Since 1853, the Skagit Valley Delta has been a core supplier of various crops and produce in the region, the state, and the world. The Skagit Valley is known for producing approximately 95% of table beet seed in the US, making up around 50% of the world’s total supply. Additionally, the valley supplies around 25% of spinach seeds in the US, and 25% of the world’s cabbage seeds. The valley also produces more daffodils, tulips and iris bulbs than any other county in the United States.
You may have come across articles or news reports about “Genuine Skagit Valley”, which an important local effort, identifying locally grown crops. The aim of this label is to inform consumers that they’re purchasing food products or crops that have been certified as grown in one of the world’s prime farming regions.
The Genuine Skagit Movement
Farms in the Skagit Valley region are known for being environmentally conscious, providing services such as flood and climate control, wildlife habitat, water quality, as well as biodiversity and enhancing the quality of life for consumers and residents of the entire Skagit County region and beyond.
Starting in June 2019, this dynamic and fast growing movement now includes more than 24 local businesses and focuses on preserving the farmlands for its intended purpose. All food processors and growers that qualify for the Genuine Skagit label use a minimum of 75% of ingredients grown locally in Skagit Valley.
What Is the Purpose Of This Movement
The Genuine Skagit Valley program has been designed to raise awareness among consumers, encouraging them to consume agricultural products sourced from the Skagit Valley itself. Any product or business featuring the Genuine Skagit Valley label is asked to use it in conjunction with all aspects of trade including promotion and sales, fully supporting Skagit Valley agricultural services and products.
What makes the Genuine Skagit Valley program so unique is its dedication to supporting and enhancing the local farming and agricultural industry. The program centers around finding innovative ways to produce local jobs by combining technology and research, while promoting the Skagit Valley’s rich agricultural heritage and unmatched natural resources.
Another key goal of this movement is to enhance the perception and reputation of Skagit Valley agriculture, by creating dynamic and innovative strategies around it. Through extensive research into buying trends and consumers’ perspectives, the program aims to produce valuable insights that will ensure the optimization of the valley’s agricultural opportunities.
Who Is Driving It?
To ensure the movement is constantly growing and developing, a Skagit Valley Agricultural Economic Opportunity subcommittee has been created, with the sole purpose of developing a complete brand strategy for the Skagit Valley. After in-depth research, this committee found that preference for Genuine Skagit Valley products would help build value and relevance in the mind of the consumers. This doesn’t just include local consumers but extends to regional, national, and international markets. The goal is to market these products to everyday consumers, as well as to fresh food connoisseurs, purchasers, marketers, influencers, and government agencies alike.
What Are The Criteria For Genuine Skagit Label?
A list of criteria has been established for producers and growers to meet before they use the ‘Genuine Skagit Valley’ label. The Northwest Agriculture Business Center is a key partner and will be at the forefront of this process. They will be leading the administration of a Federal Certification Mark, which is a key factor in the overall brand strategy for the entire movement.
The mark will ensure that any product or agricultural service has been approved and certified, verifying that the origins are from Skagit Valley. By doing this, the aim is to raise awareness, promote positive perceptions, as well as increase demand for these products which will benefit local businesses, farmers, and the community in the long run.
How To Participate In The Movement
To be a part of this movement, agricultural service providers are asked to pay an annual fee of $250. This fee will afford these businesses a wide variety of marketing perks, including product labels, digital files, signs, media, advertising campaigns, and in-store displays. Furthermore, they will also receive additional promotion at industry and wholesale trade shows, as well as a member profile and listing on genuineskagitvalley.com, ensuring maximum exposure across the board.
Get Involved Today!
With the program developing at a rapid pace, consumers will soon be seeing products from cheese to beer or berries, featuring the ‘Genuine Skagit Valley’ labels. The goal of the ‘Genuine Skagit Valley’ mark is to increase awareness of local products among consumers. Research showed that when consumers see a label, it generally resonates in their mind and will likely increase sales thereafter.
Patsy Martin, the Port of Skagit Executive Director, stated that the aim is to help local residents, as well as neighbors, spread the word of the distinctiveness of the Skagit Valley products. By identifying and reinforcing the unique, high-quality characteristics of produce from Skagit Valley, farmers will be able to successfully market their products. By highlighting the fact these products are grown in the rich soil of Skagit Valley, research shows that they will become even more desirable and sought after by consumers as being Genuine Skagit Valley.