Senator Valesky’s Grow: Pride of New York legislation passes Senate

ALBANY, N.Y.—The State Senate unanimously passed legislation (S.5064) sponsored by Senator David J. Valesky (D-Oneida) that will help consumers find garden centers, nurseries, Christmas tree farms and other horticulture dealers that sell New York state products. The Grow: Pride of New York program creates a designation for such businesses and allows them to use marketing materials that promote their locally sourced products.

“A significant quantity of high-quality horticultural products are grown right here in New York State and it makes sense to inform customers that the flowers, trees and other plants they look to buy are local,” Senator Valesky said.”Grow: Pride of New York will shine a light on dealers who grow products locally, and help drive consumers to their doors.”

According to USDA statistics from 2010, horticulture is second in gross sales in New York out of all agricultural industries. It is also one of the few that generates sales tax revenue. An important and increasing factor in this success has been the increasing demand for local products, and polls show that New Yorkers are more likely to purchase local items when they are conveniently located. Cornell University found that 40 percent of New Yorkers are interested in purchasing local products only if they don't have to go out of their way to do so.

This legislation will give businesses access to promotional materials, thereby increasing their exposure to consumers. Dealers are eligible if no less than 25% of the items they sell are New York products. The program would enable members to receive Grow: Pride of New York advertising materials and have their business featured on a website dedicated to the program.

Same-as legislation is sponsored in the Assembly by Assemblyman William Magee.