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    Dierbergs Puts Local Farmers in the Promo Spotlight

    The Mo.-based chain put locally-sourced produce front and center in its weekly ad circular, as well as its e-newsletter.

    Dierbergs Markets is taking full advantage of the very topical interest in local foods by tapping its longstanding relationships with small regional farmers in promotions in print, and via email and the Web.

    the Chesterfield, Mo.-based chain has been sourcing seasonal produce successfully for a long time, and this season is making sure it optimizes the publicity that a local food program can generate these days.

    As one of Missouri's staunchest supporters of locally grown fruits and vegetables, Dierbergs contracts directly with local farmers, many of whom grow their crops almost exclusively for the 23-store grocer.

    In its current weekly ad, with promotions and specials running through July 20, four local farmers headline the front page. A caption boasts that all of Direbergs' "stores are loaded with fresh produce from Missouri & Illinois family farms."

    The ad features photos of various local farmers standing beside their crops, including Collinsville, Ill.-based corn farmers Bob Meyer and John Relleke Farms; and peach farmer Bill Bader of Campbell, Mo.'s Bader Farms.

    "Homegrown season is here," Dierbergs says in the circular. "Summer crops are ripening at area farms, and local farmers are picking the fresh bounty today, right now, for delivery to all Dierbergs stores. We're proud to support local farmers, many of whom we've built relationships with over decades. And we're proud to offer to you produce that's incredibly fresh, delivered right from the stalk, vine or tree to Dierbergs stores within 24 hours from when it was picked."

    Homegrown corn, peaches, zucchini, yellow squash, green peppers and cucumbers are among the locally-sourced fresh produce being promoted in Dierbergs' current ad, which urged shoppers to "enjoy it while they can."

    Of the peaches, Dierbergs shares a story: "Last year's Missouri peach season was devastated by an early April hard frost. We missed them. And we know you did too. The wait is over! A 2008 bumper crop promises a peach of a homegrown season. Welcome back the sweet taste of Missouri summers, delivered fresh daily
    from Bader Farms in Campbell, Missouri."

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