As part of ongoing efforts to support local agriculture, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has launched the New York State Grown & Certified program and a $20 million food hub in the Bronx, to be built within the next year.
The program is unique and notable, as it is “the first state program in the nation to combine modern food-safety standards with environmental stewardship to achieve a premium level of certification,” Produce News reported.
This new certification acts as an added quality assurance for consumers and promotes local producers. To participate in the voluntary program, qualifying vegetable and fruit farms must already be participants in existing certification programs such as the state’s Agricultural Environmental Management program and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Good Agricultural Practices program.
The Greenmarket Regional Food Hub in the Bronx will be a “state-of-the-art, 120,000-square-foot facility” and is intended to “increase New Yorkers’ access to fresh, locally grown and produced food,” as well as support local farms that are New York State Grown & Certified.
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