Jun 21, 2012
Governor honors Graceland Fruit, Inc. as the Michigan Agriculture Exporter of the Year

The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) has selected Graceland Fruit, Inc. of Frankfort, Mich., as the “Michigan Agriculture Exporter of the Year.”The company was honored with a presentation of the Michigan Agriculture Exporter of the Year award by Governor Snyder to Graceland Fruit CEO Al DeVore. Graceland proactively works to identify their top export markets and make changes to their products to meet their export customers’ needs.

Graceland participated in the Governor’s trade mission to Japan in the fall of 2011. During the mission Graceland emphasized its focus on bringing functional, healthier foods to market.

Michigan is second in the nation for agricultural diversity and exports one-third of its agricultural commodities every year. Michigan food and agriculture exports totaled $1.75 billion in 2010 according to USDA figures and employ more than 14,700 residents.

Graceland saw an increase of over 40% in their export business in 2011. The company manufactures and exports a wide variety of dried fruits including tart cherries, cranberries, apples and blueberries. Graceland began exporting in 1995 and has experience exporting to 42 countries. While historically selling into the commercial food industry, Graceland recently expanded its sales and marketing to home shoppers and retailers. For more information on Graceland Fruit visit www.gracelandfruit.com.

The award review committee consisted of representatives from the Van Andel Global Trade Center, Comerica Bank, Michigan Farm Bureau and Michigan State University’s International Business Center. The decision was based upon several factors including, marketing plans, and ability to expand into new markets, alliances with other organizations, and exports sales growth over the last three years. To be eligible, the products also had to be more than 50 percent grown, processed or manufactured in Michigan. MDARD

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