Food City is well-known for their locally grown produce initiative.
Through a partnership with local farmers, the retail supermarket chain offers their customers fresh-from-the-field fruits and vegetables during local growing seasons. Many items are delivered directly from the farm to the store the same day they are picked. What began over ten years ago with a small number of items, supplied by a handful of area farmers has now grown into a multi-million dollar operation. Today, Food City purchases an average of over $5,000,000 annually in fresh produce from local growers.
“We pride ourselves in selecting the best possible products for our customers,” said Steven C. Smith, Food City president and chief executive officer.
“Our local farms are known for producing some of the finest products in the country. Buying locally is the logical choice. It provides our customers with the freshest produce possible, while lending additional support to our local economies. In many instances, our locally grown produce arrives at the store the same day it was picked. It simply doesn’t get any fresher than that.”
In 2007, Food City created the Wayne Scott Memorial Grower of the Year Award. The award is named in honor of Unicoi County farmer Wayne Scott, one of the first to partner with the retail supermarket chain. Wayne Scott’s leadership, passion for the business and dedication to delivering the “best produce possible” are just a few of the reasons for his tremendous success. The award recognizes one outstanding grower each year.
Last week, the retail supermarket chain honored the local farmers it partners with at a luncheon in Abingdon, Virginia. Luke Stratton of Stratton Tomato Farms in Rutledge, Tennessee, was named this year’s award recipient. Stratton is a fourth generation farmer, cultivating the same land where his great grandfather planted the first crop.
“We enjoy a great partnership with a variety of local farms,” comments Bucky Slagle, director of produce operations for Food City. “And we are proud to be the exclusive retail outlet for a number of them and of course our customers love the added convenience.”