(Albany, NY) Today, the State Senate unanimously passed a bill sponsored by Senator Jen Metzger to establish labeling standards for use of the term, "local," in food products. Currently, there are no standards to ensure that the main ingredients of products marketed as "local" are actually produced in New York. According to Packaged Facts, a market research firm, local foods generated $11.7 billion in sales in 2014 and will climb to $20.2 billion by 2019. Under this bill (S3829), consumers can have confidence that products labeled as "local" are truly local, from New York producers made with New York ingredients.
“I am so pleased to partner with Assembly Member Carrie Woerner on this legislation, which will ensure that any food product marketed as ‘locally made’ or ‘locally grown’ is, in fact, made with ingredients grown, harvested, raised, or produced in New York,” said Senator Metzger. “The local food movement provides a tremendous opportunity for our farmers and food producers, and this legislation helps to ensure that they benefit from it. Transparency and accuracy in food labeling enables New Yorkers to choose responsibly and with confidence that when a label reads ‘local’ it truly means local.”
The companion bill in the Assembly, A1460, is sponsored by Assemblywoman Carrie Woerner and is currently in the Ways and Means Committee.
Jen Metzger represents the 42nd Senate District, which includes all of Sullivan County and parts of Delaware, Orange, and Ulster Counties. Senator Metzger serves as Chair of the Agriculture Committee and sits on the Environmental Conservation, Education, Health, Energy and Telecommunications, Local Government, Women’s Issues, Domestic Animal Welfare, and Legislative Commission on Rural Resources Committees.