Meijer commits up to $100M to local produce


Grand Rapids-based Meijer works with 125 local growers across its six-state footprint. Courtesy Meijer

When Meijer began its partnership with E. Miedema & Sons nearly 80 years ago, Ralph Miedema would hand deliver cabbage, sweet corn and squash directly to Hendrik Meijer and his Greenville store.

Now, Ralph’s grandson, Dave, runs the 1,500-acre farm in Byron Center and appreciates Meijer’s commitment to local produce.

The Grand Rapids-based retailer announced today that as it expands, its annual commitment to locally grown produce has grown to nearly $100 million.

“Buying local is important to us, because many of our friends and neighbors see our produce in our fields and wish to purchase it. They like to support us,” Dave Miedema said. “Meijer is a great partner.”

The retailer’s annual commitment to local produce has increased from $80 million during the previous two years.

Its number of local produce partners has also grown 25 percent during the same span to 125 local growers across its six-state footprint.

Meijer said it plans to continue seeking quality local partners as it opens 11 stores this year.

As the buy-local consumer continues to become more prominent, Meijer said its commitment to local has increased as well, which has also been good for its bottom line, the environment and customers' pocketbooks.

“Meijer has a long-standing commitment to buying locally grown produce when available, as long as the quality meets our high standards,” said Jerry Suter, VP of fresh merchandising, Meijer. “Not only is buying local produce the right thing to do, it’s what our customers want and deserve. We are currently one of the largest purchasers of local produce in the markets we serve.”

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