Gov. Rick Snyder: China investment mission focuses on expanding food and agriculture exports

MDARD Director Jamie Clover Adams joins trade mission, touting Michigan producers

Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2015

GUANGZHOU, China – To boost the potential for long-term food and agriculture business cooperation, investment opportunities and food safety between Michigan and China, Gov. Rick Snyder and Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development Director Jamie Clover Adams are meeting with Chinese agriculture officials. 

Governor and Director Clover Adams in China
Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development Jamie Clover Adams listens as Gov. Rick Snyder discusses the state's interest in building relationships with China during a meeting at the Chinese Ministry of Commerce on Tuesday. 

“Our goal is to increase Michigan’s footprint in the global marketplace, and our growing food and agriculture sector is poised to help us meet that goal,” Snyder said. “We are the nation’s second most agriculturally diverse state and I am excited about finding new ways to bring a taste of Pure Michigan to the world.”

As part of the governor’s fifth trade mission to China, Clover Adams has been meeting with various trade officials to discuss long-term, new market opportunities for Michigan’s food and agriculture companies with an emphasis on dairy products and e-commerce opportunities. This is the third time Clover Adams has traveled to China with Snyder.

“With China’s rapidly growing middle-class population, there is tremendous potential for new trade channels for Michigan’s high quality food products,” Clover Adams said. “It’s estimated by 2020 China’s middle class will account for around 45 percent of the global population. Michigan’s food and agriculture companies are ready to meet the needs of this growing segment of the world.”  

Food and agriculture is one of Michigan’s “big three” industries, and Michigan exports to China in 2014 totaled more than $62 million in food and agriculture products – representing growth of over 40 percent in total exports from 2010. 

Currently, Michigan’s top five agricultural exports are soybeans, other plant products, wheat, dairy products, and fresh and processed fruit. The top five countries eager for Michigan-grown products beyond China are Canada, Japan, Mexico, and South Korea.

In 2013, according to United States Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service, there were 29,000 Michigan agricultural export-related jobs. Michigan food and agriculture exports generated $3.53 billion in economic activity in 2013, which helps grow the state’s economy as well as provide a stronger foothold in the global marketplace.

China is a growing market with a lot of potential for Michigan food and agriculture products. The MDARD International Marketing Program is focused on expanding and creating new opportunities in China for Michigan food and agriculture products. In July, the program led a trade mission to Beijing and Shenyang promoting food products into the retail and food service sectors. Two companies, promoting a wide variety of products from a number of Michigan food processors, participated in the mission and reported anticipated export sales as a result. 

Additionally, the International Marketing Program will also participate in the Furniture Manufacturing & Supply China Premium Show in Shanghai, China from September 9-12, to promote Michigan forest products. Three companies from Michigan will also travel and participate in the trade show. 

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