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(TRENTON) – Legislation sponsored by Assembly members Matthew W. Milam, Nelson T. Albano, Celeste Riley, Gilbert “Whip” Wilson and Paul Moriarty to promote foods prepared with “Jersey Fresh” ingredients continues advancing toward law.
The bill (A-2305) would designate baked goods and other food products prepared with “Jersey Fresh” produce as “Made With Jersey Fresh.”
It was approved 74-0 Monday by the Assembly in March and was recently released by the Senate Economic Growth Committee.
“New Jersey grows more than 100 different varieties of fruits, vegetables, and herbs, and the state is ranked nationally in the top 10 as a producer of blueberries, cranberries, peaches, bell peppers, squash and tomatoes,” said Milam (D-Atlantic/Cape May/Cumberland). “These are all fine ingredients, and promoting them with a ‘Made With Jersey Fresh’ label will further support family farmers and bakers.”
“Farmers are New Jersey’s heritage and lifeblood, but they also need our support, especially in these difficult economic times,” said Albano, (D-Atlantic/Cape May/Cumberland), chairman of the Assembly Agriculture and Natural ReDests Committee. “This simple step would encourage and support not only the manufacture of home-grown products but would give consumers an opportunity to buy goods that use locally grown fruits and vegetables.”
“Helping promote New Jersey agriculture and businesses to consumers always makes sense, but it makes even more sense when farmers are struggling along with everyone else during this economy,” said Riley (D-Cumberland/Gloucester/Salem). “This is a simple way to promote New Jersey, its farm industry and the jobs and economic benefits it brings to our state.”
“Nearly every part of New Jersey enjoys benefits from our agricultural community, and this is a great way to encourage and promote our farmers and the products made from their crops,” said Wilson (D-Camden). “Consumers will embrace it and that will only help our economy grow.”
“This is an economic development bill,” said Moriarty (D-Gloucester/Camden). “Encouraging the purchase of New Jersey grown products can only help maintain jobs and boost our agricultural industry.”
The bill would also encourage the purchase of “Made With Jersey Fresh” products by the New Jersey Division of Purchase and Property and at service areas along the Garden State Parkway, New Jersey Turnpike and Atlantic City Expressway operated by the New Jersey Turnpike Authority and South Jersey Transportation Authority.
The Assembly on Monday approved two bills sponsored by Riley to push the state toward giving preference to food products and commodities grown or raised in New Jersey and crackdown on those who falsely label products as “Jersey Fresh.”