Ag department programs promote Colorado produce

08/05/2010 03:09:52 PM
Susie Cable

Wendy White said chefs will be paired with Colorado Proud growers and producers to create dishes for an expected 300 attendees. She said the event will feature melons, peaches, greens, potatoes, sweet corn and other fresh produce.

Tickets will cost $100, with VIP tickets available for $150.

Other Colorado Proud Month promotional activities include news releases, television advertisements and point-of-display banners and logos in supermarkets.

On Sept. 8, in cooperation with the state’s education department, the agriculture department plans to promote Colorado Proud School Meal Day to educate children about the state’s agriculture and about eating healthfully, White said. The department has materials and videos available for schools’ use, and it can arrange demonstrations and guest speakers.

Colorado Proud relies on money from grants and the state’s unclaimed property interest fund. It has $150,000 budgeted for television advertising and $25,000 budgeted to develop a new retail merchandising program, White said. The retail program was in its earliest planning stages in June, so White couldn’t provide details, but said the goal will be to increase the program’s visibility in stores.

Colorado pavilion

Tim Larsen, senior international marketing specialist, Colorado Department of Agriculture Markets Division, said he’s working on plans for a pavilion at Produce Marketing Association’s Fresh Summit in October. This will be the third time Colorado has had a pavilion at the convention, he said.

Larsen said one goal is to build Colorado’s local, national and international reputations as a major fresh fruit and vegetable producing state. The pavilion should help growers find qualified international buyers in a time-efficient and low-cost manner. Larsen said there’s a potential to reach 2,000 international buyers at Fresh Summit.

The 2008 and 2009 pavilions helped generate $60,000 in international sales at Fresh Summit, and $400,000 in international sales during the following 12 months. A company or association booth within the pavilion will cost $2,950.

He said he hopes the pavilion will feature Colorado-grown Rocky Ford cantaloupe, which has been grown in the state since the 1890s.

MarketMaker

Colorado MarketMaker is a partnership between the Colorado Department of Agriculture and Colorado State University’s Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics. It’s a search site for consumers, restaurateurs, retailers, wholesalers and other buyers interested in finding Colorado fresh produce and other foods.



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