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Md. invites fruit, veggie farmers to meet buyers

December 12, 2006

ANNAPOLIS - The Maryland Department of Agriculture is inviting fruit and vegetable farmers from the state and corporate produce buyers from the Mid-Atlantic region to a seminar here next month.

The department said the meeting is "an opportunity for Maryland produce farmers to increase sales by introducing them directly to purchasing decision-makers at regional grocers and food distributors.

"Participants will gain an understanding of what is needed to build a successful business relationship between growers and buyers."

Ag Secretary Lewis R. Riley said the event gives growers "an excellent chance to make the direct contacts they need to tap into the grocery store chains. The focus on targeted marketing is one way that we are helping Maryland farmers improve their bottom line and expand the State's economy."

The meeting is from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Monday, Jan. 29, at the department's offices in Annapolis.

To register for the meeting, which includes lunch, interested growers and buyers should contact Loyedi Waite at 1-410-841-5779 or e-mail marylandsbest@mda.state.md.us.

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The agency said its programs linking farmers with regional buyers and local consumers include the Maryland's Best branding program, farmers' market development, and the Farmers' Market Nutrition Programs.

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