If every Illinois household dedicated just $10 of its existing,
weekly grocery budget towards the purchase of Illinois food
products, the department concludes more than $2.4 billion a year
would be re-invested in the Illinois economy, helping to
revitalize both rural and urban communities.
"We aren't asking consumers to dedicate new money towards this
initiative," Governor Pat Quinn said. "We are simply encouraging
them to shift their purchases to buy Illinois-made products."
Accepting the challenge is simple and would support thousands of
jobs in the farming and food industries. Residents just need to
go online to
http://www.buyillinoischallenge.com/ and take the "Buy
The department has been working with individual food companies
and grocery stores to brand Illinois-made items with an Illinois
Product logo so that consumers can easily find them on grocery
store shelves. Any entity that either produces, processes,
packages, manufactures or promotes a food or agribusiness
product in the state is eligible to participate in the program
free of charge.
"Consumers don't always have time to check product labels,"
Agriculture Director Bob Flider said. "Use of this trademarked
logo not only will simplify identification of Illinois foods for
the consumer, but also increase the visibility of participating
companies in the marketplace."
[to top of second column]
The Illinois Product Logo Program is just one piece of a
comprehensive Buy Illinois initiative. Another component, the "Where
Fresh Is" campaign, promotes the consumption of Illinois fresh
With funding from a USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant, television
advertising, billboards and social media outlets across the state
began promoting the "Illinois: Where Fresh Is" logo at the end of
May. The campaign highlights Illinois-grown produce at more than 300
locations, including grocery stores, farmers' markets and roadside
Each location is displaying an "Illinois: Where Fresh Is" banner
near its Illinois-grown fruits and vegetables section to encourage
consumers to buy local. This is the second year of the program.
Several of last year's participants experienced up to a 50% increase
in sales due to the campaign.
[Text received; JEFF SQUIBB, ILLINOIS
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE]