North Carolina Sweet Potato Commission Pairs With Department of Agriculture for New Brand
NORTH CAROLINA - Though resolutely rooted to the ground, North Carolina sweet potatoes are about to have their profiles raised. On the occasion of this year’s N.C. Ag Awareness Day, the North Carolina Sweet Potato Commission and North Carolina Department of Agriculture revealed plans to unveil a new voluntary branded program celebrating the state’s prominent place in the produce world.
Kelly McIver, Executive Director of the North Carolina Sweet Potato Commission, explained in the following statement: “As Commissioner of Agriculture Steve Troxler mentioned during today’s N.C. Ag Awareness Day press conference, the North Carolina Sweet Potato Commission and North Carolina Department of Agriculture are pursuing the launch of a voluntary branded program to give our sweet potato farmers the option to place a North Carolina-branded label on their product. Through this proposed initiative, we hope to create greater demand for North Carolina sweet potatoes that already provide more than $346 million to the state economy annually—all while preserving a deep-rooted historical sector of the North Carolina agriculture industry. We look forward to sharing more information about this program as details are finalized.”
The new label, Kelly told me, could be key in generating even more growth—both for this prolific produce item and the growing community in North Carolina.
“North Carolina produces over 50 percent of all sweet potatoes grown in the United States. However, our sweet potatoes are currently not generating the market share we believe the product could bring our farmers, growers, and packers,” Kelly explained. “The North Carolina Sweet Potato Commission and North Carolina Department of Agriculture expect this voluntary branded program to create and increase demand for and quality of North Carolina sweet potatoes domestically and internationally.”
Like the Idaho potato and the Vidalia onion before, the North Carolina sweet potato could fast become a sought-after branded item in produce departments throughout the country and the world.
“Creating a similar market demand for North Carolina sweet potatoes will subsequently increase sales, ultimately preserving North Carolina as the No. 1 producer of sweet potatoes in the country,” Kelly said.
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