February 11, 2021

    The Port of Skagit is pleased to announce that the United States Patent and Trademark office granted registration to a Certification Mark for Genuine Skagit Valley,” said Patsy Martin, Executive Director of the Port of Skagit. This means that agricultural products and agricultural services from the Skagit Valley can now be certified as to their origin by a federally registered Mark. Visit Port of Skagit or Genuine Skagit Valley to learn more.

    In October of 2013, Washington State Department of Commerce designated Skagit Valley as an Innovation Partnership Zone (IPZ), focusing on value-added agriculture. The Skagit Valley Value-Added Agriculture Innovation Partnership Zone nurtures partnerships to enhance the local agricultural industry. The Genuine Skagit Valley Certification Mark is the result of the IPZ initiative.

    Thank you to our Skagit Valley farmers, producers, businesses, community leaders and all of our members who have worked tirelessly to make this a reality. The Northwest Agriculture Business Center is managing and administering the Certification Mark program.

    A simple application for certification and a nominal annual fee are required to be a member of Genuine Skagit Valley and use the Certification Mark. Please visit Genuine Skagit Valley for more information.

    Over five thousand years ago, epic glaciers created a great river valley surrounded by mountains to become the magical, beautiful Skagit Valley in the great Pacific Northwest. Discovered by explorers from around the globe, the fertile Skagit Valley is an agricultural paradise of over 2,000 square miles. Thousands of growers, producers and food artisans offer hundreds of agricultural treasures and natural goodness worldwide.

    The Skagit Valley agricultural economy is very diverse in many aspects including approximately 100 large farm operations (primarily wholesale) and approximately 1,000 small agricultural enterprises (retail and wholesale) supplying over 80 agricultural products. Port of Skagit Commissioner Steve Omdal stated, The ‘Genuine Skagit Valley’ Mark reflects the capability of Skagit County to produce a wide variety of agricultural products for all consumers.”

    The Skagit Valley provides nearly 95% of the U.S. supply of table beet seed, 75% of the U.S. supply of spinach seed and approximately 8% of the spinach seed used throughout the world. Skagit Valley farmers are producing

    approximately 25% of the world’s cabbage seed and 50% of the world’s beet seed. More tulips, daffodils and iris bulbs are produced in the Skagit Valley than in any other county in the United States. Additionally, approximately 50 million cut flowers are grown in greenhouses and fields in the Skagit Valley and approximately 95 percent of the red potatoes grown in Washington State are from Skagit Valley. The Genuine Skagit Valley Mark does not replace any individual’s or producer’s brand, it magnifies it as a positive “Halo” brand. The emphasis is on origin.

    By highlighting the origin aspect of a product or service, in conjunction with others doing the same, we communicate that Skagit Valley is special. Studies have repeatedly shown that today’s consumers prefer knowing where products originate and prefer local products. The IPZ encourages Innovation to create a “terroir” brand that increases the recognition of and demand for Skagit products worldwide. Collaboration among partners to enhance a vibrant local agricultural economy benefits farms, sellers, consumers, and all local residents.

    Preference for Skagit Valley’s agricultural products and services builds our perceived value and relevance in the minds of residents, regional, national and international fresh food artisans, fresh food purchasers, consumers, food marketers, government agencies and influencers.

    The founding members include: Northwest Agriculture Business Center, Port of Skagit, Skagit Valley, WA Innovation Partnership Zone, City of Mount Vernon, Skagit County, Skagit Valley College, Economic Development Alliance of Skagit County, BrandStrategy, Inc.