Campaign would urge Californians to buy domestic produce
SACRAMENTO-A campaign to promote California produce within the state could begin later this year, provided that funding is approved in the federal and state budgets.
Governor Gray Davis announced plans for the “Buy California” campaign at the recent Central Valley Economic Summit in Bakersfield.
The campaign came about following research by the Central Valley Agricultural Subcommittee, which Governor Davis created following a similar economic conference in 1999. The research indicated that an overwhelming majority of shoppers polled would definitely choose a California product at the grocery store if they were aware of its origins.
“Buy California is a new, creative way to generate more opportunities for the agriculture industry, which is currently facing some of the greatest challenges in its history,” said CDFA Secretary William (Bill) J. Lyons, Jr. “I want to thank Governor Davis for supporting this worthwhile program.”
The program would also bring important nutritional benefits to Californians, who currently consume less fresh produce than the recommended five servings per day. The campaign would strive to convince people to eat more fresh fruits and vegetables.
Buy California would be modeled after well known marketing campaigns for cheese, milk and raisins, relying on advertising campaigns and in-store promotions to reach out to consumers.
Governor Davis is asking the legislature to provide $5 million for the program, with a like amount expected from the commodity groups that would participate. In addition, California Representative Gary Condit (D-Ceres) is proposing $12 million in start-up funds from the federal budget.
“This is welcome news,” said Governor Davis. The funding proposal by Congressman Condit would give our program a tremendous boost, especially in the state budget process. Our legislature should definitely see the value of Buy California with this federal commitment”.
California Department of Food and Agriculture Office of Public Affairs
1220 N St., Ste. 214, Sacramento, CA 95814