New York Agriculture & Markets Law

Sec. § 156-H
Food and Farm Products Promotion


The commissioner may design, determine and adopt official brands to be used on labels and on packages and containers to identify New York state food products and New York state produced or landed aquatic products. The design of such brand or brands may contain the whole or a part of the seal of the state of New York. Each of such brands, when adopted by the commissioner, may be registered as a trade mark in the office of the secretary of state under the provisions of article twenty-four of the general business law, or any other provision of law which may hereinafter be enacted relating to the registration of trade marks. Any such trade mark shall be registered by the secretary of state without the exaction of any fee therefor. The commissioner may in his or her discretion register any such mark with the United States government and any other state or foreign country.


Such brand or mark may be imprinted upon packages or used on labels upon or attached to packages containing:


New York state grown farm products packed within this state in accordance with official standards established as provided by this article, article thirteen, article thirteen-a, article thirteen-b, article thirteen-c and article thirteen-d of this chapter or New York state produced or landed aquatic products, subject to and in accordance with rules and regulations to be promulgated by the commissioner; or


New York state processed food products, manufactured within this state in accordance with official standards established by the commissioner pursuant to regulation, which are essentially composed of New York state grown farm products, provided, however, that whenever the commissioner determines, after public hearing, that the use of ingredients not grown or produced in this state is necessary or beneficial in manufacturing a particular product because such ingredients are either not grown in New York or unavailable in sufficient quantity or at a reasonable price to allow the product to be composed of only New York state grown farm products, the standard for such product may authorize the inclusion of ingredients not produced in this state, except that in no event shall an official brand or mark be approved for use on a food product unless at least fifty-one percent of its content is derived from New York state grown farm products.


Notwithstanding the provisions of subdivision two of this section, such brand or mark may be imprinted upon packages or labels attached to packages containing cheddar or American type cheese packed outside this state provided that such product is manufactured within the state and meets all other requirements for the inclusion or attachment of such brand or mark.


No such label shall be imprinted on or attached to any package of fresh or processed products unless said products have been produced and packed in accordance with an official quality control program established by the commissioner. The rules and regulations shall provide for a charge to be made for any inspections, except the commissioner, at his or her discretion, need not make a charge for inspections carried out for the purposes of research and development of grades, standards, inspection and quality control techniques. The commissioner shall cause to be printed labels bearing a state brand in sufficient quantities to meet the demand therefor and/or authorize container manufacturers to imprint the state brand on packages at the time of manufacture or printing, and may sell such labels or charge a fee for such imprinting in an amount to be fixed by the commissioner. As an alternative method, the commissioner may in accordance with rules and regulations rent dies or cuts of the state brand to persons desiring to manufacture their own labels for use on fresh or processed products owned and packed by them, at a price to be fixed by the commissioner. Labels shall be affixed to or imprinted on packages in the manner prescribed by the rules and regulations. The label denoting the state brand may be used in conjunction with and in addition to any regional mark or name for growers, packers or processors in a county or group of counties and/or private mark or name under which the grower, packer or processor has been accustomed to pack and market fresh or processed products. Moneys derived from the sale or use of labels denoting the state brand shall be accounted for as to product source and shall be expended as the commissioner may direct for general publicity purposes and to advertise products identified with the state brand.


The rules and regulations may provide for an advisory committee of five packers or sellers of the state brand products, who shall advise the commissioner as to the general plan of any publicity campaign and in such other matter as the commissioner may request. The members of any such advisory committee shall serve without compensation. The commissioner shall have the power, by injunction or otherwise, to restrain any person who uses or attempts to use any state brand except in accordance with the provisions of this section.

Last accessed
Dec. 13, 2016