Georgia Grown joins other marketing strategies

Part of Georgia’s success in selling its signature crops is through visibility and creative marketing.

One such example is the Georgia Organics Facebook page, which has nearly 30,000 followers and features executive director Alice Rolls in the organization’s “Food Is the Answer” video.

The group sees local food as a connecting force in society, as does the Georgia Restaurant Association, which has partnered with the Georgia Department of Agriculture’s branding initiative, Georgia Grown, to create a statewide Executive Chef program.

The Executive Chef program is intended to foster relationships between chefs and farmers with the goal of making it easier for consumers to support local, seasonal produce when dining out.

Georgia Grown, which has over 900 licensees, has set a goal that 20 percent of every meal served in Georgia schools will be grown in-state by 2020.

Robert Poole, senior sales coordinator for Athena Farms in Atlanta, says, “If we’re taking the temperature of the restaurant scene in Atlanta right now, I would say it’s very healthy with a lot of local talent.”

In turn, growers are enjoying the benefits as well. “We’re consistently turning up on lists of the best places in America to find a good restaurant,” says Poole.

“On organics, we’ve created partnerships that allow us to work hand-in-hand with micro-farms so that when they have an abundance they let us know and we can share with our customers. It’s a fun business to be in. We supply the raw materials, and our customers create beautiful dishes that their customers enjoy.  Everyone wins.”  

This is an excerpt from the most recent Produce Blueprints quarterly journal. Click here to read the full article.

Cathy Poynton is a Chicago-area writer focused on issues of public policy as they relate to the food industry, including fresh produce.