SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - “Now more than ever”-that’s the plea of Georgia Agriculture Commissioner for the public to buy local produce.
It comes as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to hinder local farmers’ sales.
Agriculture Commissioner, Gary Black is asking all Georgians to buy Georgia Grown produce where they can.
Georgia Grown members are certified local producers.
Since public schools have closed in response to COVID-19, farmers have lost 50 percent of their market.
The department is now working to promote their produce through retail and direct-to-consumer channels.
“They began this season seeing what was happening in Florida, seeing that crops were destroyed, dairy products were destroyed,” Black said.
"We were fortunate to have a three or four week window to try to begin doing some things proactively to address that and make sure it didn’t happen here,” he continued.
Black added the department will launch programs to make sure the demand meets the supply and quality of product.
That’s starting in the Atlanta-area, where people can now order boxes of local produce.
Black says Georgia’s spring fruit and vegetable harvest has an estimated value of 500 to 750 million dollars.