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Haggen Inc., which operates 26 stores in Washington and Oregon under the Haggen Northwest Fresh and Top Food & Drug banners, has been recognized for its multi-level support of Pink Lady apple growers in Washington and Oregon.
“As we’ve worked over the last decade to build equity in the Pink Lady brand, we have naturally kept a close eye on the retail sector,” says Dr. John Reeves, general manager of Yakima, Wash.-based Pink Lady America. “We’ve been watching to see who in the supermarket world really support growers. During this time we’ve watched with great interest and delight as Haggen has consistently developed a program of strong support for our growers and others in the fruit industry.”
Lee Reynolds, produce director for the Bellingham, Wash.-based regional retailer, said: “Haggen is home to people who are passionate about giving guests the best of the region, each season and every day. That’s the way we’ve run our business for the last 80 years, and we’ll continue to support our regional farmers the next 80 years. We are honored to be recognized for this commitment to build our local food economy,” added Reynolds, who has been with the family owned company for more than 40 years.
“Haggen stands out because not only do they purchase premium, locally grown fruit, but they take it to the next level with a complete merchandising program,” noted Reeves. “By that I mean its produce team often backs up this product with special displays or signage in its stores and often with inclusion in its weekly advertising program. It’s a great thing to support these growers by purchasing their products but it’s really special to have them be part of the Haggen marketing program.”
For Pink Lady America, Haggen’s fondness for products from the Northwest extends beyond the produce department, as it’s now in its third season of stocking Pink Lady apple juice.
“For our growers, the Pink Lady Juice is also significant because it adds another revenue source coming along with that received from their apples sold as fresh,” said Reeves. “Without a doubt, a primary appeal of ‘buying local’ in the produce department is the freshness of the products with that designation. The distance from the orchard to the store is often greatly reduced so the crispness is greater in the eating experience and the flavor is likely to be more vibrant.”
Pink Lady America will present Haggen with a commemorative plaque acknowledging its overall excellent support of its locally grown apples and juices, shippers for which include: Auvil Fruit Co., Borton Fruit, Chelan Fresh Marketing, Domex Superfresh Growers, Northern Fruit Co., Oneonta Starr Ranch Growers, Rainier Fruit Co., Stemilt Growers LLC, Washington Fruit & Produce and Yakima Fresh.