A bill in Harrisburg would have state restaurants and grocers pay into a licensing fund to market their agricultural products as Pennsylvania-grown.
State Representative Tom Houghton says his legislation would continue the PA Preferred Program by requiring these institutions contribute $100 per food item to be licensed as “PA Preferred.”
A blue keystone badge would signify that the product or menu item was grown and harvested in Pennsylvania.
This program started in 2004, and Houghton says that it has since seen enough success to warrant continuation.
“I wouldn’t call it a craze, but there certainly is a demand, I would think, to buy food that is local,” says Houghton. “Agriculture is the number one industry in Pennsylvania.”
Houghton says the program is essentially a marketing campaign that helps both the producer and the consumer.