New Mexico Department of Agriculture verifies chile products are properly labeled


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Contact: Kristie Garcia
Director of Public Affairs, New Mexico Department of Agriculture
krgarcia@nmda.nmsu.edu
575-646-2804

July 26, 2021

New Mexico Department of Agriculture verifies chile products are properly labeled

Verification is part of New Mexico Chile Advertising Act

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LAS CRUCES – New Mexico chile is famous around the state, country and world. There’s that unmistakable aroma of fresh New Mexico green chile being roasted, and of course, the unequivocal taste of New Mexico red chile enchilada sauce. Not to mention all the value-added products, such as salsa, wine, jerky, chocolate, spices and more containing New Mexico chile.

“As New Mexicans, we’re proud of our chile, and if products are advertised as ‘New Mexico’ chile, we want to be sure that is indeed the case,” said New Mexico Secretary of Agriculture Jeff Witte. “The New Mexico Chile Advertising Act was created through legislation, and it’s our job at the New Mexico Department of Agriculture to educate our hard-working producers in the state about the act, so they are in compliance.”

Containers of fresh green chile with chile farm in background
New Mexico Department of Agriculture Standards and Consumer Services Division staff inspects fresh and processed chile products to verify they meet the criteria set forth in the New Mexico Chile Advertising Act. For example, if fresh green chile is advertised as being “Hatch green chile,” that claim must be verified by NMDA. (Photo courtesy New Mexico Department of Agriculture)

NMDA Standards and Consumer Services Division staff inspects fresh and processed chile products to verify they meet the criteria set forth in the act. The act states that individuals cannot advertise chile peppers or products containing chile peppers as New Mexico chile unless they were grown in New Mexico. The act also stipulates that individuals cannot use the name of any city, town, county, village, pueblo, mountain, river or other geographic feature located in New Mexico in a misleading or deceptive manner that states – or reasonably implies – that the chile peppers are, or the product contains, New Mexico chile unless they were grown in New Mexico.

Currently, there are over 200 registered vendors and products, and a list may be found at www.nmda.nmsu.edu/new-mexico-chile-verified/.

Both New Mexico fresh and processed chile registration forms are available at www.nmda.nmsu.edu/new-mexico-chile-labeling-registration/. There is no fee to register. Once successfully registered with NMDA, vendors and products are eligible to enter the various chile competitions held in the state.

For more information, contact the NMDA Standards and Consumer Services Division at 575-646-1616 or nmchile@nmda.nmsu.edu.

Close-up of plate with tortilla chips and glass bowl with salsa, on wooden table
New Mexico Department of Agriculture Standards and Consumer Services Division staff inspects fresh and processed chile products to verify they meet the criteria set forth in the New Mexico Chile Advertising Act. For example, if salsa is advertised as being “New Mexico salsa,” that claim must be verified by NMDA. (Photo courtesy New Mexico Department of Agriculture)

To view the act in its entirety, visit https://www.nmda.nmsu.edu/nmda-homepage/laws-regulations/weights-measures/.

Following are some helpful links for vendors and producers already registered with NMDA as part of the New Mexico Chile Advertising Act:

The New Mexico State Fair Battle of the Salsas:
One of NMDA’s signature events at the State Fair, the 2021 Battle of the Salsas, will be held Saturday, Sept. 11 at the Agricultural Building. The first 150 attendees will receive a set of salsa samples, chips and a ballot, and will have the opportunity to sample many New Mexico salsas. More details to be announced soon. https://statefair.exponm.com/

 NMDA’s New Mexico—Taste the Tradition and New Mexico—Grown with Tradition logo program:
Through NMDA’s marketing efforts, it has been discovered that strong traditions form a common thread across all New Mexico agricultural products. Whether it’s salsa, sopapilla mix, wine, green chile beef jerky, cheese, a blanket woven with New Mexico-grown wool, plant stock grown in a local nursery, or seed stock from one of the many cattle ranches in the state, all New Mexico agricultural products have a history steeped in family traditions worth emphasizing and celebrating. This is why NMDA created the NEW MEXICO—Taste the Tradition® and —Grown with Tradition® Logo Program in 2000. While the main intent of using these logos is to promote New Mexico products and identify them as grown or made in the state, the program has become so much more. There is no fee to register for this program. https://www.elevatenmag.com/logo-program/

 The New Mexico Chile Association’s Great New Mexico Chile Taste-Off:
New Mexico chile growers are invited to participate in the Third Annual Great New Mexico Chile Taste-Off in Socorro Saturday, Sept. 18. Attendees will be able to taste – and take home – a wide selection of red and green chile from around New Mexico. Comprised of growers, processors, manufacturers and others involved in the chile industry, the New Mexico Chile Association is a non-profit organization dedicated to ensuring that the chile industry remains and prospers in New Mexico. https://www.nmchiletasteoff.com/

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The New Mexico Department of Agriculture benefits the public by promoting the viability and advancement of New Mexico agriculture and affiliated industries. The agency promotes a fair marketplace, food protection, marketing, and economic development; supports the beneficial use and conservation of natural resources; and works cooperatively with the public and private sectors. For grant cycles beginning in 2019, the agency has administered over $1.5 million in funds to support agriculture initiatives in the state through the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program and Healthy Soil Program combined.

Find us at:
www.nmda.nmsu.edu
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LinkedIn: New Mexico Department of Agriculture