‘Sweet Grown Alabama’ now accepting applications.

‘Sweet Grown Alabama’ now accepting applications.

The state’s new agricultural branding program Sweet Grown Alabama is now accepting membership applications from growers.

The new initiative is intended to enhance marketing opportunities for Alabama farmers and their products. Growers can apply to have their products carry the “Sweet Grown Alabama” logo and be placed in an online searchable database of state agricultural products.

State Agriculture Commissioner Rick Pate and fellow program board members Jimmy Parnell, president of the Alabama Farmers Federation and Alfa Insurance Companies; and Horace Horn, vice president of economic development for PowerSouth Energy Cooperative, travelled the state Monday to announce the new program opportunities.

“Gaining members is the first step in a cycle to bring fresh, local, high-quality products to Alabama consumers,” Pate said. “We need farmers to brand their products so we can promote them to consumers.”

Membership is not exclusive to Alabama farmers and is open to value-added product makers who use at least 50% Alabama-grown ingredients. There is an associate category for restaurants, retailers, farmers markets, agritourism operations and businesses with a vested interest in Sweet Grown Alabama.
Annual dues are determined on a sliding scale based on farm or company annual sales. Dues range from $100 for a business making less than $50,000 a year to $4,800 for a business making over $10 million.
“We’re proud to be part of this effort to provide additional marketing opportunities for Alabama farmers,” Parnell said.
“Our goal is to increase demand for Alabama-grown products and improve sales and profitability for farm families. Alabama is among America’s most agriculturally diverse states, and Sweet Grown Alabama gives us a chance to showcase the quality and variety of our products.”
Ellie Watson, director of Sweet Grown Alabama, said the new program would help consumers locate Alabama-grown products.
“This will be a tool for consumers to locate high-quality Sweet Grown Alabama products near them and will drive traffic to farms, markets, stores and restaurants sourcing local products,” Watson said.
Membership applications for farmers, value-added product makers and associates are available online at www.sweetgrownalabama.org.