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September 27, 2007   Email to Friend 

Debra Davis
(334) 613-4686
September 27, 2007

From left, Johnny Collins, president of the Alabama Food Manufacturers and Producers Association, Miss America Deidre Downs and Agriculture Commissioner Ron Sparks examine some of the Alabama products on display at the press conference.
MONTGOMERY, Ala., Sept. 27 -- With a backdrop of popular Alabama-made products like Barber's Milk, Golden Flake Potato Chips and Milo's Sweet Tea, a press conference was held at the Capitol City Club in Montgomery today with the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries, the Alabama Grocers Association, the Alabama Food Manufacturers and Producers Association and the Alabama Department of Tourism and Travel to kick of their "Buy Alabama's Best" campaign.

Gov. Bob Riley has declared October as Alabama Food Products Month, and more than 75 Alabama companies are participating in the month's promotions including several large corporations that employ hundreds of Alabamians.

Special window signs highlighting the event and shelf tags reading "Buy Alabama's Best" have been distributed throughout the state to help shoppers identify Alabama products. Ads will also run in Sunday newspapers throughout the state with more than $11 million worth of coupons for Alabama items. Displays in the stores will feature products made, produced, headquartered and/or manufactured here in the state.

Gov. and Mrs. Riley, Commissioner Ron Sparks, Alabama chefs Clayton Sherrod and Frank Stitt and former American Idol winner Ruben Studdard will also be featured in the ads along with Alabama's own Miss America 2005, Miss Deidre Downs.

Commissioner Sparks encouraged Alabamians to buy Alabama food products, noting that the state's food product industry helps Alabama's economy grow by creating an annual economic impact of more than $2 billion.

"These companies participating in the program make significant contributions to their local economies on a consistent basis," Sparks said. "These companies sell not only in Alabama but throughout the Southeast, nationally and even internationally. There are also dozens of smaller local companies, which produce unique sauces, spices and produce for local and regional markets. Alabama is lucky to have access to these delicious products.

"It is so important that we support our Alabama businesses," added Sparks. "Not only does it help our local economies thrive, but we can also feel good knowing we are getting fresh, high-quality products for our families."

A portion of the proceeds from the coupons redeemed during October Alabama Food Products Month will benefit the Janie Sims Children's Foundation. This foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping children with cancer and their families and is committed to supporting and funding research toward a cure for pediatric cancer. All of the money from this foundation stays in Alabama through Children's Hospital in Birmingham.

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