2017-03-16 / Community

Agribusiness Summit strengthens ag sector, targets job growth

LANSING — The Pure Michigan Agribusiness Summit, hosted Thursday, March 9 by Pure Michigan Business Connect and the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD), brought together agricultural growers, processors, grocers and institutional buyers from around the state for an invitation only business matchmaking event.

“It’s exciting to bring together two of Michigan’s greatest success stories - Pure Michigan Business Connect and our dynamic food and agriculture industry,” said Gov. Rick Snyder. “This is the type of collaborative, innovative economic development initiative that is helping Michigan’s comeback grow. We’re confident that the partnerships developed at this summit will continue to grow, resulting in more and better jobs for Michigan families.”

The Pure Michigan Agribusiness Summit, conducted in Novi, connected nearly 300 Michigan growers and food processors with 25 grocery chains and food purchasers, including Beaumont Hospital, Kroger, Harding’s Friendly Markets, Gordon Food Service, Lipari, Meijer and more. The participating purchasers provided more than 200 procurement needs for which they are committed to finding and working with qualified Michigan suppliers.

“The summit creates a unique opportunity where buyers and suppliers meet around the same table to identify and create new business prospects for our state’s growing food and agriculture sector,” said MDARD Director Jamie Clover Adams. “This event allows companies looking to capitalize on increasing consumer demand for locally grown and made goods by connecting Michigan producers with the people who can expand the reach of their products.”

The Pure Michigan Agribusiness Summit was launched in 2014 as a long-term commitment by both MDARD and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation to assist in supply chain connectivity and create market access to help grow the food processing industry and create jobs in Michigan.

“This event, centered on Michigan’s $101.2 billion food and agriculture industry, brings significant growth opportunities for Michigan companies and more jobs for Michigan residents,” said MEDC Chief Executive Officer Steve Arwood. “The Pure Michigan Business Connect program is an innovative way for government to help Michigan businesses find new opportunities through market-based solutions, and we commend MDARD for its commitment to working with us and helping Michigan’s food producers and suppliers grow.”

Pure Michigan Business Connect is a public-private alliance of MEDC, state agencies and major Michigan companies and organizations that connects in-state companies to business resources. Participating companies can find new ways to raise capital, get access to professional business services at little or no cost, connect with each other through a new business to-business network, and identify potential supplier opportunities.

Since the program was launched in 2011, it has facilitated more than $4.5 billion in revenue for Michigan companies, which translates into approximately 20,000 jobs for Michigan residents. For more information on Pure Michigan Business Connect: www.michiganbusiness.org/pmbc/.

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation is the state’s marketing arm and lead advocate for business development, job awareness and community and talent development with the focus on growing Michigan’s economy. For more information on the MEDC and our initiatives: www.MichiganBusiness.org. For Pure Michigan tourism information: www.michigan.org. See Pure Michigan Talent Connect at www.mitalent.org for more information on Michigan’s online marketplace for connecting job seekers and employers. Join the conversation on: Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.

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