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The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co. Inc. (A&P) and Giant Food LLC have become the latest grocers to tout local seasonal produce programs. A&P has joined forces with more than 30 local farms in Delaware, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania to offer customers locally grown seasonal produce this summer, while Maryland-based Giant is working with 45 area farms to provide packed-by-hand seasonal items to its stores.
"Farmers work extremely hard year-round to provide their products to the community," said Eric Kanterman, chief merchandising officer of Montvale, N.J.-based A&P, noting that the program would provide shoppers with "seasonal produce fresh from the farm in their neighborhood."
"This collaboration with A&P allows us to expand our reach to customers who may not be able to travel to our farm," noted Steve Dandrea, of Vineland, N.J.-based Dandrea Produce, a participating grower that will also arrange "Farmer's Market" events at 11 A&P locations. During the events, a Dandrea Produce farmer will educate customers about local produce and the best time to buy.
At Giant stores, the source farm name and location appear on in-store signage, enabling customers to find out more about the items on sales and the growers. Customers who want to know even more can log onto Giant's website for additional "Buy Local" features, among them videos, recipes and a list of local growers. Further, all Giant stores will feature an interactive cutout, back by popular demand in the produce department, where customers can pose for a "farm-fresh selfie."
A&P operates about 300 stores across six states under the following banners: A&P, Best Cellars, Food Basics, The Food Emporium, Pathmark, Superfresh and Waldbaum's. Landover, Md.-based Giant, an Ahold USA division, operates 168 supermarkets in Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, and the District of Columbia, and employs approximately 20,000 associates.