Gov.Hochul orders state agencies to increase use of locally sourced food

An executive order signed by Gov. Kathy Hochul Wednesday directs state agencies to increase the percentage of food sourced from New York farmers and producers to 30% of their total purchases within five years. 

The measure was signed during the opening day of the New York State Fair in Syracuse. 

“Agriculture is the backbone of our state, and our state’s fairs are the perfect way of showcasing that — that’s why we’re taking major steps to support both our farmers and our fairs,” Hochul said. “By increasing the amount of food state agencies must buy from local growers and producers, we are further investing in farm production and food processing in New York. We will continue taking bold action to support our next generation of farmers and the future of our agricultural industry for decades to come.” 

New York State agencies currently report spending nearly $4 million on New York food; this new effort would aim to procure and purchase nearly $400 million worth of food from New York farmers. The executive order directs the Office of General Services (OGS) to ensure its centralized food contracts highlight sourcing from New York producers. 

It also requires agencies to report food purchases, including those purchased through contracted service providers, to OGS to ensure the 30% goal is being met. The goal can be reached incrementally, with agencies purchasing 5% of their food products from New York by the end of this year; 15% by the end of 2024; 20% by the end of 2025 and 25% by the end of 2026. 

It also directs the Department of Agriculture and Markets and OGS to convene a working group, which will include representatives from the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision, the Office of Addiction Services and Supports, the Office of Mental Health, and the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities, Department of Health, Office of the Aging, along with other state agencies that purchase food. The group will work to identify opportunities to increase the purchase of New York State food products, recommend guidance to assist state agencies in increasing the amount of New York State food product they purchase, and recommend data collection and reporting requirements to achieve the Executive Order’s goals.

The executive order also encourages county and municipal governments, as well as local school districts not already participating in the state’s 30% school initiative, to join in meeting this target. 

Image courtesy of Provided

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