Officials from the South Carolina Department of Agriculture and the governor's office held a summit with produce industry members to encourage promotion of South Carolina produce. ( Courtesy South Carolina Department of Agriculture )

About two dozen retail, wholesale and foodservice produce buyers and other supporters joined South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster and Commissioner of Agriculture Hugh Weathers at the governor’s mansion for an agriculture summit to promote cooperation among southeastern producers and sellers.

The goal was to prioritize promoting Certified South Carolina Grown products, according to a news release.

“This is the season of a new spirit of cooperation between southeastern growers and distributors to capture more market share among the 80% of the U.S. population who live east of the Rocky Mountains,” Weathers said in the release. 

Weathers and McMaster emphasized current strengths in South Carolina agriculture: diversity of product, supporting infrastructure, transportation grid and ports, processing and distribution capabilities and its central hub location on the East Coast.

They also pledged a willingness to explore new ideas with partners from the buying side on-demand and by request, noting the success of South Carolina farmers with an increasingly diverse crop mix, according to the release. 

Also, the leaders called for ways to work regionally with other states to increase opportunities for Southeastern growers and producers.

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