(TRENTON) – Legislation sponsored by Assemblywoman Celeste Riley to push the state toward providing enhanced visibility and accessibility to food products and commodities grown or raised in New Jersey, and baked goods made with products grown or raised in New Jersey was approved 37-0 by the Senate Thursday.
“Farming is part of New Jersey’s heritage, but amid increasing pressures from development and a difficult economy, that heritage is being pushed to the edge each and every day,” said Riley (D-Cumberland/Salem/Gloucester). “This bill simply requires the state, whenever possible, to provide enhanced visibility and accessibility to “Jersey Fresh,” “Jersey Grown,” and other agricultural food products and commodities grown or raised in New Jersey, and “Made with Jersey Fresh” baked goods or other food products baked or made with “Jersey Fresh” products when entering into or renewing a contract for use by various state agencies, departments and facilities. It’s a common sense way to promote our products and help our farmers in a practical way that can benefit everyone.”
“Jersey Fresh” is an advertising and promotional program developed by the New Jersey Department of Agriculture in 1983 to draw consumer attention to the availability of New Jersey farm products. Growers who register with the department’s quality grading program are allowed to use the “Jersey Fresh” logo on their packages.
The logo indicates that the contents have been inspected and meet standards equal to, or better than, U.S. No. 1 or U.S. Grade A. Another component of the “Jersey Fresh” program is the “Jersey Grown” logo, which has been developed for nursery plants.
The bill (A-2342) is among several pushed by Riley to help New Jersey farmers.
The bill must return to the Assembly for final legislative approval because of Senate amendments.
For more information about the Jersey Fresh Quality Grading Program, visit www.state.nj.us/agriculture/divisions/md/prog/jfqgp.html