Tuesday, August 26, 2008

NPR Has a New Report...

...on how Wal-Mart is increasing its use of locally-sourced foods:
Two years ago, retail giant Wal-Mart created a stir when it announced it was moving into the organic foods market.

Today, the nation's top grocery seller is highlighting its purchases of "locally grown" produce. While the company is touting the community benefits, buying local produce is also a way to cut the company's growing fuel costs.

Wal-Mart says partnerships with local farmers have grown 50 percent over the past two years — not just in California, but in Wal-Mart stores across the country. This year, it plans to buy about $400 million worth of locally grown produce.
Someone asked "so, do you think this is a good thing?"

My answer was "of course it is!"

Granted, Wal-Mart remains on the negative side of the sustainability balance sheet, but efforts to change that--even incremental--are important, especially when they are done on a Wal-Mart scale.

After all, the Wal-Mart produce aisles remain much more visited than even the most popular of farmer markets. Meaning that, the more that Wal-Mart sources locally, then the more that people will be exposed to the benefits of local food production.