I visited my local BJ’s Wholesale Club last week and was immediately drawn to some signage appearing in the produce department. Growing up in a town filled with farms, I have a love of fresh vegetables and supporting the local economy. Which is why I was so happy to see BJ’s Wholesale Club is now partnering with local farms to bring produce from the farm to the store in less than 24 hours.
Consumers are increasingly more aware that fruits and vegetables that are in-season, harvested closer to their peak ripeness, and transported shorter distance retain more nutrients. However, according to the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, it is estimated that the average American meal still travels about 1,500 miles to go from picked to plate. In fact, the National Grocery Association’s 2014 Consumer Panel found that more locally grown foods and price/cost savings topped the list of the improvements desired most among the shoppers surveyed.
Today, BJ’s Wholesale Club is shortening the distance from farm to table by buying fresh produce from local New Jersey farms and getting it onto New Jersey club shelves in under 24 hours. It’s an incredible process and I couldn’t be happier to see BJ’s Farm to Store program happening right here in my beloved Garden State.
In New Jersey, BJ’s is offering Yellow Squash, Zucchini Squash, Cucumbers, Tomatoes, Peppers and Corn from Porch Farms in Pedricktown; Cassaday Farms in Monroeville; Maugeri Farms in Woolwich Township and Landisville Co-Op in Landisville.
The signage in the stores even feature the area where the produce is from.
BJ’s Farm to Store program, and its local produce sourcing, is at the lead of a growing trend. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), industry estimates suggest that local food sales in America have nearly doubled in recent years, jumping from $5 billion in 2008 to $11.7 billion in 2014.
So, the next time you are at your local New Jersey-based BJ’s Wholesale Club, check out the produce section and see if any of the produce in your store is Jersey Fresh!
This is a sponsored post in partnership with BJ’s Wholesale Club.
This post was written by Linda Arceo for Giggles, Gobbles and Gulps. All rights reserved.