Traverse City Record-Eagle

Business

February 6, 2014

Connecting businesses, retailers

TRAVERSE CITY — Northern Michigan food processors and farmers have a chance to pitch their products to national retailers at a business summit on March 26.

Several retailers committed to participating in the Pure Michigan Agriculture Summit in Lansing. Retailers include Meijer, SpartanNash, Kroger, Lipari, US Foods, Whole Foods, Gordon Food Service, Sysco, and others. The companies have more than 70 procurement needs they are looking to fill through the summit, which is co-sponsored by the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation’s Pure Michigan Business Connect program.

“The summit launches a long-term commitment ... to assist in supply chain connectivity and to create more opportunities for Michigan products,” said Heather Throne, deputy public information officer with the Department of Agriculture. “It will help farmers, businesses and boost the economy.”

Details of the event are being distributed by the Traverse City Area Chamber of Commerce because of the Grand Traverse region’s rich agricultural roots, along with an economic development push in northern Michigan that focuses on how farmers and food processors can find new ways to get their products to the marketplace.

“We have a growing number of food-related businesses here ... and these are major buyers,” said Bill O’Brien, spokesman for the chamber.

The summit is invitation only and requires advance registration by Feb. 26 at the website www.puremichiganb2b.com/MichiganAg.

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