Food Lion Produce Manager Chris Jorgensen Discusses Strategies and Recent Successes
GLOUCESTER, VA - If you enter the doors of the Food Lion in Gloucester, Virginia, you will be met with a robust and inviting display of fresh, vibrant, locally sourced produce. Placing an emphasis on local produce offerings is not only a key focus for the grocer itself, but Produce Manager Chris Jorgensen wields a personal commitment to providing shoppers with a high-quality selection of locally sourced produce.
“I grew up in Nebraska on my grandmother’s farm,” Chris recounts. “I helped her by working at her roadside produce stand, and I learned at a young age the difference it makes to have fresh and flavorful veggies on the table.”
With a passion for fresh produce instilled in him at such a young age, Chris remains committed to helping spread these values to Food Lion’s shoppers.
“I’m grateful that Food Lion allows me the freedom to hand-select the best local produce for our shoppers. For me, it’s all about simply talking with my customers and letting them know about our local selection and why it matters,” Chris shares. “I build a massive display at the front so that it’s the first thing customers see when they enter our store. This creates awareness that Food Lion sells fresh, local produce while also showing the importance we place on it, and it makes it easy for customers to find great products grown nearby. This display is separate from the general produce department and features the growers’ names and locations, so we can highlight our community vendors.”
Chris achieves this fresh-forward mission through Food Lion’s Local Goodness program, which aims to nourish its communities with fresh, affordable, high-quality produce grown in their own towns and cities. For over six decades, the grocer has sourced produce from local growers. Food Lion also connects with its vendors to ensure they align with the retailer’s goals and values, guaranteeing that Food Lion can stand behind both the farmers and their produce.
“Sourcing locally benefits the consumer, the grower, and the community. At Food Lion, we believe all of our customers should have access to the best locally grown produce, no matter their budget,” Chris adds. “Not only does sourcing locally help us to provide the very best quality fruits and vegetables, but it also supports farmers and vendors living and working in our communities.”
As a result of his dedication to fresh and inventive produce strategies, Chris was recently recognized with an International Fresh Produce Association (IFPA) Retail Produce Manager Award, sponsored by Dole Food Company.
“Seeing my name on Dole’s IFPA list of the top 25 produce managers feels unbelievable to me. I feel so honored that Dole and the IFPA have selected me as a winner,” Chris says humbly. “This whole experience has been unreal and amazing. I appreciate the opportunity to share my story and my passion!”
A huge congratulations goes out to Chris on this exciting accomplishment, and we applaud his efforts to continuously place local produce in the spotlight!