Florida grower-shippers are using a new brand to call attention to their winter produce for in-state consumers.
Miami-Dade County agricultural manager Charles Lapradd and the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services developed the Redland Raised logo to promote produce grown in the Redlands region southwest of Miami near Homestead, Fla.
Any Redlands shipper can affix the label to their packages and the program is available for use by any retailer, said Peter Leifermann, salesman and procurement manager of Miami-based J&C Tropicals Inc.
“There is a good portion of people that live in Florida that don’t know where their food comes from,” he said. “A lot of people know the Salinas Valley. Not to say we’re anywhere near the Salinas Valley, but we are very proud of what we do down here that we have done for a long time. We want to continue doing it.”
Lakeland, Fla.-based Publix Supermarkets Inc., plans to promote the Redlands Raised-labeled produce in its Florida stores and use Florida’s Fresh from Florida logo in its other southeastern stores from November through April, said Kim Jaeger, Publix’s Miami division media and community relations manager.
“We have always made it a priority to buy local first when available,” she said. “We have purchased from the Redlands area before, but this was a chance for us to create some awareness about buying local and help educate consumers on the benefits of buying local.”
Customer feedback on the program, which Publix unveiled in one of its Miami stores on Oct. 29, has been favorable, Jaeger said.
Shippers have been applying the label to packages of avocados, corn, green beans, squash, tomatoes, okra, mangoes and numerous tropicals such as boniato, dragon fruit, lychee and star fruit.