NEW YORK — Meijer Inc. and Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market are each expanding their offerings of locally produced foods.
Meijer Inc. and Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market are each expanding their offerings of locally produced foods.
Meijer said it would be increasing its commitment to homegrown fruits and vegetables by 20% this year, according to Mark Stevenson, produce director for the Midwest supercenter chain.
"Our roots go back 76 years to when we would sell the freshest foods from local farmers," said Stevenson. "Today, we continue that commitment to working hand-in-hand with local farmers to offer the freshest and most delicious produce from neighboring farms. We’ll be sourcing considerably more locally grown items from neighboring farms this year. It’s good business for them, and is a tremendous benefit to local economies, the environment and our shoppers."
The Grand Rapids, Mich.-based grocer expects to pump more than $60 million into local economies through its program of partnering with farms throughout Michigan, Ohio, Illinois, Indiana and Kentucky, up from $50 million last year.
Meanwhile, Fresh & Easy is broadening its popular "Farm to Store in 24" program, by transporting more produce from California farms to its stores in less than 24 hours. The grocer is working with local growers to bring additional fruits such as peaches and nectarines as well as vegetables into the program.
"Getting produce from the farm to the store in 24 hours or less is an incredibly tricky task, which makes it important to partner with strong local growers who share our commitment to quality produce," said Justin Hill, Fresh & Easy’s produce manager. "We are working closely with these growers here to put in the extra care required to expand our ‘Farm to Store in 24’ offerings whenever we can."
Fresh & Easy operates more than 150 stores in California, Arizona and Nevada.
Meijer operates 195 stores throughout Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and Kentucky.