Global Opportunities for Michigan Food Industry

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Grand Rapids, Mich. — In partnership with the Michigan Department of Agriculture, Grand Valley State University's Van Andel Global Trade Center is presenting a program that will help food industry companies go global. The program will cover free trade agreements, logistics, finances and best practices. With the state's reliance on agricultural exports at 20 percent with an average annual growth of 29 percent from 2006 to 2009, it is crucial for the agricultural industry to adapt and keep up with foreign markets.

Topics covered include benefiting from free trade agreements, transporting products internationally, financing export, and local assistance and resources.

Presenters include Steve Kluting of Varnum Law; Martha Gabrielse of Chase Bank; Bob Roubitchek of International Freight Services and Jamie Zmitko-Somers of the Michigan Department of Agriculture. There will also be a Global Food Market Entry panel discussion featuring: Peter Assaly of Nature’s Select; Darwin Rader of Zeeland Farm Services and Martin Andree of Koeze Company.

The event will be Thursday, February 18, from 8 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at the Grand Valley State University Bicycle Factory, 201 Front Street, Grand Rapids. Continental breakfast, complimentary parking and materials will be provided. Prior registration for the event is required. For non-members the fee is $175 and $100 for VAGTC members. To register or for more information visit: www.gvsu.edu/vagtc.

Sponsors include: Varnum LLP, HUB International, and Chase Bank. Media sponsors are MiBiz, WGVU, WCMU.