Michigan’s Food and Agriculture Exports Set Record Breaking Year in 2021

Michigan’s food, agriculture and forest product exports saw success last year with a 19% year-over-year growth totaling $2.5 billion, announced Governor Gretchen Whitmer Wednesday.

“Michigan’s food and agriculture industry is thriving with 19% annual growth and $2.5 billion in exports. It continues to uplift Michigan’s economy and make a local, national and global impact,” said Governor Whitmer. “Michigan’s agriculture industry is critical to expanding economic opportunities and creating more good-paying jobs for Michiganders. We will stay focused on investing in rural economic development, empowering farmers and agriculture businesses, and ensuring that the words ‘Made in Michigan’ are seen around the world.”

Overall, processed food products represented the state’s highest total value of exported food and agriculture products at $437 million, which is a $72 million increase over 2020 export totals. Other top products included soybean, sugar beet and wheat byproducts ($304 million), dairy products ($234 million), wood products ($230 million) and meat products ($215 million).

“I’m proud that Michigan’s food and agriculture production continues to thrive, and our reputation grows worldwide,” said Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) Director Gary McDowell. “Michigan food and agriculture diverse, high-quality products are well-known known globally. I’m excited as this industry continues to show the world what makes Michigan food and agriculture so special.”

Despite supply chain issues, the Executive Office of the Governor says Michigan companies saw a boost in the value of export across multiple international markets, which shows that demand for Michigan’s food and agriculture is still strong despite delays in ingredient availability or shipping times.

Additionally, they say Michigan consistently ranks as one of the most agriculturally diverse states in the US, resulting in a wide range of exported products such as bulk soybeans to dried fruit, pickles and baked goods. Demand for these products continues to grow online, in local markets and in supercenters around the world.

“These annual export figures are a direct reflection of the hard work and dedication Michigan food and agriculture business put into their export efforts on a daily basis,” said Jamie Zmitko-Somers, MDARD’s Agriculture Development Division Director. “These businesses have been faced with supply chain disruptions, weather challenges, labor shortages, and more over the last year, yet they came through it all in tremendous fashion. We are excited to continue collaborating with the food and agriculture industry to grow our global footprint for years to come.”

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