Iowa grocers would have a new incentive for stocking Iowa grown foods under a bill filed by a Democratic lawmaker from Iowa City. Senator Joe Bolckom’s bill would enact a tax credit for stores which buy local fruits, vegetables, dairy products and meats. Bolckom says grocers want to support small local producers but it’s not always easy to do so.

“Providing some sort of incentive to them because of the additional hassle they have to go through to interact with local producers rather than one distribution warehouse is what’s behind the bill….creating some kind of incentive to see more Iowa products end up in places like HyVee, Fareway and Wal-Mart,” Bolckom said. Bolckom introduced the bill at the urging of economic development leaders who want to encourage Iowa food processors as well as Iowa growers.

“The average meal in Iowa travels about 1,500 miles to get here,” Bolckom said. “I think many people around the state who are working on local food issues see great economic development potential from Iowa consumers consuming more Iowa grown vegetables, fruits, dairy and meat products.” Bolckom admits the bill will have a hard time this year because of pressure on the state treasury, but he says it was worth introducing to see if there’s support.