Wal-Mart To Buy More Local Produce In New Sustainability Initiative

Wal-Mart has launched a new initiative aimed at sustainable agriculture. The hope is that the initiative will help small- and medium-sized growers expand their businesses, get more income for their products, and reduce the environmental impact of farming, while strengthening local economies and providing customers with long-term access to affordable, high-quality, fresh food.

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“Through sustainable agriculture, Wal-Mart is uniquely positioned to make a positive difference in food production – for farmers, communities, and customers,” Wal-Mart president and CEO Mike Duke said an a company statement. “Our efforts will help increase farmer incomes, lead to more efficient use of pesticides, fertilizer, and water, and provide fresher produce for our customers.”

Part of Wal-Mart’s goal includes doubling the percentage of locally grown produce in its U.S. stores to 9% (local produce being defined as that grown and sold in the same state).

Similar to its recent environmental initiative, the company also will create an agriculture-specific index to measure produce suppliers’ waste and efficiency. Producers will be asked to answer questions related to water, chemical, and fertilizer use, with the goal of including this information in a sustainability rating that customers would be able to see and use to consider which fruits and vegetables to buy based on waste produced. Wal-Mart would also use this index to decide from which producers it wants to buy.

See the full New York Times story by clicking here.

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Avatar for Anonymous Anonymous says:

Well if Walmart treats all of the local produce producers like they treat all the rest of their other venders then I’d say this is Bad news for the grow local inititves! The farmers have got the right idea now… sell direct at local farmers markets and keep the likes of Walmart and the 40 theives out of the equation! If Walmart is successful with this it will effectively kill the farmers markets. Don’t get duped into it!

Avatar for Anonymous Anonymous says:

AMEN!! WALMART HAS RUINED OTHER BUSINESSES DON’T LET THEM RUIN FARMERS MARKETS

Avatar for Anonymous Anonymous says:

Right on Fellows!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Don’t expect Walmart to pay top dollar prices for the local farmers. What is the definition of local anyway? From your town, your state, or from a neighboring country. This word, “local”, is becoming a generic word.

Avatar for Anonymous Anonymous says:

We have worked with Walmart in the past and have been very pleased with how they treat the local farmers. Our experience has been that they go way out of the way and above and beyond in their support. Their prices are above average for wholesale markets as well. From such a large chain as Walmart to take the time and effort to purchase produce from local growers instead of their traditional supply chain says a lot. Farmer’s Markets will never feed the world and we should be thankful that we are getting support from the chain industry as well.

Avatar for Anonymous Anonymous says:

Well no one is breaking down my door and I am just a few miles away(Wally world). Small grower but we do have a large variety of produce and fruits.
Farmers market sales growers get retail or more.
Seems better to do that then sell for wholesale.

Avatar for Anonymous Anonymous says:

This isn’t for the small local farmers. We do well in our farmers markets and the buyers know we are sustainable and they know we care about our environment and community as we talk with them about it whenever we sell to them. We also would lose money by selling through Walmart because they would not buy at our market prices but would insist on a wholesale price that is barely supportable by the wholesale farmers. The farmer above who is doing well with Walmart is doing so because Walmart doesn’t have the power yet to flex their muscle with them in this area of produce. Once the farmer becomes dependant on them to buy his goods they will with this sustainability program then demand more and pay less. It will happen eventually. Don’t know how the larger farmers can afford to wholesale their products at such low prices. How can you afford the labor? That is an issue for another day.

Avatar for Anonymous Anonymous says:

Well if Walmart treats all of the local produce producers like they treat all the rest of their other venders then I’d say this is Bad news for the grow local inititves! The farmers have got the right idea now… sell direct at local farmers markets and keep the likes of Walmart and the 40 theives out of the equation! If Walmart is successful with this it will effectively kill the farmers markets. Don’t get duped into it!

Avatar for Anonymous Anonymous says:

AMEN!! WALMART HAS RUINED OTHER BUSINESSES DON’T LET THEM RUIN FARMERS MARKETS

Avatar for Anonymous Anonymous says:

Right on Fellows!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Don’t expect Walmart to pay top dollar prices for the local farmers. What is the definition of local anyway? From your town, your state, or from a neighboring country. This word, “local”, is becoming a generic word.

Avatar for Anonymous Anonymous says:

We have worked with Walmart in the past and have been very pleased with how they treat the local farmers. Our experience has been that they go way out of the way and above and beyond in their support. Their prices are above average for wholesale markets as well. From such a large chain as Walmart to take the time and effort to purchase produce from local growers instead of their traditional supply chain says a lot. Farmer’s Markets will never feed the world and we should be thankful that we are getting support from the chain industry as well.

Avatar for Anonymous Anonymous says:

Well no one is breaking down my door and I am just a few miles away(Wally world). Small grower but we do have a large variety of produce and fruits.
Farmers market sales growers get retail or more.
Seems better to do that then sell for wholesale.

Avatar for Anonymous Anonymous says:

This isn’t for the small local farmers. We do well in our farmers markets and the buyers know we are sustainable and they know we care about our environment and community as we talk with them about it whenever we sell to them. We also would lose money by selling through Walmart because they would not buy at our market prices but would insist on a wholesale price that is barely supportable by the wholesale farmers. The farmer above who is doing well with Walmart is doing so because Walmart doesn’t have the power yet to flex their muscle with them in this area of produce. Once the farmer becomes dependant on them to buy his goods they will with this sustainability program then demand more and pay less. It will happen eventually. Don’t know how the larger farmers can afford to wholesale their products at such low prices. How can you afford the labor? That is an issue for another day.