When Well-Being first got wind from the MS Department of Agriculture and Commerce of a new branding program in the works for Mississippi products, we were intrigued. We had long supported the previous program “Make Mine Mississippi,” and saw the value of a new plan that would showcase all kinds of products from the Magnolia State. We couldn’t wait for it to come to fruition so we could tell our readers about it.
This July Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce Andy Gipson announced the new state branding program, Genuine MS, and Well-Being was on hand to cheer him on.
On announcing the Genuine MS state branding initiative, Gipson noted, “We are extremely excited to share Genuine MS with the world. This program creates a brand for Mississippi products and connects consumers across the globe with our products. Genuine MS serves as an economic development tool to promote the products grown, raised, crafted and made right here in Mississippi.”
Genuine MS was developed by the Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce to identify and promote products proudly created or produced by Mississippi farmers, artisans, entrepreneurs and manufacturers. The purpose of the Genuine MS program is to increase public awareness of Mississippi’s farm, food, crafted and fabricated products by branding them as Genuine MS.
The website, GenuineMS.com, serves as a centralized location featuring members’ products, while introducing consumers around the world to the people and places that grow, raise, craft and make Genuine MS products.
The program allows member companies to share their unique stories in an effort to increase consumer awareness of their products. Genuine MS shows Mississippi state pride and helps keep the economy strong by introducing some of the best of what the state has to offer to new markets.
There are four classifications of membership determined by the members’ products in the Genuine MS program – Grown, Raised, Crafted and Made.
The Genuine MS Grown classification consists of farmers who grow everything from produce, nuts and row crops to horticulture and timber in Mississippi.
The Genuine MS Raised classification consists of farmers, ranchers and aquaculturists with animals and aquaculture products raised in Mississippi or those selling products from animals and aquaculture products raised in Mississippi.
The Genuine MS Crafted classification consists of crafters whose products are hand-created in Mississippi from agricultural products, which includes specialty foods and beverages and pet and artisan products.
The Genuine MS Made classification consists of manufacturers whose products are 51% or more manufactured in Mississippi to benefit agriculture.
Genuine MS member companies have the ability to brand themselves as Genuine MS by using the logo as a stamp of authenticity on their products, packaging and promotional materials. In addition, they have a profile on the GenuineMS.com website that contains information about their Genuine MS products, the stories behind them, photos, contact information, links to their direct websites and social media accounts, and a listing of places to purchase. Members also have password-protected access to their profile allowing them to update it as often as they like. The membership fee to become a Genuine MS Member or Associate Member is just $75.00 annually and the revenue collected from fees is used to widely promote the program.
Look for the Genuine MS label. By supporting Genuine MS, you are supporting your neighbors and communities. Our local farms and businesses not only produce outstanding products, they provide their communities with jobs and economic development opportunities benefitting the whole state. For more information, visit GenuineMS.com or contact the Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce’s Market Development Division at (601) 359-1159 or Info@GenuineMS.com. Follow Genuine MS on Facebook and Instagram at @GenuineMississippi or on Twitter at @GenMississippi.
Genuine MS has already attracted a number of Mississippi farmers, producers, businesses and manufacturers for membership in the new branding program. As of the printing of Well-Being’s September/October 2018 issue, the following are members listed at GenuineMS.com. If you have Mississippi products you want to tell the world about, sign up today!
Grains, Grasses & Fiber
Bees and Honey
Livestock and Poultry
Genuine MS Crafted Members
Pet Foods and Pet Items