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Tops is first grocery store to promote NY ‘Grown & Certified’

Staff Reports Posted 6 January 2017 at 8:01 am

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Tops Friendly Markets is the first grocery store that will promote the New York State Grown & Certified program to highlight farms that qualify under the Grown & Certified seal.

Tops will feature and market product grown by New York farmers who adhere to the program’s requirements, including verification of safe food handling practices and participation in environmental sustainability programs.

Product sold under the State’s NYS Grown & Certified seal will be available at more than 80 Tops stores in the Western New York and the Finger Lakes regions. As NY continues to roll out the retail component of the program, product will be available at additional retailers.

“New York is supporting locally-grown products and promoting healthy lifestyles by connecting farm-fresh food with consumers across the state,” Governor Cuomo said. “Under the NYS Grown & Certified program, Tops Friendly Markets will bring certified foods to local communities, support our hard-working farms, and provide nutritional food options to New Yorkers statewide.”

A NYS Grown & Certified pilot display was unveiled at a Tops store in Erie County that features produce, including herbs, cabbage, and acorn and butternut squash from farms in the Western New York and Finger Lakes regions. Consumers will also find fruits and other vegetables branded under the NYS Grown & Certified seal at participating Tops stores. A total of 145 Tops stores across the State will begin promoting NYS Grown & Certified products in the coming weeks. The New York State Department of Agriculture & Markets is also working with other retailers to market NYS Grown & Certified products.

To highlight the New York producers who meet program requirements, NYS Grown & Certified is supported by a multi-pronged marketing campaign, including on-product labels, promotional materials, website, and social media channels.

The initiative was the focus of the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets’ exhibit at the New York Produce Show in New York City in December, and the Department will continue to promote the program at upcoming industry events such as the New York State Agricultural Society annual forum and the Empire State Producers Expo.

“Partnering with local growers is something that Tops takes great pride in and the New York State Grown & Certified Program embraces this valuable relationship,” said John Persons, president and chief operating officer of Tops Friendly Markets. “This initiative allows us to continue to offer our customers the very best produce that our state has to offer and we’re proud to stand behind this program and the farmers that harvest these bountiful crops.”

For more information on NYS Grown & Certified, please visit certified.ny.gov.

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