Grown Here at Home: Virginia Grown gets new look; upgrades to program
RICHMOND, Va. (WDBJ) - If you’re a lover of all things Virginia Grown, you might have noticed some changes recently, a new website and a fresh logo.
“The Virginia Grown program was established in 1995. It helps support farmers, producers, and growers, along with farmers’ markets through our website where they can search our database to find out where to buy fresh produce throughout the Commonwealth,” explained Rob Davenport, director of marketing and development for the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
The program is run through the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. The new look to Virginia Grown is part of a push to better market farmers and agribusinesses.
“It had just never been executed to the highest potential that it could be and so it opens up a lot of opportunities for us to really work closely with our farmers, producers, and growers to help them,” Davenport said.
As part of the rebrand, the program now includes new participation levels.
“In addition to our membership level, we’re offering bronze, silver, and gold certification levels. These different levels will be offered to farmers so they can increase the marketability of their products to retailers such as Kroger. The levels will focus on GAP, which is an industry standard that stands for Good Agricultural Practices. This just allows us to make sure that the consumers and the retailers understand that farmers are doing the right thing and that they’re trying to make sure that they’re growing the best product possible with the highest regard for global smart practices,” Davenport said.
The sole purpose is to bring awareness to consumers and retailers of the great products being grown and produced in our hometowns.
“In Virginia, we have a lot of small and medium-sized farmers and so a lot of them day-to-day, they’re facing challenges on where to sell their product and how to sell more of their product, and for us to be able to help them do that, to me, is just very exciting,” Davenport said.
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