“Farm to table” should be a commitment, not a marketing gimmick

Marketing + PR,
That’s why Georgia Organics launched its Farmer Champion program to quantify “farm to table” through food purchasing percentages, to create transparency around the marketing of “farm to table” and to recognize Georgia restaurants that consistently invest in Georgia farmers as part of their purchasing culture.

“We all tend to follow trends in this industry like, ‘Oh man, I really want to do what they’re doing’ or ‘they do this great,’” said Bruce Logue, owner and chef of Boccalupo in Inman Park. “These decals let me see that maybe I need to do a little more or realize that I want to be higher up on that list. We’re all kind of competitive, and this is an opportunity to put your money where your mouth is. If nothing else, this campaign makes you think and look at what you’re doing, and that’s a good thing.”
The campaign increases access to sustainable, locally sourced, Certified Organic food by helping Georgia farmers sell their wares to restaurants. Georgia Organics recently added partner restaurants in Macon and Athens, and continues to engage potential partner restaurants across the state. To date, 14 restaurants in Georgia have joined the program as Farmer Champion partners.

The distribution of Farmer Champion decals to all participating restaurants throughout the state has begun, so they can be counted as true Farmer Champions with a culture of purchasing from local and organic farms in Georgia.
The Farmer Champion decals are awarded to participating restaurants that meet a minimum baseline of 5 percent of their total food budget on locally sourced foods—that is, foods that are sourced from within the state of Georgia. Tiered decals that will be distributed starting in 2020 showcase restaurants that dedicate a separate percentage to Georgia products that are Certified Organic under the USDA.
The tiered decals are given out once a year, and restaurants can receive the partner decal immediately once they begin participating in the program and hit 5 percent in local sourcing.
The tiers are:
  • Gold Tier:  5% Certified Organic (purchased in-state) + 20% local
  • Silver Tier:   3% Certified Organic (purchased in-state) + 20% local
  • Bronze Tier:  1% Certified Organic (purchased in-state) + 10% local
  • Partner Tier:  5% Local

The fast-growing list of participating restaurants currently includes:  
Georgia diners and consumers interested in dining at restaurants that serve locally sourced and Certified Organic foods can follow Georgia Organics on TwitterFacebook and Instagram for updates on the Farmer Champion program, including new partners, success stories, and even recipes.
In case you missed it, Georgia Organics procurement coordinator Lauren Cox was featured on ATL Foodcast on Monday, Nov. 4, where she talked about all things Farmer Champion with BoccaLupo chef Bruce Logue. Click here to view the episode.