New Market Developer, March - April 2019

New Market Developer

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In this issue: 

Ag Exporter of the Year Applications are Open!

MDARD is now accepting applications for the 2019 “Ag Exporter of the Year” award. The award recognizes outstanding companies for their efforts to increase exports of Michigan food and agriculture products. Eligibility is limited to producers, manufacturers, or shippers of good reputation and standing in the business community and are aggressively pursuing international markets and increasing export sales. Products must be more than 50 percent grown, processed, or manufactured in Michigan.


Recent winners include Dr. John’s Candies in 2018 and Bayside Best Beans in 2016.


Applications are due by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, March 15, 2019.


For more information and an application, visit or contact Jamie Zmitko-Somers at 517-284-5738

Cheers to a Growing Market


In 2017, Michigan hop and hop extract exports to the world totaled over $15 million, with top markets including China, Brazil, Russia, the Dominican Republic, and Australia. 


In Michigan, the hop trade increased its export value by more than $3 million from 2016 to 2017 as countries continue to demand Michigan hops and hop extract to support their local alcoholic beverage industries. Now is the perfect time to expand your alcoholic beverage company and increase sales - so why wait? Contact Allie Fox VanDriel at or 517-284-5737 to learn how.

Why NAFTA Remains in Effect

The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) came into force on January 1, 1994, to remove trade barriers between the United States, Canada, and Mexico, and remains in effect today. 

Congressional Timeline through TPA Process

What is required to have the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) passed? On November 30, 2018 U.S. President Donald Trump, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau signed the agreement, but that is only the first step. In the United States, the Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) procedures and a congressional vote are required before the USMCA can go into effect. The President has the authority to negotiate international agreements, including free trade agreements, but the Constitution gives Congress sole authority over the regulation of foreign commerce and tariffs (Fergusson & Davis, 2019).

To read more on the approval process of USMCA click here:

Success Story - Shumway Popcorn

Shumway Popcorn

Shumway Farms Theater Style Popcorn, LLC located in Tekonsha, Michigan, participated in Food Export’s Midwest Buyers Mission in July of 2015. As a result of participating, Shumway Farms Theater Style Popcorn, LLC met one of Food Export’s In-Market Representatives for Central America that connected Owner Ed Shumway with a Guatemalan Buyer.


Shumway Farms Theater Style Popcorn, LLC began to sell their popcorn to the Guatemalan buyer in 2015, and in 2018 reported sales to Guatemala at 465,000 pounds of popcorn kernels. Exporting to this market constitutes approximately 5% of their total sales.


Read the full story here:

Upcoming Events

National Restaurant Association Show

May 12-21, 2019 | Chicago, IL 

One space remaining  


Food Service Buyers Mission at NRA

May 18-21, 2019 | Chicago, IL

Early registration deadline: March 15, 2019


Sweets & Snacks Expo

May 21-23, 2019 | Chicago, IL
One space remaining 


Sweets & Snacks Buyers Mission at 2019 Sweets and Snacks Expo

May 20-22, 2019 | Chicago, IL

Early registration deadline: March 18, 2019


Beer, Wine & Spirits Buyers Mission at BAR19

May 20, 2019 | Chicago, IL

Early registration deadline: March 18, 2019


Specialty Food Buyers Mission at Summer Fancy Food Show

June 21-22, 2019 | New York, NY 

Early registration deadline: April 26, 2019


Midwest Buyers Mission

August 1, 2019 | Chicago, IL

Early registration deadline: May 28, 2019


America's Food & Beverage Show

September 23-24, 2019 | Miami, FL

Registration now open!