“The demand has definitely increased, especially in the last year,” he said.
There are several reasons, he said.
“I think a lot has to do with the 5 a Day program and the commissioner’s office pushing the Georgia products, advertising and people just wanting to support their local economy, especially in these rough times,” he said.
Homegrown sales parallel the demand for organic produce, said Diana Earwood, vice president of Atlanta-based Sutherland’s Foodservice Inc.
“A lot of people want to push for organics and a lot of people push for locally grown,” she said. “Most people are more interested in the locally grown. Obviously, now it’s difficult in the winter, but it’s asked for. It’s the quality. If it’s there, they want it first. We try to work our ways around our neighboring states. People like locally grown.”
Higher transportation costs may feed the growth of Georgia Grown, said Hubert Nall, president of Hubert H. Nall Co. Inc., Forest Park, Ga.
“People will understand there’s a lot of good fresh produce here,” Nall said.