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Monday, June 3, 2013
Bentonville, AR - Walmart is revealing its new efforts to ensure the quality and freshness of the fruits and vegetables it is presenting to customers. The company is making changes across produce sourcing, training and operations. One element of the retailer's program to improve and enhance its offerings is a 100 percent money-back guarantee that allows customers to return any and all produce that they are unsatisfied with.
Walmart will also begin purchasing some of its fruits and vegetables directly from growers and leveraging the company's produce experts, distribution centers and trucking systems, according to a press release. Direct sourcing will allow the faster delivery of produce from farms to store shelves, the company notes. Walmart has hired produce experts to work with farmers in the key growing regions where the company has produce-buying offices to improve quality and freshness of the products. Walmart is working closely with local growers in the U.S. to fulfill its commitment to double its sales of locally grown produce by December 2015.
"We're listening to our customers and delivering on our promise to offer great produce at the most affordable price," said Jack Sinclair, Executive Vice President of the Food Business for Walmart U.S. "We are so sure our customers will be pleased with the fruits and vegetables they buy in our stores, they can receive a full refund if they aren't completely happy."
Other initiatives include executing independent weekly checks in its more than 3,400 Supercenters, Neighborhood Markets and Express Stores that sell produce and also launching Fresh Produce Schools and training programs to 70,000 associates. Associates that include store managers, market managers and produce department managers from every Walmart store in the U.S. will learn more about handling fruits and vegetables.
Having also announced it will mandate PTI standards in the upcoming months, Walmart has been taking huge strides to address its produce departments' needs and efficiencies.