Wal-Mart awards grant for strawberry sustainability - The Packer

Wal-Mart awards grant for strawberry sustainability

02/25/2013 04:20:00 PM
Doug Ohlemeier

WalmartThe Walmart Foundation is donating $3 million to the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture for a sustainability project that intends to cut delivery times to consumers.

The contribution is earmarked for the Fayetteville, Ark.-based division’s Center for Agricultural and Rural Sustainability. Center leaders plan to create and manage a national competitive grant program that awards money to land-grant and other public universities.

Recipients are to work to expand where strawberries can be grown and allow for shorter trips from farm to the consumer, according to a news release.

Because strawberries can lose up to 36% of their freshness between harvest and arrival in stores, the center plans to solicit proposals that will expand strawberry production areas, reduce energy use and cut product losses, according to the release.

“Strawberries are a highly perishable fruit with a short shelf life in the supply chain,” Curt Rom, a division horticulture professor, said in the release. “Strawberries travel an average distance up to or exceeding 3,000 miles from farm to market.”

Started in 2007, the center focuses on improving economic, social and ecological prosperity for rural communities around the world by developing tools for farmers and researches and teaches production methods that improve water quality and works to allow farms to harvest healthy and safe produce, according to the release.

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Florida  |  February, 26, 2013 at 04:15 PM

I find this artiricle very interesting, interesting in the fact that I live in central Floirda. This is where Strawberries are grown in the good old USA during the winter months. During the month on January and February the local Wal*Mart stores had Grown in Mexico strawberries on their shelves. Seems to me this article is nothing more than a PR anouncement. See this newspaper article from February 4, 2012 http://www.theledger.com/article/20130204/NEWS/130209747?p=2&tc=pg. Sustainability, trucking product from Mexico when you can get them within 20 miles of a Distribution Center cannot be good for the enviroment, social and ecological prosperity for this rural community.. so what is this article really about? And please don't tell me there was not enough locally grown fruit available.

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