LOS ANGELES, June 24, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, state legislators, farmers and California agricultural representatives banded together at the historic Los Angeles Farmers Market at 3rd and Fairfax to celebrate the official passage of ACR-42, a resolution that urges Californians to dedicate Sundays to eating California grown foods. California's budget woes – and our state's economy – could be bolstered to the tune of $15.6 billion annually if Californians pledged to eat all locally grown foods just one day a week. The State Senate agrees, having passed the resolution on June 23, 2011, following the unanimous passage by the State Assembly on June 2.
The resolution encourages California residents to make a conscious choice to support California farmers and food producers rather than out-of-state or international competitors for the good of both state and local economies, employees and communities. According to an NSON Opinion Strategy survey commissioned by California poultry producer Foster Farms, this year more than 85 percent of California consumers say it is important to purchase foods "Grown in California." In fact, 73 percent of Californians say they would be willing to participate in supporting California foods one day a week.
The "Eat Local, Buy California Grown Day" resolution was introduced March 23, 2011, during California Ag Day at the Capitol. Originally authored by Assembly members Fiona Ma, Speaker Pro Tempore, and Cathleen Galgiani, Chair of the Assembly Committee on Agriculture, the resolution was finalized with 61 members of the Assembly as cosigners. It has gained support from more than 23 California commodity boards and associations and received written endorsement from Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom. ACR-42 calls for Californians to prepare meals made exclusively from California grown ingredients at least one day a week – Sundays.
The "Eat Local, Buy California Grown Day" movement celebrates California as the country's most agriculturally abundant state, producing over 400 commodities. Millions of dollars are still spent on so-called "fresh" foods from across state lines – for example, more than a quarter billion dollars on out-of-state chicken alone.
"We've always stood behind knowing where your chicken – and other food – comes from," says Ira Brill, Director of Communications for Foster Farms who represents the poultry industry and speaks in support of the resolution. "This is an important step for Californians. With the economy in California struggling as it is, we need to support each other and keep hardworking Californians' money in the state," adds Brill. "This resolution could mean as much as $230 million to the California poultry industry alone, supporting 25,000 jobs. Beyond that, choosing California grown means better, fresher foods and higher food safety and environmental standards. Because Foster Farms fresh chicken is California grown, it is delivered to grocery shelves in 48 hours or less. That's good for families and the environment because it means a smaller footprint."
California consumers can also show support by signing a pledge to dedicate Sundays to eating local on the "Eat Local, Buy California Grown Day" Facebook page (www.facebook.com/eatlocalbuycaliforniagrown).
California continues to produce more "fresh" and "natural" products than any other state. The California poultry industry alone accounts for 22 percent of the state's agricultural sales.
Recent related NSON survey findings from Foster Farms include:
- Consumers rank poultry (71 percent), produce (79 percent) and milk (78 percent) as the most important foods to be California grown.
- More than half of Californians "often" or "always" purchase fresh, local foods (74 percent - milk, 65 percent - poultry, 80 percent - produce; 57 percent - meats) which is in stark contrast to the national average revealed in a 2010 survey by Yale and George Mason universities showing that just 26 percent of U.S. consumers "often" or "always" purchase fresh, locally-grown foods.
- More than 77 percent of California consumers agreed that California has larger bounty/more fresh, locally-grown foods than other parts of the country.
- More than half of respondents were unaware of, and responded negatively to, the fact that nearly half of fresh chicken sold in grocery stores is shipped from states outside of California from as far away as Arkansas and Texas. More than 43 percent of respondents would refuse to buy fresh poultry if they knew it took longer than 48 hours to be delivered to their store.
- 83 percent of Californians say they are more likely to buy fresh chicken that has been grown on farms located in California than grown in other states.
Family-owned Foster Farms, with a more than 70-year legacy of chicken farming in California, joins the California Poultry Federation and other leading agricultural groups supporting Eat Local, Buy California Grown. The company has launched a new communications program devoted to its fresh, local chicken production in California. Foster Farms raises all chicken sold in California on private ranches throughout the state, allowing its chicken to be delivered truly fresh to stores within 48 hours or less, unlike out-of-state chicken which could take four days or more. The "48 Hours" consumer awareness program includes new television advertisements featuring the fan favorite Foster Imposters on location in California. The program also includes participation at several consumer events throughout the state. Consumers can learn more about the Imposters' appearance at events and get ideas for cooking locally at www.facebook.com/fosterfarms.
About Foster Farms
Family-owned and operated, the company continues its legacy of excellence and commitment to quality established by its founders, Max and Verda Foster. Foster Farms specializes in fresh, all natural chicken products free of preservatives, additives or injected sodium enhancers. Based in California's Central Valley, with ranches also in the Pacific Northwest, the company's fresh chicken is produced in or near each region served. Foster Farms also produces delicious pre-marinated, ready-to-cook and fully cooked products that meet the quality and convenience needs of today's home cooks, retailers, warehouse clubs and foodservice customers.
Food safety is Foster Farms' highest priority and the company reminds consumers to always follow safe handling, preparation and storage guidelines for the preparation of fresh poultry products. All fresh poultry products should be cooked to an internal temperature of 165 degrees F (boneless and ground) and 180 degrees F and 170 degrees F (bone-in: breast and drums; thighs and wings). Visit www.fosterfarms.com to learn more.
SOURCE Foster Farms