Vicki Morrone 303 Natural Resources C. S. Mott Group at MSU East Lansing, MI 48824 517-282-3557 [log in to unmask]
November 16, 2007
TO: Michigan Specialty Food Producers
FROM: Jeanne Lipe, Michigan Department of Agriculture
Matthew Birbeck, MSU Product Center
SUBJECT: Select Michigan Marketplace Exhibitor Opportunity at the
Great Lakes Fruit, Vegetable and Farm Market Expo
The Michigan Department of Agriculture, Select Michigan Program, with the assistance of the Michigan State University Product Center, is pleased to announce the Select Michigan Marketplace, an opportunity for Michigan specialty food producers to promote their products at the Great Lakes Fruit, Vegetable and Farm Market Expo, December 4-6, 2007, at DeVos Hall, in Grand Rapids.
Many farm markets in Michigan offer specialty food products for sale along side the fresh produce they grow. Unfortunately, many of these products are not produced in Michigan, but come from surrounding states that do wholesale marketing and private labeling for Michigan farm markets. As business owners in Michigan’s food and agriculture industry, Michigan farm marketers understand the importance of buying locally, but often do not know how to make the connection with Michigan specialty food companies. We hope this opportunity at the Expo will change that, and help you make a connection with Michigan farm markets as a way to expand your Michigan sales. We also hope this experience will give you the opportunity to talk to Michigan farm market operators to learn about what they look for in products they sell at their markets.
Business hours for the Exhibit Hall are: Tuesday, December 4 and Wednesday, December 5, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Thursday, December 6, 8 a.m. – 1 p.m. The Expo planners have provided booth space to the Select Michigan program at the non-profit rate, and the Select Michigan program has been given permission to in turn offer the space at a greatly reduced cost to Michigan companies who wish to promote their products to farm businesses who sell processed food products at their farm markets in the Great Lakes area. PLEASE NOTE: In order to prevent the Expo from losing vendor business, if you have been a vendor at the Expo in the last three years, you are not eligible to participate in the Select Michigan Marketplace booth. This includes last year’s Select Michigan booth.
For a vendor fee of $60.00 per day on Tuesday and Wednesday, and $50 per day on Thursday, companies can reserve a 4-foot space on a table in the Select Michigan Marketplace booth. Space is available on a first come, first served basis, with room for 8 vendors per day, and preference given to specialty crop products. (The regular commercial vendor space of a 10’ x 10’ booth is being offered by the Expo at $ 775.00 for the three-day show.) Non-refundable vendor fees, payable to the State of Michigan, must be submitted with the attached vendor registration form to reserve vendor space.
The registration fee entitles the vendor to two admission passes to the Expo, and a 4-foot draped table space to sample and promote your products during the days you have registered and paid for participation. You will be allowed to distribute samples of your products and take orders for sale. Your company will also be promoted through press releases and the MDA Web site as a participant in the show.
If you are interested in this unique opportunity, please complete the attached form and return in to [log in to unmask] or by fax to 517/ 335-0628. Payment, with checks payable to “State of Michigan” may be sent, with a copy of the vendor registration form, to:
Jeanne Lipe, Marketing Specialist
MI Dept. of Agriculture/Agriculture Development Division
P.O. Box 30017
Lansing, MI 48909
We hope to see you at the Expo!