Governor Andrew M. Cuomo yesterday in a press release announced several new initiatives to support New York State Grown & Certified participating farms and businesses, and drive consumer demand for New York’s agricultural products.
Nearly $500,000 in funding is available for producers and retailers to help offset the cost of new packaging and on-product labeling, as well as in-store signage to increase brand recognition of Grown & Certified products. The New York State Grown & Certified program, first launched by Governor Cuomo in August 2016, promotes New York agricultural producers and growers who adhere to food safety and environmental sustainability standards.
The NYS Grown & Certified Marketing Program has made $250,000 available to eligible, existing and new Grown & Certified food and beverage producers and processors. Applicants can apply for up $5,000 to facilitate the long-term use of the Grown & Certified seal on their product packaging and/or at a point-of-sale location.
An additional $225,000 in funding is available for retailers to develop a long term, in-store consumer marketing campaign that promotes Grown & Certified products. Retailers can apply for a maximum of $20,000 for point of purchase and promotional items, such as in-store signage, shelf slides, and cooler clings that assist in the promotion of New York’s specialty crops, including produce, fruit, maple, wine and hard cider, nursery, Christmas trees and greenhouse crops, dairy, livestock, and shellfish products.
Funds are available on a first come, first serve basis until August 31, 2018. Application materials and additional information are available on the Department of Agriculture and Markets’ website.
The entities awarded will make the funding available directly to farmers in their area on behalf of the NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets. Funding can be used to help offset capital costs that farmers may incur in meeting food safety standards to receive a Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) certification, which is a requirement of the New York State Grown & Certified program. Costs may include the purchase of machinery or equipment and acquisition or construction of new buildings. Agricultural producers receiving funding through the program will participate in New York State Grown & Certified upon completion of the project.
Currently, a total of 2,321 New York beef producers, fruit and vegetable growers, oyster growers, Christmas tree growers, pork, chicken, egg, maple and dairy producers are participating in the program, representing over 482,000 acres of NY farmland. There are also 12 dairy processors participating, and 11 grocery retailers, with a total of 680 locations where NYS Grown & Certified products can be purchased.
For more information on NYS Grown & Certified, visit certified.ny.gov.