After recent complaints of poor quality produce, Wal-Mart Corporation has announced plans to overhaul their fresh food initiative in the hopes of improving not only the caliber of their goods, but also their standing in the public opinion.
According to a report on npr.com, the company plans to purchase about 80 percent of their produce directly from growers, eliminating the role of wholesale sellers in the transaction. They also plan to initiate a training program to better equip employees to handle, stock, and identify fresh fruits and vegetables.
Hand in hand with this announcement comes Walmart’s pledge to bolster its stock of local ingredients. The popular farm-to-table trend that is prevalent in the restaurant sphere has reached American homes, where a new emphasis on local and organic ingredients is changing the way the people are purchasing their fruits and vegetables.
With both the health and economic benefits of locally sourced food moving up in our social consciousness, it’s logical that America’s super-super-store wants to be able to offer consumers what they want. Yet the question remains as to whether Walmart’s local sourcing truly benefits small farms, or whether the company, which requires volumes of product far above the typical yield of a small farm, is purchasing locally from massive, high-earning super farms instead.