Exhibit Will Help Connect New York’s Specialty Crop Growers with Buyers and Promote Farmers Participating in New York State Grown & Certified Program
State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball today announced the Department of Agriculture and Market’s participation in the 2016 New York Produce Show held through December 8 at the Jacob Javits Center in New York City.
The Department’s exhibit will, this year, highlight the diversity of New York’s specialty crop growers, helping them to connect with buyers from around the world, including retailers, wholesalers, and procurement executives at restaurants and other foodservice operators. The Produce Show is a four-day event that attracts more than 5,000 attendees and includes networking opportunities, a one-day trade show of over 400 companies, educational sessions and tours of the region’s vibrant industry, such as urban farms and unique eateries.
Commissioner Ball said, “We are very excited about the connections our producers have been able to make at the NY Produce Show and the opportunity to promote New York agriculture and help our farmers reach new customers and new markets. This year’s display provides a great snapshot of New York’s thriving produce and specialty crops industry, while spotlighting the New York State Grown & Certified program to promote our growers and producers.”
Jim Prevor, founder of Perishable Pundit and Produce Business, which co-sponsors the New York Produce Show said, “We are very excited to have the New York Department of Agriculture and Markets’ strong presence at the New York Produce Show. With such a strong consumer movement toward locally grown produce and the need to assure food safety through certification of farmers, the NY Department of Agriculture and Markets sets the stage in leadership with its NYS Grown & Certified program. The New York Produce Show has 5,000 attendees who mainly represent supermarkets and large FoodService operations with stringent standards for quality. Showing this message to this large buyer segment puts New York growers in a stronger position to have their products in the stores when the choice is to buy certified product versus uncertified product. In addition to the six booths occupied by the New York Department of Agriculture and Markets, there are more than 30 other NY-based produce companies at the NY Produce Show, making New York by far the largest representation at this international event.”
The NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets exhibit will feature New York’s fruit and vegetable and Christmas tree growers, as well as maple producers. New York State ranks high among the major agricultural states in the nation, ranking in the top 10 in 30 different commodities, including second in apples, cabbage, snap beans and maple, third in grapes and fourth in pears. The Department will also present a special display on New York’s thriving craft beverage industry, which has seen a dramatic growth of 178 percent of farm wineries, breweries, cideries and distilleries in the State since 2011.
The exhibit will be featured under the State's new New York State Grown & Certified program branding, which highlights the producers who adhere to safe food handling and environmental sustainability programs. Governor Cuomo launched New York State’s newest food certification program in August. The program assures consumers that the food they are buying is local and produced at a higher standard by requiring participating producers to meet food safety and environmental qualification programs, including the State’s Agricultural Environmental Management (AEM) program and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Good Agricultural Practices program (GAP).
A new marketing campaign is promoting awareness of the program and highlighting 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.
The funding for this event is provided to the Department through the United States Department of Agriculture Specialty Crop Block Grant Fund.
Helen Thomas, Executive Director of the New York State Maple Producers Association, said, “Each year, our maple producers create quality products that are second to none. The size of our state’s maple crops are growing every season, keeping New York State’s production ranked as second in the nation. We are excited to sample and showcase our products at the NYS Produce Show.”
Brian Reeves, President of the NYS Vegetable Growers Association, said, “The New York Produce Show is a "right sized" event for the majority of vegetable growers in New York State. While there is broad industry participation by businesses in all categories of produce distribution, many with a national presence, the concentration of northeast-located firms allows the show to provide more bang for the buck. Excellent educational sessions as well as prime networking opportunities are this show's hallmark.”