Two years ago, retail giant Wal-Mart created a stir when it announced it was moving into the organic foods market.Someone asked "so, do you think this is a good thing?"
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.
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.