Local Grocery Chain wants Local Produce from Local Farmers

This will be the second year that Lowe’s Foods is working in conjunction with the North Carolina Department of Agriculture’s Domestic Marketing Division speaking with growers about becoming suppliers to the grocery chain. Randy Maness, is with NCDA’s Domestic Marketing Division:

“We did three grower meetings in 2012 that were very successful, one in Lumberton, Greensboro and Asheville. We had upwards of 125 growers at the meetings. Out of that, Lowes began a business relationship with about 15 of them. That is about 12% of what showed up.”

Maness says one of last year’s success stories was a Lumberton grower establishing a relationship with Lowe’s and supplying peaches to 22 Lowe’s locations. But, Maness explains you don’t have to be a big grower to get involved:

“Lowe’s is one of the first retailers, and others will likely follow. We encourage all size growers to come, even ones that could service 2-3 stores. If they can go through the distribution center in Hickory, that is great, but they could also just service local stores.”

Maness says that Lowe’s isn’t necessarily looking for any one product:

“We have had peppers, pumpkins, melon growers and tomatoes. We also encourage organic farmers to attend as well.”

Both meetings are scheduled for next week according to Maness:

“I would encourage any growers out there to attend these meetings. We are excited about them. We have one on the 19th in Harnett County and one on the 20th in Lenoir.”

For more specifics as to times, dates, locations and contact information visit our calendar

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