For those looking for food, there is good news out of Mississippi State University.
Mississippi food businesses will soon have access to customers all over the world through the expansion of MarketMaker, a database of searchable food industry-related information.
Through a new license with MarketMaker, not-for-profit company Riverside Research has exclusive rights to the database.
MarketMaker currently links producers and consumers in 19 states, including Mississippi and the District of Columbia. Farmers and food-related businesses can register online for free to access a virtual marketplace where they can sell their products to customers all over the world.
Although MarketMaker is one of the largest databases of its kind, Riverside Research’s worldwide network will help promote and grow MarketMaker.
Ken Hood, an Extension professor in agricultural economics at Mississippi State University, said the new agreement will benefit everyone involved.
“The new globalization licensing agreement gives us a stronger link between the different groups, because of the resources available at Riverside,” Hood said. “In the past, the different universities had to pay an annual fee that went toward maintaining the system overall, and now that will be handled by the corporation.”
MSU and other land-grant universities enhance MarketMaker’s capabilities to improve research in food distribution networks, and Hood feels Riverside Research will help take MarketMaker to the next level.
“They have dedicated teams available that can devote more time and effort to get the job done faster,” Hood said.
This year, Riverside Research’s goal is to make the public more aware of MarketMaker and form relationships with farmers and buyers throughout the state.
Mississippi producers and consumers can connect with one another at the Mississippi MarketMaker website www.marketmaker.msstate.edu.