_28248---,00.html under the Media Resources section.
ABOVE: Director Clover Adams tours the LongWu Wholesale Market in Shanghai, China with Keith Schneller, USDA Agricultural Trade Office Director from Shanghai, on Friday, Sept. 21, 2012.
SHANGHAI, China - Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development Director Jamie Clover Adams met today in Shanghai with federal trade officials and business leaders from China to discuss potential for food and agriculture business cooperation and investment opportunities.
"Throughout this mission we are focused on strengthening relationships and developing pathways for new food and agriculture trade and business opportunities in Michigan, " said Clover Adams. "There is great potential for Michigan's high quality food products in China, as Chinese consumers desire more Western food choices coupled with the country's growing middle-class continues."
The agriculture delegation met with the United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Agricultural Trade Office (ATO) officials, toured LongWu Wholesale Market and retail markets, and attended meetings with Michigan food companies and current and potential buyers.
While in Shanghai, Clover Adams attended meetings with Graceland Fruit of Frankfort and buyers to discuss new market opportunities for Michigan-based companies.
Graceland Fruit has an extensive product line of a variety of Michigan agricultural products such as cherries, apples and blueberries. This capability, as well as a strong distribution system, has helped Graceland to increase year-over-year sales in China by 300 percent.
"This mission is critical in helping solidify our ties with importers, marketers and government trade officials in China. The trip is taking on added importance as we prepare to introduce Graceland Fruit products into the Beijing and Hong Kong retail markets this fall," said Brent Bradley, Vice President Sales & Marketing for Graceland Fruit Inc. "Consumers around the world are demanding healthier foods, and our products fit that niche perfectly."
Director Clover Adams is participating in Governor Snyder's second investment mission to Asia. Governor Snyder is leading a 10-day investment mission to China that left on Tuesday, September 18 and returns on September 27.