Grand Rapids, Mich.-based Meijer started buying potatoes from Alsum Farms & Produce in Cambria, Wis. before it had even opened a store in the state.
“With today’s shoppers seeking more information about how their food is grown and produced, Meijer is vital in bringing consumers and farmers together to share knowledge and build trust and confidence in our food supply while putting a face to the farmer,” said Larry Alsum, president and chief executive officer of Alsum Farms. “As shoppers look to provide healthy choices for their families, locally grown and produced products provide that value.”
The grocery and general merchandise chain last week opened stores in Grafton and Kenosha and will open stores in Wauwatosa and Oak Creek in August.
It has touted its sourcing of local produce from more than 125 local growers, which Meijer says creates a $100 million impact across its six-state Midwest footprint each year.
Meijer plans to open stores in Waukesha and Sussex in 2016, and also plans to eventually open stores in West Bend, Greenfield, Sheboygan and the Green Bay area, for a total investment of about $750 million. Its Grafton and Kenosha stores alone have created 600 jobs.
“Meijer has a longstanding commitment to buying locally-grown produce when available as long as the quality meets our high standards,” said Jerry Suter, vice president of fresh merchandising. “Not only is buying local produce the right thing to do, it’s what our customers want and deserve. We are currently one of the largest purchasers of local produce in the markets we serve.”