Sep 15, 2016NYS grown, certified food program launches
A New York State Grown & Certified program has been launched, as well as a new $20 million food hub in the Bronx to increase access to farm-fresh produce. The New York State Grown & Certified program identifies and promotes New York producers who adhere to New York’s food safety and environmental sustainability programs, and assures consumers that the food they are buying is local and produced at a higher-standard. To support the new certification program and increase access to farm-fresh food, the state is also building a food hub that expands distribution capacity, provides new markets for farmers, and creates 95 permanent jobs and 150 construction jobs in Hunts Point.
More than 100 qualifying vegetable and fruit farms from across New York State already expressed interest before New York State Grown & Certified officially launched, according to a press release. The Department of Agriculture and Markets will work with New York State producers across all commodities to assist them in qualifying for the voluntary certification program. Participation in existing certification programs, including the state’s Agricultural Environmental Management program and USDA’s Good Agricultural Practices program, is required for participation in New York State Grown & Certified.
A new marketing campaign will promote awareness of the program and highlight New York producers who meet New York State Grown & Certified standards. The marketing campaign includes on-product labels and promotional materials, such as a New York State Grown & Certified website, video and sales materials, to encourage program participation among producers and to educate retail and wholesale buyers – such as restaurants – on the value of the program. Consumer advertising and retail promotion will begin this fall.
In response to the Food Hub Task Force Report, Governor Cuomo announced that New York State is investing $15 million in the construction of a new $20 million Greenmarket Regional Food Hub in the Bronx. The Greenmarket Regional Food Hub, a 120,000-square-foot facility, will also support farms that are New York State Grown & Certified by promoting their local products to restaurants and institutional buyers.
For more information, visit the New York State Grown & Certified website.