Looking for locally grown food? Now you can look for the Sweet Grown Alabama logo and know that the product is grown by an Alabama farmer.
Sweet Grown Alabama, a non-profit foundation, has launched a logo that Alabama consumers can recognize on the grocery store or farmer’s market shelves. The branding will help farmers and value-added makers market their agricultural products, while informing consumers that the product is local to the state. In the future, an online searchable directory will give farmers and product makers additional exposure.
“As I travel across the state, most of the questions I received from consumers are about their food and where it comes from,” says Rick Pate, commissioner of the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries. “We want residents of Alabama to walk into a grocery store or farmers market and easily identify products grown in Alabama. The Sweet Grown Alabama brand logo will allow them to do so and ensure the product they purchase is grown to the highest standards of quality and food safety.”
Program membership is available in three categories and dues are based on the farm or company’s annual sales. The member category is for farmers and makers of value-added products with at least 50 percent of ingredients grown in Alabama. The associate category is for associations, institutions, retailers, restaurants, businesses, farmers markets, agritourism operations and others who support the mission of the organization but do not have a product to brand themselves. The supporter membership is available to those committed to the Sweet Grown Alabama mission, with a desire to reach farmers and consumers across the state and improve the agricultural industry and overall economy of Alabama.
“We are proud to be a part of this effort to provide additional marketing opportunities for Alabama farmers,” says Jimmy Parnell, president of the Alabama Farmers Federation and Alfa Insurance. “Our goal is to increase demand for Alabama-grown products and, ultimately, improve sales and profitability for farm families. Alabama is among America’s most agriculturally diverse states, and Sweet Grown Alabama gives us a chance to showcase the quality and variety of our products.”
PowerSouth Energy Cooperative Vice President of External Affairs Horace Horn agrees that strengthening agriculture will strengthen the entire state. “Agriculture already contributes $70 billion to Alabama’s economy and accounts for more than 500,000 jobs. Sweet Grown Alabama will enhance economic development in rural communities by giving farmers and associated businesses additional resources for marketing.”
For more information on Sweet Grown Alabama, visit sweetgrownalabama.org.