Buying locally grown produce is one of the fastest growing trends in both the retail and foodservice industries. The National Restaurant Association has once again named “Locally Grown” as the #1 trend in the industry, citing consumer awareness and demand for these products as continuing to be “hot” as the country continues to embrace sustainability in its buying habits.
Adding locally grown items to your menu will resonate well with your customers, and demonstrate to them that you are progressive in your menu and creativity. But how do you know you are really getting the best and safest locally grown products? Here is how...
Certified for Food Safety
In order to enhance food safe practices and reduce unsafe practices, Performance Foodservice inspects and certifies local farms as part of our local program. Besides inspection, the certification requires growers to implement practices which significantly reduce the chance of having a safety incident. The list of requirements is long and includes, but is not limited to:
- Irrigation water testing
- Fencing for animal intrusion
- Proximity issues (Limiting nearby activities)
- Fertilizer restrictions
- Employee hygiene
- Cooler/facility requirements
By choosing Performance Foodservice's Qualified Local Produce, you have the added security of knowing our Quality Assurance team has personally gone into the grower's facility to ensure they utilize the best practices, ultimately yielding a safer product for you to serve to your customers.
Conservation of our natural resources and good stewardship of the environment is important. Buying your produce from local growers is one of the ways you can be sure you are doing your part to help the environment. Some produce items are traditionally sourced from domestic sources literally thousands of miles from your restaurant, and some products are sourced internationally - even farther. Ultimately, the cost to ship these products is substantial both in terms of dollars and natural resource consumption. You can avoid these costs through the purchase of locally grown products.
Your Assurance is Our Seal
How can you be sure the products you are getting are locally grown, and how can you be sure these products are packed under conditions that have had safety requirements enforced in their production?
The answer is our seal. We put a seal of certification on each of our boxes that is grown within 250 miles of your local warehouse. You can look for that seal to know you have the right product that has been grown under our strict requirements for safety.
Depending on the time of year, local farmers are able to provide a very diverse array of products. You should ask your PERFORMANCE Foodservice sales representative about the products that are available to you under this program.
Product shipped from distant destinations can take 5 or more days to reach our warehouse in some cases. These products most frequently arrive via truck, having driven cross country under less than ideal conditions for sustaining product freshness. In contrast to that, imagine locally grown product which often is in our warehouse the day after harvest!
Supporting the Local Economy
In addition to the benefits gained from freshness, and conservation of our resources, there is a direct impact on our local economy when we buy local. Labor is required to grow and handle these products and moving those jobs to your local market is good for the local economy ... and your business.
Ask Your Sales Representative Today About Products Currently Available In Your Area.