US supermarket Wegmans Food Markets has come up with a novel way of sourcing local fruit and veg.
The East Coast chain has developed a next-day direct delivery system with 1,900 growers around its 71 stores, called Homegrown.
Dave Corsi, vice president of produce and floral decorations, said store managers would be able to top up locally grown produce this summer by contacting local growers direct. The price was agreed in advance, to cut out complicated negotiations on the day, and was based on different zones surrounding the store.
"Growers based farther away benefit from a better price," said Corsi. "And as well as allowing stores to make up shortfalls, the system offers a good promotional hook."
Point of sale material identifies each producer and carries a clock to indicate how recently the last local delivery was made.
Wegmans stores range between 80,000 and 140,000 sq ft and typically carry 600 items of fresh produce, including 120 salad lines.