New 'Bedford Grown' Branding Program for Produce

Bedford Co., VA - The agriculture board in Bedford County has launched a branding program called Bedford Grown. It has its very own logo for farmers to put on their products.

Gross's Orchard already put it to use. The logos are put on little stickers that growers put directly on the product or packaging. So when a buyer picks it up, they know it's Bedford Grown.

Ronnie Gross is a fourth generation fruit grower.

"We raise peaches, apples, plums, and nectarines," he said. "I think it's very exciting."

Gross signed up and already has around 200 Bedford Grown stickers. He says people care about food safety and where their food is coming from.

"It's not been imported or transported and stayed in storage for x number of days. It will actually be something that's harvested within the county and sold within the county in a matter of hours."

The Agricultural Economic Development Advisory Board came up with the idea.

Director of Economic Development Traci Blido says the logo is as much for the grower as it is for the buyer.

"They're going to know that the dollar they're spending will stay here locally to support the economy," said Blido.

Overall, it's a way to promote locally-grown or raised products and do it with pride.

"We know the freshness is there, the quality is there and the flavor is there. So I'm very excited about this upcoming season and being able to use this label," said Gross.

There are guidelines to join the Bedford Grown program, but if you qualify, the sticker logos are free.