Could one little sticker simplify your search for locally grown, sustainable food? The Cuomo administration believes it just might.
Last week, at a press conference in the Bronx, Governor Cuomo unveiled “New York State Grown & Certified,” a first-of-its-kind program to identify and promote New York food producers who adhere to specific safety and sustainability guidelines.
The multi-faceted program has three goals:
- Strengthen consumer confidence in New York products;
- Address food product labeling; and
- Assist New York farmers in taking advantage of the growing market demand for locally grown foods.
The Department of Agriculture and Markets will work with New York State producers to assist them in qualifying for the voluntary certification program. Farmers interested in participating will have their facilities inspected by health and agriculture officials, and those who meet the standards will get to label fruits and vegetables with a special “New York State Grown & Certified” sticker.
The state will also launch a marketing campaign this fall to promote awareness of the program and highlight participating producers.
More than 100 qualifying farms have already expressed interest in the program.
“New York State agriculture is an essential pillar of our economy, bolstered by the modern market demands for safer and more sustainable food,” Governor Cuomo said. “The New York Grown & Certified Program strengthens the link between producers and consumers and provides new opportunities for agricultural development.”