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SCBG Grant Funding Supports Cherry Marketing Institute at Trade Show

SCBG Grant Funding Supports Cherry Marketing Institute at Trade Show

Cherry Marketing Institute (CMI), located in Dewitt, MI, is a research and promotion organization representing U.S. tart cherry growers and Michigan sweet cherry growers. CMI’s mission is to increase the demand of U.S. grown “Montmorency” tart cherries by expanding the market globally. Partnership with the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) International Marketing Program provides unique opportunities for CMI to showcase Michigan-grown cherries around the world.

CMI is the only organization today that was built by cherry growers, for cherry growers with a purpose of advancing the industry and addressing issues that are vital to the future of the U.S. tart cherry industry. CMI represents 450 growers and processors in Michigan.  These operations directly or indirectly support an estimated 10,500 jobs across the state.

“The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development provides CMI the opportunity to partner with them at trade shows and events both domestically and internationally which has been a huge asset for our organization,” said Julie Gordon from the Cherry Marketing Institute.

CMI is a small commodity group with limited funding. The partnership with MDARD provides the cherry industry the opportunity to participate in trade missions and international shows to reach new international buyers at a reduced cost. This enables CMI to leverage grower assessments, educate and build awareness among consumers and buyers/importers by showcasing Michigan cherries on the world stage. Gordon believes that partnerships like this are key to a successful business.

In May 2022, CMI exhibited for the first time in the Michigan Pavilion at the National Restaurant Association Show in Chicago, Illinois. This exhibition was made possible via the U.S. Department of Agriculture Specialty Crop Block Grant program, administered through MDARD's International Marketing Program. Through this opportunity, CMI made a variety of international and domestic buyer connections which resulted in over 300 trade inquiries to cherry processors and marketers.

Through continued partnership, CMI and the MDARD International Marketing Program look forward to future opportunities to showcase Michigan-grown cherries to the world.