The department announced this week that it is now accepting
applications from Illinois grocery stores and farmers markets for
free, point-of-sale materials that can help consumers identify and
purchase locally grown fruits and vegetables.
"A robust local food
industry holds great promise for rural and urban communities alike,"
said Agriculture Director Bob Flider. "If Illinois could increase
the amount of money spent on locally grown food to just 10 percent
of its total grocery bill, thousands of jobs and more than 20
billion dollars a year in economic activity would be generated."
The point-of-sale materials sport an updated "Where Fresh Is"
logo. The full-color logo, which the department created to brand
Illinois produce, still features an assortment of fruits and
vegetables grown in Illinois, but the background has been changed to
an eye-catching yellow, and the "Where Fresh Is" slogan now appears
on a red ribbon beneath the word "Illinois."
A USDA specialty crops grant is funding the campaign. The grant
will allow 200 grocery stores and 100 farmers markets to receive a
starter pack of materials with a self-standing vinyl banner and a
roll of 1,000-count product stickers.
Interested stores and markets must submit an
application by Feb. 15. Downloadable application forms are available
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While best known for its corn and soybean production, Illinois is
the largest producer of pumpkins and horseradish in the nation and
ranks among the top 10 states in the production of other specialty
crops such as asparagus, cauliflower, green peas and lima beans. It
devotes more than 117,000 acres of farmland to growing specialty
crops, which produce nearly $137 million in sales for Illinois
The new point-of-sale materials are just one piece of a larger
statewide initiative that will promote the logo through television,
radio and billboard advertising.
Selected grocery stores and farmers markets will receive their
materials by March 15.
Department of Agriculture
file received from the
Illinois Office of
Communication and Information]