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Walmart wants locally grown foods on your table

Published: Oct. 26, 2011 at 7:25 PM EDT|Updated: Nov. 4, 2011 at 9:29 PM EDT
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Cheryl Foster has been growing vegetables all her life.
Cheryl Foster has been growing vegetables all her life.
Luther Jones, Georgia USDA Strikeforce Coordinator.
Luther Jones, Georgia USDA Strikeforce Coordinator.

The world's largest retailer hopes to reduce the number of miles perishable foods travel by purchasing more locally-grown produce for stores.

Walmart wants to encourage farmers to reintroduce crops that are traditionally farmed in their region.

Georgia StrikeForce held a meeting for South west Georgia farmers to discuss Walmart's Heritage Agricultural Program.

USDA Georgia StrikeForce invited south west Georgia farmers to meet and find out what they need to do if they want their produce on Walmart shelves.

Walmart is working to reduce the number of miles perishable foods travel by purchasing more locally-grown produce for stores and encouraging farmers to reintroduce crops that were traditionally farmed in their region

Cheryl Foster has been growing vegetables all her life. "My family has been farming since the 1800's, in that one spot"

She usually sells her vegetables to her friends and coworkers, but she is hoping to expand her business. "I want to learn about how to be a producer for a large company, large scale like with Walmart."

Walmart's Heritage Agriculture Program, will support the local and sustainable farming movement.

"The consumers are now requesting products that are locally grown so Walmart has to locate those producers and try to meet the consumers needs," said Luther Jones, Georgia USDA Strikeforce Coordinator.

He says the reason for consumers wanting locally grown produce, is because it is ultimately a better product you are putting into your body. "If it is grown locally, it is harvested right here that it is, it does not have a long life on the shelf, getting to the local Walmart."

He says it is a win/win for Walmart and its consumers. "Smart consumers want to know exactly where their food items are grown, and why not buy from the ones that are producing right in the area where you live,"  said Jones.

And Foster says by selling her produce to Walmart, she is sharing a piece of herself with the world.

"Basically like a dream come true, farming is my fist love, this is something I have always done throughout my life and it has always been apart of me, and it would be wonderful if I could become a producer for Walmart," said Foster.

The meeting was held to inform small farmers on what they need in order to sell their produce to Walmart, like having the correct infrastructure in place.

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