BENTONVILLE, Ark. – Nov. 29, 2006 – Wal-Mart Stores announced today that Wisconsin-based Bushman’s Inc. will be showcased during the months of November and December in conjunction with the company’s Salute to America’s Farmers program. Salute to America’s Farmers, launched in September, is a year-long campaign to spotlight Wal-Mart’s commitment to purchase from local growers for distribution to stores in their areas in support of locally grown agricultural products. Throughout the next several weeks, Bushman’s Inc. will team with Wal-Mart Stores to provide home-grown potatoes to numerous Wal-Mart Supercenters and Neighborhood Markets in the region and provide visibility to the company’s commitment to Wisconsin agriculture and growers around the country.
“Wal-Mart buys more United States agricultural products than any other retailer in the world and we’re proud to introduce Salute to America’s Farmers as a tribute to our country’s growers, underscoring our company-wide commitment to farmers across the United States,” said Bruce Peterson, Wal-Mart Stores senior vice president, perishable food division. “We understand that consumers want to purchase quality products that help support the local economy and we’re proud of our ability to bring wholesome, home-grown selections to our customers in Wisconsin. This commitment not only allows us to offer fresh, quality selections but also generate savings on distribution costs that we can pass on to our customers.”
Mitch Bushman’s great grandfather started the potato-growing business, Bushman’s Inc., in 1908. Today Mitch is the proud owner of the fourth generation farm, which harvests potatoes and onions. Bushman’s Inc. has been a Wal-Mart partner since the opening of the local Wal-Mart Supercenter nearly 20 years ago and supplies more than 45 million pounds of potatoes each year to Wal-Mart.
“The Bushman family has been growing potatoes in Wisconsin for 100 years,” said Mitch Bushman, President of Bushman’s Inc. “We’re proud to work with Wal-Mart to supply healthy, locally grown produce to Wisconsin and surrounding area families.”
Wal-Mart launched the Salute to America’s Farmer program in September and each month will showcase one local grower from each of four states. Local farmers and growers in all 50 states will be spotlighted throughout the upcoming year. During each state’s showcased month, consumers can identify local produce via corresponding signage in local Supercenters and Neighborhood Markets. In addition to Bushman’s Inc., Wal-Mart suppliers Critcher Bros. in North Carolina, Western Missouri Fruit Sales in Missouri and Mississippi Valley Fruit Company in Minnesota are being saluted in their respective regions during the upcoming weeks.
Wal-Mart’s relationships with U.S. suppliers extend beyond its support of local agriculture. In 2005, Wal-Mart spent $200 billion on merchandise through its relationship with 61,000 U.S. suppliers. In the state of Wisconsin in FYE 2006, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. spent $3,173,662,880 for merchandise and services with 1,576 suppliers. As a result of these supplier relationships, Wal-Mart supports 104,411 supplier jobs in the state of Wisconsin.*
As of October 2006, Wal-Mart’s presence in Wisconsin includes 45 Supercenters, 32 Discount Stores and 11 SAM’S Clubs. It also has two Distribution Centers for a total of 26,340 associates.
About Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
Every week, more than 127 million customers visit Wal-Mart Stores, Supercenters, Neighborhood Markets, and Sam’s Clubs across America. The company and its Foundation are committed to a philosophy of giving back locally. Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT) is proud to support the causes that are important to customers and associates right in their own neighborhoods, and last year gave more that $245 million to local United States communities. To learn more, visit www.walmartfacts.com, www.walmart.com, or www.walmartfoundation.org.
*supplier figures provided by Dun & Bradstreet