TRENTON – Legislation sponsored by Senator James Beach, which would direct the Department of Agriculture to establish a Jersey Fresh sales pilot program, cleared the Senate Economic Growth Committee today.
“New Jersey has amazing produce to offer, but it is not always accessible to everyone in the state,” said Senator Beach (D-Burlington/Camden). “This program will make Jersey Fresh produce available in high traffic locations where it is not already sold. It will not only benefit the people who frequent these places, but also the farmers and fisheries selling Jersey Fresh products.
“By connecting people with Jersey’s best produce we hope to spark interest in agritourism and encourage people to learn more about the products New Jersey has to offer as well as the communities that produce them.”
The bill, S-3221, would require the Department of Agriculture to establish a three year pilot program to create at least three locations in the state that sell solely Jersey Fresh products. They could be stores, kiosks, concession stands or vending machines, located at highly trafficked state facilities. Potential locations include highway service areas, train stations, State Parks and airports.
The bill would appropriate $500,000 for the program.
The venues would only sell products approved to participate in the Jersey Fresh Program. This includes fruits and vegetables, seafood, and processed foods made with state-sourced agricultural products.
The bill was released from committee by a vote of 3-0, and next heads to the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee for further consideration.