(INDIANAPOLIS) — Today, Indiana Grown launched the Shop Indiana Grown online marketplace.
The free service will be offered to all qualifying Indiana Grown members providing them with an additional sales outlet during a time when online retail is critical to the success of many farms and businesses in our state and nationwide.
Indiana Grown is housed within the Indiana State Department of Agriculture (ISDA) and offers free resources to farms and businesses who grow, raise, produce or process an agriculture product in the state of Indiana. Members range from traditional row crop farmers to wineries to artisans to value-added food producers.
“One of my favorite activities during the Indiana State Fair is shopping at the Indiana Grown Marketplace,” said Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch. “I am continually amazed at the variety and quality of products that Hoosier farmers and producers provide, and consumers should have access to those items every day.”
Consumers will initially find nearly 40 vendors with more than 100 products to purchase on the platform with an increased selection available as new vendors and items are added daily in categories such as cheese, honey, coffee and skin care. With the popularity of the Indiana Grown Marketplace at the Indiana State Fair, the online store will allow the public to purchase local products year-round from anywhere.
“This project has taken months of hard work to ensure it will truly benefit our membership,” said Indiana Grown Program Director Heather Tallman. “We often get asked how to purchase from our members, and we are thrilled to see the consumer response to this exciting solution.”
The new marketplace will help the Indiana Grown program accomplish its goals of helping Indiana farmers and producers have a greater market for their products and educating consumers on the importance of buying locally grown, raised, processed and packaged items.
“Having celebrated its fifth anniversary this summer, Indiana Grown is stepping up its ability to serve its members and consumers,” said ISDA Director Bruce Kettler. “This new benefit of Indiana Grown membership is addressing the ever-changing needs of Indiana’s agriculture community.”
Indiana Grown is also partnering with the Indiana Small Business Development Center (Indiana SBDC), which provided support to fuel the e-commerce platform leveraging relief funding from the U.S. Small Business Administration. Indiana SBDC, which provides no cost, expert guidance and resources that farms and small businesses need to grow, has launched a number of programs and initiatives to help entrepreneurs and business owners access relief funding and adapt to the new economic climate. Through this collaboration, Indiana SBDC and ISDA are helping farms and small businesses tap into larger consumer markets, and the Indiana SBDC will serve as a trusted resource for Indiana Grown members that may need customized assistance related to COVID-19 recovery, e-commerce, market research or export assistance.
“With more than 520,000 companies employing 1.2 million Hoosiers, small businesses play a critical role in fueling Indiana’s economic engine,” said Indiana Secretary of Commerce Jim Schellinger. “As more small businesses shift their operations online, the Shop Indiana Grown marketplace will provide an important tool for Indiana companies to reach new customers and elevate Hoosier-made goods in new markets. We’re excited to partner with Indiana Grown to continue providing the support small businesses need to compete and lead in today’s 21st century economy.”
The Shop Indiana Grown online marketplace is another way Indiana Grown can promote all forms of agriculture in the state and allow its members to share the stories behind their farms and businesses.