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(3rd LEGISLATIVE DISTRICT) – Legislation sponsored by Assemblywoman Celeste Riley to push the state toward giving preference to food products and commodities grown or raised in New Jersey is advancing toward law.
The bill (A-2342) was recently released by the Assembly Agriculture and Natural ReDests Committee and is set for a Monday vote by the full Assembly.
“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 give preference to “Jersey Fresh,” “Jersey Grown,” and other agricultural food products and commodities grown or raised in New Jersey 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.
One component of the “Jersey Fresh” program is the “Jersey Grown” logo, which has been developed for nursery plants.
The bill is among several pushed by Riley to help New Jersey farmers, including legislation (A-2665) that’s also up for a Monday Assembly vote that would double the fines for falsely labeling products as “Jersey Fresh.”