Michigan and China have a larger trading relationship than many consumers know. In the past decade, Michigan exports to China have grown by over 200 percent… and the state wants to see that number increase even more.
Officials with the state Department of Agriculture and Rural Development said, Chinese consumers like Michigan dairy products and cherries, and they hope to introduce more Michigan products to Chinese distributors.
Jamie Zmitko-Somers is the International Marketing Program Manager for the department. She said the trade mission aims to represent all Michigan companies.
“This would be for any Michigan companies looking to further their exports into the Chinese market or break into the China market for the first time. So it could be smaller companies or larger companies as well.”
Imagine 33 million Christmas trees. That’s how many holiday trees were brought home just last year in the United States according to the National Christmas Tree Association.
Marcia Gray, Executive Director of the Michigan Christmas Tree Association, said Christmas trees are actually considered one of Michigan’s cash crops!
“Well, first of all, Michigan is the third largest producer of Christmas trees in the U.S. This holiday season we’re going to estimate that we harvest 2 to 2-and-a-half million trees. About 3-quarters of those trees leave Michigan. Our trees are going elsewhere and bringing dollars back.”
Gray said she expects the tree industry to bring in roughly 40-million dollars to the state this year, and that’s at wholesale price.
She also said the agriculture industry is much more influential on Michigan’s economy than people give it credit for.
For more information on the Michigan Christmas tree business visit this website.
Local farmers worry about the impact proposed new regulations will have on their ability to provide affordable produce to Michigan communities. Photo courtesy of Nic Welty.
In light of the rise in food-borne illness outbreaks, the Food and Drug Administration has proposed new regulations for produce farms and food processors, and Michigan’s local farmers fear the changes could unfairly burden their operations and reduce options for consumers. Continue reading →