HEADLINES September 2, 2011

Naturipe: Connecting Farmers to a Global Marketplace with a Craving for Made in America Berries

August 26, 2011

Naturipe Farms is one of a number of U.S. agricultural businesses entering the global market and seizing opportunities to export American-grown food.

Naturipe Farms is a joint venture created by Michigan Blueberry Growers Marketing (MBG), Horifrut SA Naturipe Berry Growers (NBG) and Munger Farms. They saw an opportunity to form a partnership under a common brand and approaching the marketplace under a unified “One Voice” theme. By joining together the growers are able to provide smooth transitions of the multiple harvest seasons across the U.S and provide a consistent supply of berries to clients and consumers in the US and around the globe. Naturipe includes hundreds of berry farms in states across the country from Florida to Michigan to New Jersey and California to Washington. Berry farmers rely on Naturipe to market and export their strawberries, raspberries, cranberries, and blackberries to consumers, retailers and restaurants around the world.

These farmers are working together to provide a consistent supply of fresh berries all year round by strategically streamlining their distribution of fresh berries to customers. Teamwork has allowed these individual agricultural businesses to gain a competitive advantage by delivering what retailers and other customers want. This includes consistency in food safety standards, packaging, delivery, better products at competitive prices, and most importantly, a reliable supply of fresh berries throughout the year without pause.

“The ability to supply fresh berries throughout the year has significantly increased the consumption of berries throughout the world. We are seeing that more and more markets want to buy U.S. agricultural products because the ‘Made in America’ brand means high quality and trustworthy food standards,” says Naturipe’s VP of Marketing Robert Verloop. “Demand is growing, especially in the Asia-Pacific region in countries like Japan, Hong Kong, China and Taiwan. As more international customers are coming across our fresh berries, and the reputation for better quality and standards of U.S.-grown fruit rises, the more demand rises as well.”

USTR is working hard to open market access for farmers like Naturipe’s berry growers. The quality of U.S.-grown products has repeatedly proven to win over new customers overseas, and USTR wants to help lower tariffs and other trade barriers so that U.S. products can compete fairly in international markets. That’s why the Obama Administration is emphasizing the importance of export opportunities in our trade agreements to growing the economy.

“Trade agreements can help us meet those demands with lower tariffs, and allow our farmers to increase their production and become more competitive.”

sbaSBAAnnouncement from the Small Business Administration:

Tell us your Export Story: Announcing SBA’s YouTube Export Video Contest

SBA is teaming up with Visa to ask small business owners: “Where will your next customer come from?” 

To recognize successful exporters and get the word out about how the federal government can help, we’re sponsoring the YouTube Export Video Contest. The contest, presented in partnership with the National Export Initiativeand, will award monetary prizes to five successful small business exporters representing a variety of industries.

American small businesses looking to expand are going global. There are a number of advantages to exporting: reaching new customers, increasing sales and profits, and becoming less dependent on domestic demand, to name several. In fact, over two-thirds of the world’s purchasing power is based outside the U.S., where the vast majority of consumers reside. The U.S. government stands ready to help your small business get started in exporting, with an array of programs, tools and resources.

We want to hear your exporting story in a short, original video submitted to YouTube.

Winners will be given cash prizes, an expenses-paid trip to be honored at the National District Export Council Conference** in Las Vegas, Nevada from November 2-5, 2011, and $1,000 towards a Commerce Department Gold Key service, or various other trade-related events.

U.S. small businesses that have made at least one exporting transaction are elgible.*

To enter, submit your video starting August 1, 2011 through September 3, 2011, and tell us: where will your next customer come from? For more information, visit the official contest website:

Additional resources for exporting:

SBA Guide to Exporting and Importing

SBA’s Export Business Planner Tool

*Please see our full Contest Rules before submitting your video







About Alexander Gordin
An international merchant banking professional with over twenty years of business operating and advisory experience in the areas of export finance, international project finance, risk mitigation and cross-border business development. Clients include foreign governments, municipalities and state enterprises as well as Fortune 500 and small/medium enterprises. Strong entrepreneurial instincts, combined with leadership and strategic skills. Transactional and negotiations experience in over thirty five countries. Author of the highly acclaimed "Fluent in Foreign Business" book and creator of the "Fluent in OPIC", "Fluent in EXIM","Fluent In Foreign Franchising", "Fluent in FCPA",and "Fluent in USTDA" seminar/webinar series. Currently developing "Fluent In ......" seminars and publications. Co-author of the Fi3 Country Business Appeal Indices. Extensive international business development and project finance transaction experience in healthcare, aerospace, ICT, conventional and alternative energy infrastructure, distribution and hospitality industries. Experience managing international public and private corporations. Co-Founded three companies abroad. Strong Emerging and Frontier Market expertise. Published and featured in numerous publications including: The Wall Street Journal, Knowledge@Wharton,, The Chicago Tribune, Industry Week, Industry Today, Business Finance, Wharton Magazine Blog, NY Enterprise Report, Success magazine, Kyiv Post and on a number of radio and television programs including: Voice of America, CNBC, CNNfn, and Bloomberg. Frequent speaker on strategy, cross-border finance and international business development. Executive MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. B.S. in Management of Information Systems from the Polytechnic Institute of NYU. Specialties Strategic Management Advisory, Export Finance, International Project Finance & Risk Management, Cross-border Negotiations, Structured Finance transactions, Senior Government and Corporate officials liason

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