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ABINGDON, Va. -- K-VA-T Food Stores, Inc. here has begun selling locally produced free range eggs in select Food City stores through a partnership with Rich Valley Grazers and Appalachian Sustainable Development. The eggs will soon be available at all 97 Food City Stores, according to a statement released by Appalachian Sustainable Development, a not-for-profit organization that focuses on developing healthy and ecologically sound economic opportunities in the Appalachian region of Virginia and Tennessee.
The partnership marks the first time that a grocery chain in the region has carried locally produced free range eggs. Food City has locations in northeast Tennessee, southwest Virginia, and southeast Kentucky.
Rich Valley Grazers, a family farm in Saltville, Va., is the primary producer during the initial phase of the partnership. As demand grows, as many as two-dozen additional local farmers may join in a cooperative network of egg producers, Appalachian Sustainable Development said.
Free Range eggs come from hens that are free to roam on open pasture. They derive almost half of their nutrients from grass, legumes, insects, and grubs, with the remainder coming from a mix of grains, minerals, and other natural ingredients.