ST. CLAIRSVILLE - A new retail marketing campaign recently launched in Ohio is aimed at promoting locally-grown produce, as well as the grocers who sell these products in their stores.
The Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association, Ohio Grocers Foundation, Ohio Produce Growers and Marketers Association and the Ohio Department of Agriculture joined forces to launch the "OH so Fresh" initiative.
The campaign is designed to increase consumer awareness about Ohio grown produce by providing residents increase access to locally grown, fresh produce.
"Although Ohio grown produce is abundant at farmers' markets, farm stands, and through community supported agriculture programs, the majority of Ohioans turn to their local grocery stores for the bulk of their grocery purchases.
"That's why it's critical that growers and grocers are working together to offer locally grown food at these stores," said Milo Petruziello, OEFFA Program Associate through a press release.
"Shoppers increasingly want to support local farmers, and this marketing campaign will help to let them know what Ohio grown foods are available at their local grocery store."
Locally, Riesbeck's Food Markets has joined the campaign, participating at its 13 stores in Eastern Ohio.
"Riesbeck's has always been a strong supporter of locally grown Ohio produce," said Mike Yoss, Fresh Foods Director for Riesbeck's Food Markets.
"What we're doing now in joining the marketing campaign is using the advertising material to let consumers know that we do have a lot of Ohio-grown products."
The promotional campaign runs from July through September.
Yoss said Riesbeck's plans to have one or more different locally-grown products featured in its weekly ads for consumers to sample and purchase.
Gearing up for this campaign hasn't required much effort on Riesbeck's part.
The company has been an affiliate member of the Ohio Proud program for some time.
Companies that wish to display the Ohio Proud logo on their products must be at least 50 percent raised, grown or processed in the Buckeye State.
Riesbeck's carries these products so joining in the OH so Fresh campaign is just an extension of their current in-store offerings.
"OH so Fresh is geared specifically at produce while Ohio Proud encompasses a great number of Ohio agriculture products," Yoss said. "There is a lot of emphasis right now as an industry on local produce and this is a great way for us to say that we do support local produce and products."
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