State Helps Retailers Promote Local Food Products in Stores

March 30, 2011 Updated Mar 30, 2011 at 11:16 AM EDT

By WKBW News

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State Helps Retailers Promote Local Food Products in Stores

March 30, 2011 Updated Mar 30, 2011 at 11:16 AM EDT

ALBANY, NY (WKBW-Release)--

New York State Acting Agriculture Commissioner Darrel J. Aubertine today announced the availability of funds to help grocery stores market and promote locally grown or made in New York products. The Pride of New York Retail Promotion Grant Program, funded by USDA's Specialty Crop Block Grant Program, will help consumers identify New York food items, and help increase sales for New York's farmers and retailers.

"Consumer awareness and interest in buying local food has increased dramatically in recent years," the Commissioner said. "This program will provide valuable assistance to retailers to help them source more local New York products as well as necessary resources to develop customized promotional materials that highlight local businesses. We are pleased to offer this financial opportunity that will support the New York State economy and benefit all sides of the equation, including retailers, farmers, food processors and consumers alike."

The "Buy Local" Retail Promotion Grant Program is open to individual food stores, as well as grocery store chains in New York State. Each applicant is eligible for up to $3,500 to highlight fresh produce, and $1,500 to promote processed and value-added products made in New York, including, but not limited to those involving specialty crops, such as frozen produce, jams and jellies, maple syrup and honey.

Grants will be awarded on a first come, first served basis. Awarded funding must be matched by the retailer and no more than $350 per individual store will be awarded. The funding can be used to supplement existing consumer-focused programs or to initiate new "buy local" retail efforts. There is a total of $43,172 available for this one-time program.

For all eligible applicants, the Department will also provide promotional and marketing assistance in developing or expanding "buy local" promotions that can be customized and consumer-oriented and that range from point-of-sale materials and promotional items to advertising. The Department will also help retailers to expand their local purchases by showcasing other specialty crop based processed products available in New York State throughout the year.

Applications for the "Buy Local" Retail Promotion Grant Program can be found at www.agmkt.state.ny.us. For additional information contact Dtrae Carter, Retail Promotion Specialist, at 518-457-2774 or dtraecelle.carter@agmkt.state.ny.us.