(Aug. 23) SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California has officially kicked off California Grown, a multicommodity generic marketing campaign that is expected to generate additional sales for California produce growers.

Speaking at the California State Fair Aug. 22, Gov. Gray Davis launched the three-year program, which includes a new logo and television advertisements.

“California Grown will remind the world that we have the best farms, ranches and produce and products on God’s green earth,” Davis said. “We are securing our future by encouraging Californians to buy California (products).”

California Grown will receive $35 million from state and federal sources over the next three years.

The program, administered by the Buy California Marketing Agreement, a partnership between government and agriculture industry organizations, will work to increase awareness of the wide variety of California agricultural products.

Grower-shippers will partner with retailers to make sure consumers know they are buying products grown in California. In-store signs will help in the effort.

Two television ads that focus on debunking California stereotypes will run in eight major California markets, said Kathleen Nave, president of the California Table Grape Commission, Fresno, and chairwoman of the marketing agreement.

A Spanish-language commercial will air later, as well as one specifically for the Central Valley, she said.

A task force on Central Valley agriculture assembled by Davis developed the new program in cooperation with the California Agricultural Issues Forum. The forum is composed of fruit and vegetable commodity organizations.

The Buy California Marketing Agreement is implemented through a voluntary marketing agreement operated under the direction of the California Department of Food and Agriculture. It was created after a Central Valley Economic Summit in 2000.

The California Table Grape Commission is already in the spirit of the program with its Look for California marketing campaign that includes in-store signs and danglers. An emblem was designed for the program.

Other produce organizations have signed on to California Grown, including the California Apple Commission, California Avocado Commission, California Citrus Mutual, California Tree Fruit Agreement, California Tomato Commission, California Pear Advisory Board and the California Strawberry Commission.