This may be off interest to some growers:
From the NC Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
Dear Valued North Carolina Farmer:
The North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ Marketing group is hosting Grower Information Sessions with key personnel from the Lowes Foods grocery chain and (MDI) Merchants Distributor being on-hand to provide information direct to North Carolina Growers. Growers from counties within close proximity to each session are invited to attend.
The Farmer meetings will be geared towards those farmers/growers that are interested in selling to Lowes Foods and MDI. Topics to be addressed are guidelines that Lowes and MDI require for you, as a farmer, selling to their stores. Lowes Foods Executive Director of Produce and MDI’s Director of Produce will be on hand to address the criteria they require. Examples Include: Liability insurance, Gap Certification, etc. Please do not allow any of these guidelines to keep you from the meeting, as we have designed these meetings to be informative as to these topics. Marketing Horticulture Specialist from our staff will be giving a presentation on how to become Gap Certified and other grower type information. There will be a question and answer session, and possible one-on-one sessions, if time permits. Lunch will be provided by the “Got to be NC” Goodness Grows Program.
Statewide, we have seen strong growth and interest in local produce. Lowes Foods and MDI are committed to support our local farmers and are currently buying from groups across North Carolina. However, their needs and demand for local is out pacing their supply and they are in need of more growers. We are dedicated to assist our farmers in finding a market for their products. These meetings will provide you an audience that you may otherwise not have had the opportunity to experience. Please join us for these very important meetings. Feel free to invite other growers in your area that might not receive this letter.
April 11th. Asheville/Fletcher Meeting
Western North Carolina Ag Center
1301 Fanning Bridge Road
Fletcher, NC 28732
Meeting will be held from (9:00am – 3:00pm - Registration beginning at 8:30am) with lunch provided.
There is no cost associated with these meetings; however you will need to reserve your space.
Call or email ASAP, the following contacts to reserve your space.
Randy Maness, 919-707-3133, firstname.lastname@example.org
G.W. Stanley, 919-707-3148, email@example.com
Additional meetings were held in Lumberton (Feb 29) and Winston-Salem (March 28).