I’ve taken advantage of most of the activities Food Export-Midwest has available to grow our international business
Mark Becker - Director of International Supply

"My name is Mark Becker I am Director of International Supply with Cherry Central Cooperative.  We are an agricultural cooperative with growers scattered across North America.

We were formed in 1973, five growers in northern Michigan got together to better pull their resources to grow and process Montmorency cherries predominately. Now we’ve got 12 factories processing dried, frozen, purees, concentrates, juice, sauce, supplying retail, food service, do co-packing services, private label and also bulk and ingredients.

Again, we started in 1973 and we have been exporting since 1973. Just as it’s important to diversify your products it’s also important to diversify your client base both domestically and internationally. When I started with Cherry Central many years ago, the cooperative was already taking advantage of many of the Food Export-Midwest activities.  As I became involved in the international trade I found the programs to be helpful tools for expanding the international supply.  Initially began participating in the inbound Buyers Missions, and again as my role increased here with the international supply to the international markets I’ve taken advantage of really most of the activities Food Export has available to help grow the international supply.  Whether it’s the inbound activities, outbound activities, the resources on the website, definitely it’s something we have found very very helpful.

We are big fans of the Branded Program which has helped to fund some of these international activities.  When you are an agricultural cooperative the budget is certainly not limitless and being able to stretch that budget through some of these activities reaching a greater international audience has been huge for us.  Whether it be the inbound activities, outbound trade missions, trade shows, Food Show PLUS!, the Food Export Helpline™ is a very valuable tool to support the international growth answering some of those questions along the way.

I really enjoy new challenges, and focusing on supplying the international markets on a daily basis is certainly a challenge.  Understanding all the rules and the regulations, how they change is certainly a daily if not weekly task."


Food Export uses funding from the Agriculture Trade Promotion (ATP) and Market Access Program (MAP) to help America’s small businesses increase their exports of food and agricultural products. As these exports increase, these small businesses are creating jobs and improving the strength and stability of our agricultural economy. Food Export-Midwest and Food Export-Northeast are non-profit organizations that work in collaboration with their member state departments of agriculture and the USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service. They offer a wide range of programs and services that help boost America’s


New Foreign Buyer Contacts
Online Product Catalog
Utilization Success
Branded Program Utilization Success

Share your Success

Each year, hundreds of U.S. suppliers participate in the Food Export–Midwest and Food Export–Northeast's programs. As a result, companies are successful at generating new export sales, establishing new distributorship, expanding their production facilities, and hiring additional employees. Read the Success Stories to learn more!

If your company has a success to share, email us at info@foodexport.org.

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