Priority legislation by the Independent Democratic Conference that will help further expand the sale of New York State grown products in New York was signed into law today.
The measure, (S.614B/ Klein), allows the New York State Urban Development Corp./ Empire State Development Corp. to be able to extend grants and loans that will help create, or upgrade distribution networks between New York farmers and food distributors, processors, and purchasers such as supermarkets and farmer's markets.
“This will help New York farmers get their New York products to more New York families – especially in underserved communities,” Senator Jeffrey D. Klein, (D-Bronx/ Westchester), said. “I thank the Governor, as well as the Assembly sponsor, Assemblyman Felix Ortiz, for makinghelping make this very important legislation law .”
This legislation was part of the Independent Democratic Conference's “Preserve, Promote & Grow” plan to improve New York's agriculture economy.
“This new law will provide great help in getting New York Grown products to New York families' tables,” said Senator David J. Valesky, (D-Oneida). “Agriculture is a cornerstone of the New York State economy, and leveraging our locally grown produce is a win-win for everyone."
“Agriculture is one of New York’s leading industries,” Senator David Carlucci (D-Rockland/Orange) said. “It is essential that we work to actively promote our local farms and seek ways to ensure that they continue to grow and prosper. I commend Governor Andrew Cuomo for signing this legislation, which will provide the tools needed to support our farmers, and promote locally grown agriculture products.”
The lack of solid transportation networks is one of the main barriers preventing New York produce, which are primarily grown upstate, from having greater distribution in downstate markets. For instance, only half of the produce sold at the Hunts Point Terminal Produce Market in the Bronx, which is the highest volume wholesale produce market in the U.S., is grown in New York.
“By strengthening these transportation networks, we are strengthening New York,” said Senator Diane J. Savino, (D-Staten Island/ Brooklyn). “Every community from Staten Island to the Thousand Islands and beyond will be the benefit from this new law.”
The new law is Chapter 454 of the Laws of 2011.