Retailer stocks shelves with locally grown holiday favorites
BENTONVILLE, Ark., November 25, 2008 – While the economic climate continues to be a concern for local farmers, Walmart is continuing its effort to help local agriculture business by continuing partnerships with small farms and stocking shelves with locally grown items. This holiday season Walmart is giving customers an opportunity to buy local at a price they can afford to help local economies at a time when they need it most.
“At Walmart we are committed to increasing our locally grown offerings and the number of local small farms we work with,” said Pam Kohn, Walmart senior vice president and general merchandise manager for grocery. “Through this program we are able to cut shipping costs and decrease food miles, but most importantly we are offering our customers an opportunity to support their local farmers without worrying about the impact on their wallets.”
By purchasing quality, affordable seasonal produce like locally grown apples, sweet potatoes, cranberries and pumpkins, Walmart shoppers can add local flavors to their holiday meals and feel good knowing their purchase is helping their economy.
In-store seasonal facts:
- Walmart sells locally grown pumpkins in 27 states – more than half the country – making Walmart the largest local pumpkin distributor in the U.S.
- Customers in 17 states, including North Carolina and Utah, can purchase locally grown apples for their homemade holiday apple pie.
- Walmart works with 50 small cranberry growers through Ocean Spray to bring local cranberries to customers in Washington and Massachusetts, among others.
- Walmart offers local sweet potatoes in seven states including Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana. Sweet potatoes are grown in southern states due to specific climate needs.
“Our partnership with Walmart has allowed us the opportunity to grow our business and expand our acreage,” said Greg Nix, Apple Wedge Farms, a Walmart apple supplier. “It’s great to know that a company as big as Walmart is focused on local agriculture business especially at a time when many industries are struggling.”
Walmart’s locally grown offerings go beyond the produce aisle. Walmart offers locally grown poinsettias – the traditional plant of choice for decorating and gift giving during the holiday season – in Garden Centers in 20 states across the country.
- Walmart stores in North Carolina sell poinsettias from Metrolina Greenhouses, Inc., a Huntersville-based greenhouse. Metrolina invests extensively in research and development to produce plants that are grown in environmentally friendly greenhouses.
- Florida customers will see locally grown poinsettias from Sunshine Growers. Sunshine Growers gives a portion of their poinsettia sales to local charities, churches, schools and nursing homes.
“We’ve supplied to Walmart for 22 years and over those two decades we’ve seen nothing but a positive impact on our business,” said Shane Weaver, Sunshine Growers, a poinsettia supplier. “In fact, nearly 16 weeks per year Walmart business supports 65 of our full time employees.”
Walmart’s locally grown program continues to highlight local farmers and their products in stores through signage that makes it easy for customers to recognize. Signage includes official state-grown marks, indicating approval by the state’s agriculture department.
All locally grown offerings at Walmart are grown or produced and sold within the same state. For more information on the program, visit www.walmart.com/locallygrown.
About Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT)
Every week, millions of customers visit Walmart Stores, Supercenters, Neighborhood Markets, and Sam’s Club locations across America or log on to its online store at www.walmart.com. The company and its Foundation are committed to a philosophy of giving back locally. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (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 than $296 million to local communities in the United States. More information about Walmart can be found by visiting www.walmartstores.com. Online merchandise sales are available at www.walmart.com.
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