‘Redland Raised’ project promotes locally grown agricultural products

By Lee Stephens….
Miami-Dade County will be producing a “Redland Raised” specialty crop cookbook, in-store displays, as well as promotional and educational materials to encourage shoppers and retailers to buy local produce.

It is doing so thanks to an award from the USDA through the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Department of a Specialty Crop Block Grant in the amount of $142,557 for the “Redland Raised: Fresh from Florida Project.”

“This program will greatly increase our efforts to better inform Miami-Dade County residents of the benefits of purchasing our fresh local farm products,” said Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Alvarez. “This new funding will allow us to expand an already successful program to more retail outlets.”

The Redland Raised program was begun in October 2009 by the county’s agricultural manager to showcase local produce at more than 1,000 Publix Supermarkets. It’s a two-year countywide “buy local” program to support and reinforce the Redland Raised brand. It also educates and encourages residents to invest in local produce and in turn, stimulate the local economy.

Miami-Dade County’s agriculture industry is No. 2 in the state and 18th in the country, generating an estimated $2.7 billion for the local economy.

“While local retailers continue to support our local agriculture industry, shoppers who walk the produce aisle can now look for special labeling and displays that show when green beans, zucchini, avocados and more come from our very own backyard,” said Charles LaPradd, Miami-Dade County agricultural manager.

Grocery stores, restaurants and other retail outlets are encouraged to partner with Miami-Dade County’s Agricultural Manager’s Office to establish sustainable buy local programs through marketing and promoting the local “Redland Raised: Fresh from Florida” brand. Redland Raised produce is grown in the southernmost farming region of the continental United States, Miami-Dade County.

For more information on this program call the Agricultural Manager’s Office at 305-971-5091.

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