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50 companies apply to flaunt New Mexico True

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — More than 50 companies have applied for the right to flaunt their official “New Mexico True” bona fides to the world, according to the state tourism department.

The department in April launched the New Mexico True Certified program, giving qualifying local producers the ability to use special branding on their packages and marketing materials. Officials say it allows the state’s ranchers, farmers, wineries, salsa-makers and other producers to tap into the “New Mexico True” brand already backed by more than $30 million worth of tourism-related advertising since 2012.

Tourism Secretary Rebecca Latham said 53 companies had applied for the program as of last week. Each gets vetted to ensure its products are 100 percent made, grown, or born and raised in New Mexico.

The state has accepted 24 of those applicants into the program and is reviewing and verifying the rest, she said.

Companies granted permission to use the mark include jeweler Silver and Earth, Desert Paper and Envelope and mustard company Old Pecos Foods. Other approved companies working out final details with the state include Celina’s Biscochitos and New Mexico PiƱon Coffee, Latham said.

“We’re thrilled,” Latham said. “I think what’s fascinating is we expected we’d have a real big influx right as we opened the program and it would kind of taper off, and it hasn’t yet.

“We’re still consistently getting new applications weekly.”

The department will push the program more heading into the inaugural New Mexico True Fest on Labor Day weekend. The event at EXPO New Mexico will convene an array of local food and drink vendors, artists and entertainers. The state will waive booth fees and offer priority placement to New Mexico True Certified businesses.

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