On the opening day of the New York State Fair, Gov. Kathy Hochul signed an executive order mandating state agencies to ramp up their purchases of food sourced from within New York.
The order seeks to increase the current state-sourced food purchases from 5% to 30% by the end of 2027. This would amount to an investment of nearly $400 million in locally-produced food. “By boosting local food procurement, we’re championing our farmers, fostering agricultural innovation, and ensuring a robust future for New York’s farm industry,” Hochul said.
The initiative comes as a response to supply chain issues seen during the COVID-19 pandemic and aims to enhance food security and quality for New Yorkers. Agriculture Commissioner Richard Ball emphasized the benefits of a homegrown food system, noting the fresher the produce, the healthier it is for consumption. The new policy could notably impact underserved communities where over 10% faced food insecurity last year. Ball viewed the 30% target as just the beginning, expressing hope for even more growth in local sourcing in the future. Additionally, Hochul signed a bill advocating for smaller state fairs and fostering youth involvement in agricultural innovations at the State Fair.
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