Southeastern Grocers Commits to Local Growers with New Policy
JACKSONVILLE, FL – As the company continues to keep its eye on the growth of Southeastern agriculture, Southeastern Grocers has announced a new policy which will commit the company’s brands to sourcing produce from local providers whenever possible.
“Our new Local Sourcing Policy is a commitment to local farms and growers, that will guide how we source produce from both market and farms directly,” said Ian McLeod, President and CEO.
This new policy will be instituted across the BI-LO, Harveys, and Winn-Dixie stores, to which Southeastern Grocers is a parent company. The company stated in a press release that this policy only improves on its 90 years of experience working with local growers in the region.
“The numbers clearly confirm our customers prefer locally sourced produce,” continued McLeod. “We sell more than 1 million pounds of local strawberries each month, and more than 1.1 million pounds of local red potatoes a month each season.”
Currently, the company sources up to 30 percent of its fresh fruits and vegetables directly from the Southeast, which includes over 150 varieties of fresh produce in the company’s 750 stores.
To stick to this policy commitment, the company set the following guidelines for its fresh produce standards:
- To work with growers to provide a high stander of fresh produce planting, growing, and harvesting.
- Have all produce inspected by company growers, distribution centers, and stores to provide the best quality.
- Ensure organic products are sourced from organic-certified farmers who follow USDA guidelines for organic farming without synthetic herbicides or pesticides.
“We are focused on providing our customers stunning fresh produce; which has been grown by our own neighbors, families, and communities in the Southeast,” finished McLeod.
Additionally, the company stated that Chef Curtis Stone will be celebrating its commitment to local sourcing with a 700-mile tour, visiting farms and grower partners. Chef Stone will be stopping by J&J Family of Farms and Bullard Farms in Adel, GA, and Lane Southern Orchards and Pearson Farm in Fort Valley, GA.
Customers of Harveys stores in Georgia will have a chance to meet Chef Curtis on his tour at the following locations:
- Thursday, June 16: from 2:30-3:30 p.m. at 2201 North 12th St., Tifton, GA
- Friday, June 17: from 2:45-3:45 p.m. at 1605 Shurling Dr., Macon, GA
Chef Stone has also visited Fowler’s Farms in Campobello, SC, as well as other BI-LO stores in South Carolina. Chef Stone is also supporting the company’s local grower support mission by helping educate store associates.
AndNowUKnow will continue to have the latest on buy-side commitments and announcements, and their impact on the industry.