Safeway Inc., a nationwide supermarket chain, will now sell more locally grown produce and label it for customers to make conscientious selections.
On June 12, the company made a public promise to provide local growers preference to meet customer demand. It has agreed to partner with several farmers, including G&S Farms of Brentwood, Calif., a grower of sweet corn and green beans, and Fitzgerald Orchards of Tyro, Va., which has supplied East Coast Safeway stores with apples for nearly 60 years.
The promotion of local produce includes “premier in-store placement” with signs to alert shoppers. In addition, Safeway will hold local vendors to strict safety and quality standards for planting, growing, harvesting, handling and transporting. Locally grown produce will be competitively priced, Safeway says.
The company notes that it is among the largest retail purchasers of renewable energy and is a member of the Chicago Climate Exchange, the world’s first and North America’s only legally binding GHG allowance trading system, and the California Climate Action Registry, which commits the company to reduce its carbon footprint by 6 percent from year 2000 levels.