Local farm produce in Hannaford, NYS Grown & Certified

August 22, 2017 05:54 PM

LATHAM -- It's set up like a farm stand in this Hannaford in Latham;  fruits and vegetables from local farms are on display.  All the items have tags that say New York State grown and certified.

There are signs that tell you where everything was grown.

"Because now you know where your produce comes from and that it's safe for you to eat," said Mary Lou Zimmerman of Black Horse Farms.

The New York Grown and Certified program tells you that it's local, that there's a food safety plan in place, and that the farm has an environmental management plan.  

Shushan Valley Hydro Farm in Washington County signed up.

"And we know that this is what consumers want: to buy local products and make sure they're safe, make sure you're doing sustainable practices.  So we thought it would be a good fit for us and obviously with the promotion that New York State is doing, it's only going to help our farm," said Phyllis Underwood of Shushan Valley Hydro Farm.

The Zimmermans of Black Horse Farms in Coxsackie are excited to try growing different things.

"The state of New York in the last two years has really been pushing to take care of the people growing the vegetables.  They always were pushing dairy, and they always were pushing wheat and grains, but not much on the vegetable end, but they are now," said Lloyd Zimmerman.

Supporters say the displays in Hannaford supermarkets make fresh, local products more accessible.

"Our consumers today are not just interested in food," said NYS Agriculture Commissioner Richard Ball.  "They want fresh, they want local.  They want to know something about transparency.  They want to understand a little more about food and safety."

Gade Farms in Guilderland is part of the program.

"We were already GAP, which is Good Agricultural Practices.  We've been certified since 2011.  We just needed Soil and Water to come down and do a tour," said Jim Gade of Gade Farm.  "And it opens up more markets for us, as far as selling our products."


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Kumi Tucker

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