Sweet Grown Alabama Director Advocates Buying Local

Clint Thompson Alabama, Fruit, Produce, Top Posts, Vegetables

Photo submitted by Ellie Watson/Gov. Kay Ivey declared July 22, 2020 as Sweet Grown Alabama (SGA) Day. The proclamation recognizes the state’s new branding program and honors farmers who grow food across the state.

Ellie Watson, Sweet Grown Alabama Director, believes when consumers support local farmers, it provides them with a source of high-quality produce that helps growers remain sustainable.

“It’s so important for consumers to support local farmers because not only does that money help the local economy; we know that about 60 cents of every dollar stays in the local community when you support local, so not only do you support your local economy when you buy from local farmers but you are also receiving the highest quality, freshest product available,” Watson said.

“It’s really important for consumers to continue to support our farmers so they will be sustainable into the future and will be able to provide these high quality, local products to us for years to come.”

Sweet Grown Alabama Day

Watson and other industry leaders used Wednesday’s celebration of Sweet Grown Alabama Day to stress the importance of Alabama agriculture and launch the Sweet Grown Alabama’s online searchable database. It connects consumers with sources of locally grown produce which has garnered much interest in the last few months amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“We have seen an increase in interest for locally-grown products since COVID-19 has hit. We really find that consumers are so much more interested in knowing how their food has been grown and most importantly whose hands have been on their product,” Watson said.

“When you buy local and shorten your supply chain, you are able to know that the hands that have touched your food are right there local. It really just shortens that supply chain and takes out a lot of risk for disease and other things that we’re all so worried about in these unusual times.”