Illinois residents are being asked to pledge a portion of their weekly food budgets for the purchase of state-grown and made products.
“We aren’t asking consumers to dedicate new money towards this initiative. We’re simply encouraging them to shift their purchases to buy Illinois-made products,” said Gov. Pat Quinn in a statement released by the Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDOA).
The Buy Illinois Pledge asks households to dedicate $10 of their weekly grocery budget to the purchase of Illinois produce and products. The pledge, which is open to individuals, schools and business, is located at buyillinoischallenge.com.
More than $2.4 billion a year would be reinvested into the state’s economy if every household in the state met the challenge.
IDOA worked with food companies and grocery stores to brand state-made items with Illinois Product labels. The program is free to any business that produces, processes, packages, manufactures or promotes a food or agricultural product in the state.
“Consumers don’t always have time to check product labels,” said IDOA director Bob Flider. “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.”
The Buy Illinois Pledge and the logo program are part of the state’s Where Fresh Is initiative. Now in its second year, the initiative uses banners to highlight state-grown produce at more than 300 locations, including grocery stores, farmers' markets and roadside stands. IDOA said that last year several participants experienced a 50% increase in sales due to the campaign.
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