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    A&P Becomes Largest Local Buyer of Northeast Produce

    Besides New York, the Mid-Atlantic grocer has forged relationships with farmers in New Jersey, Delaware, and Maryland.

    Thanks to partnerships with various local farmers in New York, New Jersey, Delaware, and Maryland, The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co. said yesterday it's now the largest buyer locally grown produce in the Northeastern United States.

    As part of the partnership, Long Island Waldbaum's and Pathmark stores will offer corn, tomatoes, green peppers, squash, romaine lettuce, cauliflower, cucumbers, and white potatoes from local farms.

    A&P also said it has joined forces with Foxy, a California lettuce supplier, to work with a local farm, Chester, N.Y.-based Scattered Acres, that will supply romaine hearts, green leaf, and red leaf lettuce to the grocer. Thanks to shorter shipping times and lower freight costs, Waldbaum's and Pathmark customers will have access to fresher, more affordable lettuce, the grocer said.

    "Long Island farmers produce some of the finest produce in the Northeast, and every time a major supermarket chain commits to selling their harvest locally, it's a win for the farmers and a win for the entire community," noted Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.), who attended a press event yesterday at a Waldbaum's store in Jericho, N.Y., to unveil the local produce initiatives.

    The many produce items available through this initiative also include New Jersey blueberries, peaches, corn, and tomatoes; Maryland corn and melons; and Delaware watermelon and cabbage.

    A&P operates 447 stores in eight states and the District of Columbia under the banners of A&P, Waldbaum's, Pathmark, Best Cellars, The Food Emporium, Super Foodmart, Super Fresh, and Food Basics.

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