The Alaska Division of Agriculture is now in its second year of the Restaurant Rewards program, offering incentives for restaurants using Alaskan-grown produce. Amy Pettit with the Division explains…
Pettit: “We’ve tried a couple of different marketing efforts, we’ve tried to go door-to-door and let restaurants know about it [Alaskan produce], and our latest initiative is called Restaurant Rewards, and it’s an incentive. It’s up to 20% reimbursement for a restaurant that purchases Alaska-grown. And we just feel that if a restaurant tries out Alaska grown products, because of this program, they’ll get hooked, and they’ll continue to buy.”
The Agricultural industry in Alaska is small and young, but Pettit said there’s great value to the community in buying locally grown foods.
Pettit: “I always preach that folks should think about where their dollars go, and when you’re buying from your neighbor that dollar is re-circulating in your community. When you’re buying from a big box store, or even from the grocery store sometimes, if that product was grown outside of Alaska, outside of the United States, that dollar goes into your local grocery store but it doesn’t turn over as many times as if you buy from your neighbor.”
To learn more, visit the Division of Agriculture website.