Mission: To improve the marketing and promotion of South Carolina agricultural products and of the industry of agriculture.


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May 22, 2007 - For Immediate Release

Initiative to Promote Rural Economic Development for South Carolina

Columbia, SC: With consumers, farmers, retailers, legislators, restaurateurs and business leaders from around the state on hand, the South Carolina Department of Agriculture today unveiled its Certified SC branding campaign at State House Market Day.

The new Certified SC branding campaign was designed to stir-up state pride and loyalty, and change South Carolinians from consumers into advocates and customers who ask for and prefer Certified SC Grown products - driving the demand for the quality, diversity and availability of homegrown products and contributing to rural economic development for the state.

“It’s time we take the necessary steps to provide rural South Carolina and its economy with the support and commitment needed to make their profession a success,” said Weathers, Commissioner of Agriculture, “Certified SC Grown is an innovative and positive approach to creating a consumer preference for our home grown products.”

Research in South Carolina revealed that 90 percent of shoppers surveyed indicated that they would purchase SC grown produce if it was competitively priced and offered good quality. The new branding campaign aims to reinforce the image of quality - that South Carolina grown products are fresher, tastier, sweeter and juicier. The campaign creates an emotional tie-in, while educating the public, stimulating interest in locally grown products and creating a fundamental shift in the public’s lifestyle buying decisions.

Using an in-depth media schedule, in-store promotions, public relations initiatives and more, SCDA is launching an actionable, grassroots marketing campaign designed to motivate and activate South Carolina consumers to demand and buy South Carolina grown products. Certified South Carolina is a call to action for South Carolina citizens to Buy South Carolina because Nothing’s Fresher. Nothing’s Finer.

SCDA will begin the campaign with fruits and vegetables- focusing initially on peaches, watermelons and tomatoes. While out of store media will be a call to action for consumers to Ask for South Carolina, retailers and grocers will display an in-store message for customers to Buy South Carolina. Over the next three years, SCDA will promote all South Carolina agricultural and manufactured products- from shrimp and soybeans to mayonnaise and forestry products - eventually, aggressively marketing all of these products to other states in the region and beyond.

For more information on the Certified South Carolina program, please visit www.certifiedSCgrown.com.


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