WHEREAS, wines from New Jersey’s approximately 40 wineries are becoming increasingly sophisticated, and the results are showing in their award-winning products; and
WHEREAS, the state’s wine industry has received countless awards locally, nationally and internationally, and New Jersey’s $30 million dollar per year wine industry adds an important diversification to New Jersey’s agricultural sector, offering agritourism opportunities while providing a value-added product; and
WHEREAS, grape production continues to expand in New Jersey, but it is not keeping pace with increased wine production, as New Jersey’s wine industry ranks seventh in the nation in production; and
WHEREAS, the New Jersey Department of Agriculture administers a promotion and research fund for the wine and grape industry supported by per-gallon assessments collected by the New Jersey Wine Industry Advisory Council, and the Council prints promotional materials, conducts publicity programs, funds promotional festivals and conducts varietal and production oriented research with these funds.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that we, the delegates to he 97th State Agricultural Convention, assembled in Atlantic City, New Jersey, on January 18-19, 2012, do hereby urge the Department continue taking steps to help the wine and grape industry increase grape production in an effort to increase the local agricultural input of New Jersey’s wine industry; promote the use of locally produced fruits in the making of New Jersey wines; encourage support for new production research to increase the state’s grape production and expand the locally grown content of New Jersey wines.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that to increase demand, support the industry’s efforts to highlight the “Jersey Wines from Jersey Vines” brand and promote products from New Jersey’s American Viticulture Areas -- the “Outer Coastal Plain,” “Warren Hills,” and “Central Delaware Valley” -- the Department continue taking steps to increase the sales, both retail and wholesale, of New Jersey wines.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Department support an interdisciplinary program of research and education, spearheaded by industry and academics, and having the following goals: identify key areas where research is needed to address industry problems; develop educational programs that enhance, develop and sustain the industry; and analyze fundamental production, marketing, economic and societal issues that could enhance the global competitiveness of New Jersey wines.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that we express the agricultural community’s gratitude for the recent passing by the Legislature and signing by the Governor, of legislation that enables New Jersey wineries to expand sales through direct shipping and other marketing outlets.