Home > News > Press Releases > 2008 > AGRICULTURE SECRETARY, ASSEMBLY AG COMMITTEE CHAIR ENCOURAGE CONSUMERS TO ASK FOR JERSEY FRESH
AGRICULTURE SECRETARY, ASSEMBLY AG COMMITTEE CHAIR ENCOURAGE CONSUMERS TO ASK FOR JERSEY FRESH
Contact: Lynne Richmond
(TRENTON) – New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Charles M. Kuperus and Assemblyman Douglas Fisher, chairman of the Assembly Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee, today called on consumers to consistently ask for the Jersey Fresh brand when choosing produce and other agricultural products now and throughout the fall.
“New Jersey is currently at the height of the growing season so Jersey Fresh fruits, vegetables and other agricultural products are available right now,” said Secretary Kuperus. “When you buy Jersey Fresh-branded produce, you are guaranteed that it was grown right here in our own back yard, so you know you are buying safe, high-quality products as fresh as fresh gets.”
While farmers are having a good season with high production and good quality product, Kuperus and Fisher said farmers need consumers’ help in creating a demand for Jersey Fresh items. They suggested shopping for Jersey Fresh at one of the state’s 110 community farmers markets, or visiting roadside stands and supermarkets.
“It matters to buy Jersey Fresh because when you do, you are supporting our state’s farmers, helping to save farmland and keeping agriculture working for you,” said Assemblyman Fisher. “If you don’t see Jersey Fresh, make sure to ask for it by name because it is the freshest, best produce you can buy in New Jersey.”
Kuperus and Fisher said another benefit to buying Jersey Fresh products is that it reduces our impact on the environment by decreasing food miles – the distance food has to travel to reach us. Studies have shown that food travels an average of 1,500 miles from producer to end-user. Using locally grown products reduces the carbon dioxide emissions and shipping costs associated with transporting food over long distances.
In addition, consumers choosing Jersey Fresh can feel confident their food was handled in a safe manner. The New Jersey Department of Agriculture along with Rutgers Cooperative Extension have trained more than 1,300 farmers in food safety and to prepare them for third party audits – a voluntary program which allows growers, packers and shippers of fresh produce to verify to buyers that their product is safe.
For more information on the third-party audit program, visit: www.nj.gov/agriculture/divisions/md/prog/thirdpartyaudit.html.
To find out what is in season, where you can purchase Jersey Fresh items and for recipes, visit the Jersey Fresh website at www.jerseyfresh.nj.gov.