Letter to Nathan Kark
with the Governor ready to announce a stay at home order, greenhouse owners are concerned they will not be considered “essential services” in the order. The timing could not be worse for the greenhouses as April – June is the time frame where 90% of their product is sold and 100% of the profit is generated. The remaining months all have a negative impact to their bottom line. They have invested heavily in planting and getting things ready for market. The impact of losing their season could mean 50% may not recover. A large portion of greenhouses are 1 acre or less and cannot weather the financial hardship of a shutdown.
I have attached our Economic Impact Greenhouse Brochure to show the how much the industry adds to our economy in the state. This is a information from 2018 so it is a little behind as there has been significant growth in the last few years in the greenhouse industry. Some out of state growers have exited floriculture to produce hemp or marijuana so Michigan has become even more important to supply. Merchandisers for the Michigan production industries have become more important and add possibly 2,000 employees to the mix also.
Michigan has grown to the 3rd largest greenhouse production state in the nation and we need to support our growers to continue to grow and prosper. Pennsylvania has this language in their essential businesses legislation:
Essential businesses for a safe and accessible food supply include farms, greenhouses and vegetable plants, orchards, pest management services, feed mills and ag supply businesses, agriculture equipment sales and services, animal feed and supply distribution network, transportation system from farm to retail, food and meat processors and manufacturers, veterinary services and supplies, distribution and transportation system from processors and manufacturers to retailers, retailers to include grocery stores and farmers markets, grocery delivery services, laboratories, and inspectors that ensure food safety.
Please help to make sure we have something like this for Michigan to keep needed products in the hands of Michiganders.
Thank you for your help,
Michigan Greenhouse Growers Council
231-301-4888 | Mainstreet@sbam.org