State Agriculture Commissioner today encouraged New Yorkers to continue to support the State’s farms and agricultural businesses. While the State works to mitigate the impact of Coronavirus (COVID-19), Commissioner Ball reminds consumers that food producing farms, farmers’ markets, food and beverage manufacturers, grocery stores, and retail food stores have been designated as essential to the food supply chain and continue to work to produce, process, transport, stock, and sell healthy, local New York food and beverages.
Many farmers’ markets are open across New York, using guidance from the State, and a number of farms and food and beverage producers are also offering their products on the farm for direct purchase or through their website for delivery. For additional information, please visit the NYS Grown & Certified page, a local farmers’ market website, or go directly to the producer’s website. New Yorkers can look for plant code 36 on dairy products in stores, meaning the product has been made in New York.
The Commissioner also announced an additional opportunity to support New York farms and food producers through ShopTasteNY.com, an online shopping portal that allows for consumers to have New York-produced products delivered right to their door.
State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball said, “New York’s hardworking farmers and producers and the entire food industry are working around the clock keep us well-stocked and to ensure healthy, local food for our families. Because of their efforts, consumers should know that there is plenty of food being made and brought to grocery stores and farmers’ markets. We are grateful for the dedication of our agricultural community, and want to remind our consumers that now, more than ever, they need your support. I’m so pleased that Shop Taste NY can also be a useful tool at this time to bring New Yorkers closer to their favorite New York products. We encourage you, while you are shopping for your essentials, to keep New York in mind and to also extend thanks to the industry—from our farmers to grocery store workers.”
Through ShopTasteNY.com, a diverse selection of foods, beverages and gifts from each region of New York State that are available in the State’s Welcome Centers, are now also available on the new mobile-responsive online store. The new website was launched to support the state’s farmers, producers, and small food and beverage businesses, and to increase sales and drive revenues to local communities. It also allows farmers to connect with new consumers in the marketplace.
Shop Taste NY is operated by Cornell Cooperative Extension of Sullivan County on behalf of Taste NY and the Department of Agriculture and Markets. The site offers a variety of products from across New York, from honey and jams to goat milk soaps, reflecting each region’s offerings. Currently, nearly 100 farms and food and beverage businesses are showcased on the site. Participating partners and products are featured on a rotating basis to ensure the diversity of the product line and regional representation.
Shipping is free for orders over $50 in the United States and customers can use the coupon code "NYLovesYou" to get 10% off their orders for a limited time.
A full list of current companies with products available by region can be found at ShopTasteNY.com. For more information or to place an order, visit https://shoptasteny.com/ or email [email protected].
Senate Agriculture Committee Chair Jen Metzger said, “Shop Taste NY is a great initiative that will enable New Yorkers to easily and conveniently access the diverse array of high quality, fresh local food produced in their region and around the state during the coronavirus pandemic. As we continue to adapt to social distancing, the new online portal will greatly expand opportunities for households, schools, and businesses to participate in the local food movement, support New York's farms, and contribute to a healthier society and more environmentally sustainable economy.”
Assembly Agriculture Committee Chair Donna Lupardo said, “I’ve watched customers marvel at the amazing range of New York-made products featured in our Taste NY stores. These stores have provided a huge boost for our local businesses, connecting them with a new and expansive customer base. The Shop Taste NY website will now do even more to expose these businesses to a nationwide and global audience. I’m glad to see that producers in my own community will be featured and I hope to see many more as the web store grows.”
Vanessa Petrossian, Market Manager of Taste NY at the Hudson Valley I Catskills Welcome Center, said, “In these uncertain times, we’re fully committed to our partnership with the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets to launch ShopTasteNY.com. CCE Sullivan is devoted to helping New York producers explore and expand new market opportunities, supporting local business and bringing dollars into New York State, now more than ever.”
Victoria Giarratano, State Extension Specialist – Cornell Cooperative Extension, said, “Cornell Cooperative Extension is proud to partner on the launch of the e-commerce site, ShopTasteNY.com. This is another great example of supporting New York State agriculture and creates a platform for promoting producers, farms, and small businesses. The incredible diversity and richness of products by region will allow shoppers to purchase items from across New York State, increasing the economic impact to these small businesses.”
Michael Myers, Market Manager of Taste NY at the North Country Welcome Center, said, “Taste NY has had a tremendous positive impact on our vendors. They are being recognized for their brand outside their normal farmers’ market circuit. The new online e-commerce platform bolsters this idea. It gives our smaller vendors that may not have the option to have their own webpage an outlet to showcase their products. It is especially important during this time that we support our local vendors. This gives us a great opportunity to still connect people with the products they love.”
Operators of the State’s Taste NY Markets will recommend local products to be included on ShopTasteNY.com, with Taste NY and CCE Sullivan staff making the final selections and procuring products directly from producers. Products will be rotated and adjusted based on customer reviews, vendor feedback, and logistical considerations. Taste NY Market managers will provide continuous feedback to Taste NY and CCE Sullivan to identify new sales opportunities.
About Food Safety During COVID-19
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) states that there is no evidence of food, food containers, or food packaging being associated with transmission of COVID-19. Consumers should continue to practice social distancing at grocery stores and farmers’ markets and follow proper hand washing guidelines. They should also continue to follow standard food safety measures. For more information on this and food safety as it pertains to COVID-19, please visit the FDA’s Frequently Asked Questions.
The NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets and the Department of Health have also issued guidance on proper cleaning and sanitizing of retail food stores and protocols for employees, found at: https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/interim-guidance-food-manufacturing-facilities-or-food-retail-stores. Additionally, the Department continues its routine food safety inspections at food and beverage manufacturing plants, dairy processing plants and all retail food stores.
About Taste NY
Taste NY is the official “Eat Local, Drink Local” program for New York State. The Taste NY initiative has seen steady growth and recognition since it was created in 2013. The program, which is overseen by the Department of Agriculture and Markets, creates opportunities for local producers to showcase their goods at a variety of venues throughout the State and at large public events, such as the Great New York State Fair and the Barclays Tournament at Bethpage State Park. It has also helped the farms and companies participating in the program to reach more customers, increase online sales, and, in many cases, expand the processing capacity of their business. Taste NY’s food and beverage businesses also support the State’s farmers by using New York grown and produced ingredients in their products.
For more information about Taste NY, please visit www.taste.ny.gov. Connect with Taste NY through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.