BJ’s Wholesale Club is expanding its locally grown produce program to all of its 195 club stores in 15 states.
The “Farm to Club” program — featuring produce grown within the same state where the club store is located — formally began last year with local produce in 167 stores in nine states.
This year, the Farm to Club program expands to all BJ’s club stores, said Rob Johnson, produce buyer for the Westborough, Mass.-based BJ’s Wholesale Club. Farm to Club-labeled produce will begin appearing in some club stores in April and will roll out to all stores by this summer.
Commodities in program include tomatoes, corn, green peppers, yellow squash, zucchini and cucumber. The vegetables will be marked with a “Farm to Club, Locally Grown” seal. All produce is packaged and labeled with the state and farm of origin, Johnson said.
The program has enjoyed strong support among members, Johnson said.
“If people can support their local communities, they really want to do that,” he said April 11. “The feedback on this program has absolutely been tremendous.”
Johnson said the number of growers the company uses varies according to the number of BJ’s club stores. He said the company has only a handful of club stores in Georgia, sourceing from a few growers. In New York, which has 40 BJ’s club stores, he said the company sources local produce from about ten growers.
More information on the Farm to Club program and local produce availability in each state is found online.