The state Assembly has passed two pieces of legislation designed to encourage restaurants and stores to sell food and products produced in New York State that were sponsored by Assemblywoman Addie J. Russell, D-Theresa.
The measures would provide restaurants and stores access to promotional materials to increase exposure to consumers and raise demand for local products.
“These new initiatives under the Pride of New York program will help North Country businesses and hardworking families alike,” Russell said. “Buying local means our families can invest in the freshest products cultivated right in own our backyard. And by investing in the area’s products, we can strengthen growth in our community and enrich the local economy.”
The first measure would establish a Dine: Pride of New York program for restaurants that use ingredients produced in New York State (A.9877). The bill would allow for the creation of a logo to be presented in restaurants that use 15 percent or more locally sourced ingredients and products. Qualified restaurants would receive advertising and promotional materials free of charge and have their business listed on the Pride of New York website.
In addition, a similar measure would set up the Shop: Pride of New York program for food retailers that sell 20 percent or more of all products made inNew York (A.9868). Food retailers would qualify for the same promotional materials, logo and name recognition on the website.
“With our restaurants and stores proudly displaying the local produce, meat and dairy they carry, it will help consumers easily identify and patronize these establishments that serve and sell high-quality, homegrown products,” Russell said. “Since more and more families are interested in buying local foods, this will greatly increase demand in local products and give a much-needed boost to our agricultural industry, helping hardworking North Country farmers.”
Russell has fought for measures to increase interest and demand in local products. Assemblywoman Russell established a program called “Rediscover Your Backyard,” which promotes North Country businesses that sell local products. In addition, the Assemblywoman is holding a North Country Department Store event on Oct. 27 at Indian River Middle School for local artists, craftsman and businesses to sell their goods and products.