Virginia’s Finest program turns 24
February 07, 2013
RICHMOND—The Virginia’s Finest Trademark Program began in 1989 as the premier quality standards program for the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
Since then the blue checkmark with the red A for agriculture has grown to endorse more than 1,000 agricultural, food and beverage companies in the commonwealth.
“We really do have a diverse portfolio of products that are available,” said Charles Green, VDACS Director of Marketing and Development. “Our producers are winning awards on the international stage, and many of our companies have won and have been nominated for the products they are producing under the Virginia’s Finest program.”
Earning a Virginia’s Finest designation takes time and attention to detail.
“We have a review committee that looks at packaging and labeling,” Green said. “We make sure the product is up to standards and meets the requirements for retail sale. We look to see if the product is attractive in taste, texture and quality.
“Plus we have a taste test panel that makes sure it is up to standards of the quality of other Virginia’s Finest products.”
Sam Edwards of S. Wallace Edwards & Sons Co. believes the Virginia’s Finest logo does make a difference.
“Every person in the food business in Virginia is looking for a leg up,” Edwards said. “This program has helped us get our product out there, to network and in the food shows we attend. I believe the support we got from the program has helped contribute to being in business for 85 years.”
Known worldwide for its pork products, Edwards & Sons was one of the first companies to receive a Virginia’s Finest designation.
“At trade shows we are the envy of a lot of other states,” Edwards said. “People come to me and ask, ‘How did this happen?’ and I tell them the state government did something right.”
Details about the Virginia’s Finest program and its products are available at vafinest.com.
Contact Green at 804-786-3530 or Sherri McKinney, VFBF communications, at 804-290-1148.