Quincy McMichael visited Lewisburg Rotary on Monday to spread the word on an initiative underway through the Greenbrier Valley Economic Development Corporation (GVEDC). The initiative goes by the name of Greenbrier Valley Grown, and promotes the branding of, as well as the purchasing of, food produced locally. This is in order to stimulate economic growth agriculturally via supporting our local farmers and food producers.
The idea is that Greenbrier Valley already has an excellent reputation for quality food production in the way of meat and produce grown locally. Now this food production, and the use of these foods, are being certified as being grown, and/or produced here with set certification standards. The reward of having a recognizable logo representing just that is going to producers as well as retail establishments, including restaurants to display on promotional material, advertisements and menus.
The standards for getting the Greenbrier Valley Grown logo (GVG) on one’s products, store windows or menus are simple. The farm must be located in one of the valley’s counties which are Greenbrier, Monroe or Pocahontas counties. The farm must be a local farm, in which the family or individual holds the financial responsibility, takes the risks for, and provides the management decisions for the farm. The certification must be applied for by a farm; and all GVG products must be grown on the producer’s farm or on another GVG-certified farm.
GVG standards for Farmers Markets to become certified require the markets to be in the aforementioned counties with 51 percent or more of the vendors being farmers, and finally be producer only, not for resale. McMichael says that four out of the five local Farmers Markets are GVG, with the last one about to become certified after clearing a last hurdle.
Businesses and restaurants selling freshly prepared food shall have the named item being from a GVG farm, and so that the logo isn’t misleading, it will only be allowed aside a menu item with 51 percent or more of its content by volume being GVG.
“Businesses outside of West Virginia’s Greenbrier Valley are of course eligible and desired that they achieve the GVG certification, as to further our brand,” says McMichael.
Visit www.GreenbrierValleyGrown for more information. You may also reach them by phone at 304-497-4300.